|Posted on May 8, 2016 at 10:50 PM|
WEST VALLEY CITY — In front of a very ruckus crowd at the Maverik Center, the fans had their playoff towels waving and brought every bit of energy they could to cheer on the Utah Grizzlies in Game 4 as the Fort Wayne Komets looked to close out the series. Despite a very successful season for the Utah Grizzlies it all came to an end as the Komets defeated the Grizzlies, 5-3.
“We played a pretty solid game today, we couldn’t keep the puck out of our net and you are not going to win in the playoffs giving up 30 shots and five goals,” said head coach Tim Branham. “We made a few mistakes, the entire series we just couldn’t keep the puck out of our net.”
The night started out just like Game 3 end with a Komets goal. Shawn Szydlowski found a way to poke the puck past Utah’s goal tender Mark Owuya to put the Komets on top, 1-0, in the first five minutes of play.
Despite the early goal by the visiting Fort Wayne Komets, the Grizzlies didn’t go into panic mode. They did what they do best: get even. After back-to-back penalties vs. Fort Wayne, Ryan Hayes who makes big plays in the playoffs made yet another one evening the score with his ninth playoff goal of the playoffs.
With the Maverik Center fans on their feet after the Hayes goal, it was quickly quieted in the final two minutes of the first period as a bad bounce off Owuya, which set up Garret Thompson with the rebound goal and sent the Komets with a one goal lead into the locker room after 20 minutes of hockey.
In the second period, the Komets did add another goal to the score sheet to put the lead up to a two-goal lead, but Ryan Hayes scored his tenth goal of the playoffs to keep the Grizzlies within one as the period came to a close.
Only being down one goal, the Grizzlies knew they still had a chance and when Marc Cantin fired a blast of a shot to tie things up Utah thought they had the momentum and could see a Game 5. But the Koments found a way to close the game out, with Thompson and Szydlowski bothing scoring their second goal of the night.
“We battled hard in the playoffs and capturing the first-round victory over a good Colorado Eagles team, it showed a lot of character,” Branham said. “This series we had diversities with Ryan Faragher getting called up and Hardowa getting sent home due to family reasons, but tip your hat to Fort Wayne.”
This was the second-straight year that the Utah Grizzlies made it to the second round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs and third-straight appearance in the playoff under Tim Branham and once again he is very proud of the support from the fans of the Utah Grizzlies.
“Our fans are unbelievable, they were with us all year through thick and thin and we had an exciting team for sure this year and our fans put their hearts and souls behind us and they are the reason we are here.”
You can follow David "Vito" Winkworth on Twitter @RealDavidVito for the latest news on the Utah Grizzlies and the world of sports.