"We knew they didn't like to get hit," goalkeeper Grant Rollheiser said. "We started putting a body on them and won more battles as the game went on."
Utah (11-11-3) took advantage of a costly Idaho turnover to get things started. Steelheads defenseman Scott Todd turned the puck over in front of his own goal. The puck was picked up by Grizzlies captain Brad Mills, who dished it to center Adam Estoclet to give Utah its first lead.
The Steelheads scored twice in the first six minutes of the second period to claim their first lead, but Utah answered with two more one a fast break from Tommy Maxwell and another from Estoclet before the second intermission.
The Mountain Division matchup saw some chippy play as 12 different players spent time in the penalty box. Neither team was able to capitalize on a power-play opportunity in the first two periods. The Grizzlies whiffed on a two-man advantage at one point in the first period.
Utah's Riley Armstrong broke the extra-man drought and added an insurance goal in the third when he dumped in a point-blank goal with six minutes to play, assisted by Mitch Wall.
"We changed our power-play yesterday at practice," Armstrong said. "It took a couple periods to get adjusted to it."
The Grizzlies' penalty kill unit, on the other hand, succeeded in shutting the Steelheads out.
"We were trying to be more aggressive and give them a different look," coach Kevin Colley said. "It was an area we had to address, and we changed a few things."
Idaho (18-7-3) racked up 15 more shots than Utah, but Rollheiser finished with 38 saves.
"They got their shots in, but our defense did an unbelievable job," Rollheiser said. "It was a great team win."