The Utah Grizzlies have treated their home fans to some exciting, down-to-the-wire hockey at the Maverik Center this season. Including Saturday's contest, the Grizz have played six straight home games where the game has been tied in the third period.
Unlike their past two home games, however, the Grizzlies failed to deliver a win Saturday, as the Colorado Eagles scored twice in the third period to beat Utah, 4-2.
Despite the loss, Utah continued its trend of dominant first-period play, outshooting the Eagles 10-9 and scoring the game's first goal with less than five minutes remaining in the period on Kris Hogg's rebound and goal from the right side.
Through seven home games, the Grizzlies have outshot their opponents 117-77 in the opening periods and have scored first in all but two games at the Maverik Center.
But as quickly as Utah started, it faded early in the second period.
Colorado tied the game at 4:23 in the second period, and just over three minutes later took a 2-1 lead on Greg Gardner's short-handed, breakaway goal. The goals came quickly, with the Eagles scoring on two of their first three shots in the second period.
"We came out hard again today," said Grizzlies coach Tim Branham. "We just didn't keep the pace. There were too many spots where they took it to us."
Just when it seemed momentum shifted to the Eagles, Utah countered with a goal of its own, tying the game 2-2 at 13:39 in the second period.
The power-play goal came off the stick of Rylan Galiardi a slap shot from the right side. Galiardi has scored goals in three consecutive games and in all but one game since being acquired by the Grizzlies to add scoring depth to the roster.
Colorado recaptured the lead at 3:33 in the third period on a power-play goal of its own and put the Grizzlies away for good with less than a minute remaining, after Utah emptied the net for one last push.
Utah will look to bounce back in a rematch against Colorado on Monday night.
Eagles 4, Grizzlies 2
O Igor Bobkov returns to the net for the Grizzlies after a two-game absence. The goaltender allows three goals on 20 shots.
• After starting the year 27 of 27 on the penalty-kill, Utah allows its second power-play goal in consecutive games.