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ECHL hockey: Utah Grizzlies rally from three-goal hole to beat Idaho Steelheads

Published January 16, 2017 10:47 pm

ECHL • Utah erases three-goal deficit to win 5-4 in shootout.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Rarely in hockey does a team recover from a three-goal deficit, particularly against a club as red-hot as the Idaho Steelheads, losers of only two of their last 10 games. But that's exactly what the Utah Grizzlies did. Led by Jon Puskar's two goals, the team forced overtime and an eventual shootout. And when goalie Ryan Faragher stood on his head and stopped all three Steelhead shots, the crowd erupted and the comeback was complete, 5-4.

"Puskar's line was tremendous tonight and Faragher was huge when he needed to be," Utah coach Tim Branham said. "I'm proud of the way we played and the boys battled. They're calm on the bench and whether we're down or not, nobody panics."

Precious minutes were remaining in the contest and the Grizzlies were trailing by a lone goal when Brad Navin leveled the contest, firing a puck at point-blank range that beat Philippe Desrosiers. And with just one second remaining, Faragher made a diving save to preserve the game.



Utah's Cam Reid scored the only goal in the shootout.

Following a quiet beginning to the first period, a rapid succession of three goals was scored just 45 seconds apart halfway through the frame. Unfortunately for the Grizzlies, only one belonged to them. Puskar scored his 12th goal of the season to get Utah on the board, but his goal was sandwiched by Steelhead forwards Joe Basaraba and Travis Walsh to give Idaho a 2-1 advantage. And when Anthony Luciani found the back of the net at 13:06, Utah found itself in a heap of trouble with two periods remaining.

After Rob Linsmayer made it 4-1 for Idaho, things looked dire for the Grizzlies. However, Taylor Richart and Puskar refused to accept Utah's apparent fate. Richart launched a shot from the blue line that blistered the back of the net, and when Puskar scored his second of the night, Utah suddenly had life with 20 minutes of hockey remaining, trailing by one goal.

"Our players lead by example and we're gelling as a team and that's what you need in a locker room," Puskar said. "When we're down it doesn't matter anymore, we refuse to quit." —

ECHL standings

EASTERN CONFERENCE

North GP W L OL SL Pts GF GA

Manchester 37 24 10 1 2 51 145 116

Reading 36 21 13 1 1 44 134 106

Brampton 37 20 13 2 2 44 134 137

Adirondack 35 17 12 3 3 40 121 113

Wheeling 35 18 14 3 0 39 117 107

Elmira 35 8 22 5 0 21 81 135

South GP W L OL SOL Pts GF GA

Florida 36 25 8 1 2 53 127 101

Orlando 39 20 13 4 2 46 145 138

South Carolina 36 21 13 1 1 44 108 90

Greenville 38 19 16 2 1 41 114 128

Cincinnati 36 17 15 4 0 38 102 104

Atlanta 38 15 18 4 1 35 131 145

Norfolk 36 12 20 4 0 28 92 121

Western Conference

Central GP W L OL SOL Pts GF GA

Toledo 37 29 7 0 1 59 152 102

Tulsa 43 23 16 4 0 50 128 123

Fort Wayne 36 21 11 4 0 46 139 108

Quad City 37 19 16 0 2 40 107 113

Kalamazoo 38 16 18 1 3 36 101 130

Wichita 33 13 18 1 1 28 92 119

Indy 38 12 23 1 2 27 98 146

Mountain GP W L OL SOL Pts GF GA

Allen 40 24 13 2 1 51 152 112

Idaho 39 22 12 3 2 49 135 127

Colorado 38 22 12 1 3 48 131 113

Alaska 36 20 11 1 4 45 123 114

Utah 38 16 18 3 1 36 116 135

Missouri 37 14 17 2 4 34 112 131

Rapid City 36 12 17 7 0 31 108 131

Monday's games

Norfolk 3, Atlanta 1

Reading 6, Elmira 2

Missouri 5, Allen 4, OT

Tulsa 5, Quad City 3

Manchester 5, Adirondack 3

Utah 5, Idaho 4, SO

 

 

 

 

 

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