Wranglers Take Game One 6-4, Grizzlies Look Toward Rematch at Home
Las Vegas, Nevada - The Utah Grizzlies fell 6-4 to the Las Vegas Wranglers Tuesday night at the Orleans Arena in game one of the National Conference Quarterfinals.
Utah took a 1-0 lead just 35 seconds into the first period as Malcolm MacMillan blasted a shot from the circle.
Tied 1-1 entering the second period, Utah again scored early to wrap up a power-play as James Sixsmith fed Tim Maxwell cross ice for the score just 20 seconds into the middle frame.
The Grizzlies made it 3-1 just 1:23 later at 1:43 as Sixsmith fed Matt Clarke in the circle again. Clarke's shot was redirected home by Tim Crowder and Utah had a 3-1 lead. However, starting at the 5:16 mark, Las Vegas rattled off four-straight scores to take a 5-3 lead. Utah goaltender Mike Morrison, in relief of Mikko Koskinen, stopped a penalty-shot later in the second and another one early in the third to keep the 5-3 game intact.
Utah thought that they had scored early in the third period on the power-play to make it 5-4, but a redirection by Lance Galbraith was waved off after referee Andy Thiessen ruled the goal was tipped in with a high-stick.
The Grizzlies made it 6-4 on a Tim Maxwell score, again assisted by Sixsmith, 1:14 after a Las Vegas goal at 11:32 of the third period. However, the Grizzlies were never able to get anything else on Wranglers goaltender Jimmy Spratt, who stopped 17 of 21 shots from Utah.
Koskinen was replaced by Morrison following the fifth Las Vegas goal. Morrison stopped eight of nine shots to finish the game.
Game two of the series is scheduled for Wednesday at 8:05 p.m. and can be viewed at Legends Pub and Grill at 677 South and 200 West in Salt Lake City.
The series reverts to Utah for game three Saturday at 7:05 p.m.
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