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ECHL: Utah Grizzlies beat Missouri Mavericks 5-3 in regular-season finale

Published April 8, 2017 11:33 pm

ECHL • Utah beats Missouri 5-3 in regular-season finale.
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The Utah Grizzlies were able to breathe a huge sigh of relief heading into Saturday night's regular-season finale against the Missouri Mavericks. Due to the Idaho Steelheads defeating the Alaska Aces on Friday night, Utah was able to secure its 10th straight playoff appearance.

But to say that the Grizzlies backed into the playoffs would be wrong. Since Jan. 6, when the team was 14 points behind for the final playoff spot in the Mountain Division, Utah has been on a tear, accumulating a 22-12- 3-1 record, including Saturday's 5-3 victory.

"It's a character group we have and they know what it takes to win," Utah coach Tim Branham said.



"Our boys never said die. But we know we have our work cut out for us and we better be ready."

Utah indeed has a tall task at hand as they'll face the Mountain Division and two-time defending Kelly Cup Champion Allen Americans. The Grizzlies will travel to Allen for games one and two on Wednesday and Friday. Utah will return home for games three through five on April 19, April 21, and April 22 .

As for the game itself, both teams put on a show as play was fast paced up and down the ice for the duration. In the end, Utah bounced back from a one-goal deficit twice, led by C.J. Eick's two goals, to defeat the Mavericks.

Utah clung to a 3-2 lead when Missouri forward Connor Bleackley tied the contest just 58 seconds into the third period. The Grizzlies weren't going to be denied a victory, though, as C.J. Eick scored the game winner, followed up by Tim Daly's insurance goal.

A flurry of scoring occurred in the second period as a total of four goals were scored in the first seven minutes of the frame, three coming off the sticks of Grizzlie skaters. Jon Puskar, Erik Bradford and Eick all were successful against an overwhelmed Mavericks goalie in Josh Robinson. The lone Missouri goal was recorded by Matt Robertson.

Missouri scored the lone goal of the first period when Dane Fox tallied his 34 th of the season. —

ECHL standings

EASTERN CONFERENCE

North GP W L OL SL Pts GF GA

Adirondack 72 41 20 7 4 93 266 218

Reading 72 41 25 4 2 88 255 217

Brampton 72 40 24 3 5 88 263 256

Manchester 72 37 24 7 4 85 264 252

Wheeling 72 34 30 8 0 76 244 239

Elmira 72 17 47 7 1 42 171 279

South GP W L OL SOL Pts GF GA

Florida 72 46 21 2 3 97 275 219

Greenville 72 40 26 5 1 86 251 252

South Carolina 72 40 28 3 1 84 227 211

Orlando 72 36 26 7 3 82 260 258

Cincinnati 72 36 29 6 1 79 200 209

Atlanta 72 27 37 6 2 62 234 278

Norfolk 72 26 40 6 0 58 214 271

Western Conference

Central GP W L OL SOL Pts GF GA

Toledo 72 51 17 2 2 106 302 191

Fort Wayne 72 45 19 6 2 98 264 210

Quad City 72 40 28 2 2 84 232 220

Kalamazoo 72 38 30 1 3 80 222 237

Tulsa 72 27 37 6 2 62 194 241

Indy 72 23 42 3 4 53 196 290

Wichita 71 21 43 6 1 49 187 274

Mountain GP W L OL SOL Pts GF GA

Allen 71 48 17 4 2 102 290 201

Colorado 71 46 20 2 3 97 262 205

Idaho 71 42 22 5 2 91 231 204

Utah 72 36 29 5 2 79 225 239

Missouri 72 33 30 4 5 75 233 241

Alaska 71 32 29 3 7 74 216 227

Rapid City 71 26 37 8 0 60 214 253

Saturday's games

Kalamazoo 5, Wheeling 2

Florida 10, Orlando 0

Adirondack 5, Elmira 0

Atlanta 6, Greenville 2

South Carolina 4, Cincinnati 3, OT

Toledo 10, Indy 0

Brampton 5, Manchester 4

Reading 4, Norfolk 2

Fort Wayne 6, Quad City 1

Wichita 5, Tulsa 1

Utah 5, Missouri 3

Colorado at Rapid City, late

Idaho at Alaska, late

Sunday's game

Allen at Wichita, 3:05 p.m.

 

 

 

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