Grizzlies lose to Houston

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    By KEVIN FRANSON

    The Utah Grizzlies dropped their second game in as many nights on Saturday, as the Houston Aeros defeated them by a score of 3-2 at the E Center.

    The Aeros also defeated the Grizzlies on Friday night in Houston, sending the Grizzlies home with a 4-2 loss.

    The losses mirrored each other with the Grizzlies getting the more shots on goal in each game, but not more pucks in the net. Near the end of the second period Saturday, the Grizzlies had tripled the Aeros in attempts but found themselves down 3-0. The Aeros converted close to one out of every three shots into a goal.

    Bob Bourne, Utah Grizzlies head coach, said the Grizzlies are letting down for a couple of minutes and the opposing team is taking advantage of the opportunities during that time.

    “We are not playing 60 minutes of hockey. We play very well and then we have a lapse for a few minutes and they capitalize on that lapse,” Bourne said.

    The Grizzlies had a challenge coming into the game in facing Robert Esche, the Aeros goalie. Esche brought a 132:52-minute shutout into the game against the Grizzlies.

    Sean Tallaire, right wing, scored the Grizzlies first goal of the night 15:20 into the second period. Esche had extended the length of scoreless hockey while he was in the net to 168:12 minutes before the Grizzlies finally found glory.

    Within two minutes, the Grizzlies scored again to make Esche’s next shutout streak last just 1:39. This time another Sean scored, Sean Penn. The goal was the left wing’s first of the year and it brought the Grizzlies to within one at 3-2. Penn’s goal came with three minutes left in the second period.

    The two teams would play a scoreless third period ending the game.

    Penn agreed with his coach on the lack of 60 minutes of focused play for the Grizzlies.

    “We are falling short. I don’t think we have played for 60 minutes once this year and then the few minutes that we get outplayed, they score a goal,” Penn said. “Even with the talent we have on this team, we have to play for the entire game. This team will come together and we will be on fire at the end of the year.”

    The Grizzlies welcomed back right wing Mick Vukota, but missed the play of center Jarrod Skalde. Skalde is out with a slight hip pointer.

    “We missed Skalde. It starts to mess up your lines and mix things up when you don’t have a player like that in your line up,” Bourne said.

    The loss moves the Grizzlies record to 6-4-2 on the season. The Grizzlies will take a few days to get ready for their next opponent, the Chicago Wolves. Utah will take on the Wolves in Chicago on Friday night.

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