Logan, UT – The Utah Grizzlies netted two goals in the first five minutes of the second period and held on from that point, defeating the Idaho Steelheads, 3-1, in the ECHL preseason opener for both teams Friday night.
Idaho got on the board first early in the first period when Austin Mayer picked up a turnover behind the Utah net. The rookie forward fed a nice pass to Andrew Wright, who buried a shot at the 1:05 mark to give Idaho the early lead.
Utah evened things up on a Kory Falite power-play goal three minutes later and then got quick goals in the second period from Denny Kearney (0:16) and Jeff Buvinow (4:12) to give the Grizzlies a 3-1 lead. Idaho’s Jake Morley was stymied twice by Utah goaltender Troy Davenport at point-blank range in the second to keep it a two-goal lead.
The Steelheads were able to generate some pressure but no goals in the third period as Utah held on.
Ryan Rondeau stopped 27 of 30 shots in net for Idaho in the loss. Idaho was 0-5 on the power-play.
The same two teams meet again Saturday night at Boise’s CenturyLink Arena in the third-annual Season Ticket Holders Only game with the puck dropping at 7:10 PM. The two teams also open the regular season against one another in Boise next Friday, October 12.