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West Valley City • Coming off their first road victory of the year, the Utah Grizzlies fell to the San Francisco Bulls, 2-1, at the Maverik Center on Friday night.
Despite the loss, the Grizzlies dominated the puck early and didn't allow a San Francisco shot attempt until more than halfway through the first period. Meanwhile, Danick Paquette was running the show on offense for the Grizz.
Coming off a four-game stretch in which he scored two game-winning goals, Paquette impressed early Friday. At 7:28 in the first period, Paquette skated unchecked through the Grizzlies' offensive zone and narrowly missed a nifty wraparound shot attempt that led to a Norm Ezekial goal (his first of the year) to give Utah a 1-0 lead.
But the Grizzlies' strong start couldn't hold back the Bulls for long. Despite managing only five shots through the first period, San Francisco scored with less than two minutes remaining in the opening frame to tie the game, 1-1.
After his impressive start, Paquette was assessed a five-minute major for game misconduct early in the second period and was ejected after sending a San Francisco skater to the ice. The one-man advantage helped the Bulls to score the game-winning goal.
"It was a clean hit," said coach Tim Branham of Paquette's penalty. "But that's his reputation. You can't really say it was a momentum shifter, because we still had our chances to score. We just can't score goals."
Utah had its chances in the second and third periods, including during two power plays in the final six minutes of the second period and two additional power plays to open the the third period, but failed to find the back of the net.
"We've scored more than two goals in a game … twice this year," said Branham. "We're playing well defensively; we just can't score goals. We've got to find a way to score goals."
The loss brings the Grizzlies' record to 5-8-1-1 on the season. Utah plays San Francisco again at the Maverik Center on Saturday.
Bulls 2, Grizzlies 1
O Utah scores only one goal on 32 shot attempts.
• The Grizzlies fail to score on all seven power-play opportunities.
• One game after his first professional shutout, Utah goaltender Ben Meisner allows two goals on 19 shots.