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ECHL HOCKEY

Grizzlies cruise past Rush in weekend opener

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The Utah Grizzlies opened the weekend series with Rapid City with a win as they scored a trio of unanswered goals in the third period on their way to 5-2 victory Friday night at the Maverik Center in West Valley City, Utah.

Neither team could find the net early in the game, but the Rush broke that trend in the 16th minute when Stephen Baylis scored a power play goal on assists from Max Coatta and Alex Butcher.

Despite not scoring in the first period, the Grizzlies’ offense was aggressive in the second as they tied the game on a goal from Trey Bradley, assisted by Neil Robinson and Bailey Conger, two minutes and 53 seconds into the second period.

Utah took its first lead of the game less than four minutes later when Andrew Nielsen found the back of the net on assists from Miles Gendron and Brian Bowen.

The Grizzlies outshot Rapid City 16-7 in the second and had a 28-17 advantage after two periods.

The Rush got back into the game to start the third period when Butcher scored on assists from Coatta and Baylis.

Utah had an answer two minutes later and its offense was on a roll from there, starting with a goal from Robinson to make it 3-2.

Bowen scored an insurance goal in the seventh minute to extend the Grizzlies lead and Brandon Cutler scored Utah’s third consecutive goal in the final period in the 13th minute to put the game out of reach.

The Grizzlies finished the game with 37 total shots, while Rapid City had 27.

Butcher led the Rush with five shots, while Coatta, Logan Nelson and Jake Wahlin finished with four apiece.

Rapid City falls to 2-3 and looks to bounce back when it closes out the weekend series with the Grizzlies tonight at 7:10 p.m.

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