WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – The Idaho Steelheads (0-1-0) fell in their preseason opener 5-2 to the Utah Grizzlies (1-0-0) on Friday night from Maverik Center.
The Grizzlies grabbed the lone goal of the first period at 13:17 when forward Griffen Molino found forward Ryan Wagner for the opening tally to take a 1-0 lead.
Scoring picked up in the second period starting with Utah defenseman Ryan Black at 2:38 to double the advantage, 2-0. The Steelheads answered back at 5:47 when forwards Joe Basaraba and Marc-Olivier Roy found forward Zack Andrusiak for the first road tally, cutting the lead in half at 2-1. Two more Grizzlies notches came at 6:31 from forward Joe Wegwerth and a shorthanded goal by forward Travis Barron at 15:44 to stretch the lead, 4-1. The Steelheads got back on the board within the final minute of the frame at 19:36 on a shot by forward Anthony Nellis, again halving the lead, 4-2.
Despite the Steelheads pushing back in the third period, the Grizzlies finished the press at 19:45 with an empty net goal by Wegwerth, sealing the game at 5-2.
Grizzlies goaltender Mason McDonald (1-0-0) stopped 21 of 23 shots in the win, while Steelheads netminder Austin Lotz (0-1-0) halted 22 of 26 shots in the loss.
The Steelheads close their home-and-home preseason schedule with the Grizzlies at CenturyLink Arena on Saturday, Oct. 5 at 7:10 p.m. The event is open to Steelheads Season Ticket Holders only with coverage on the Steelheads social media accounts.
The Steelheads open the 2019-20 home schedule at CenturyLink Arena on Friday, Oct. 18 against the Wichita Thunder to kick of Home Opening Weekend. Call the Steelheads Front Office at 208-383-0080 to plan your seats for this season, including single-game, flex plans and season tickets. Stay connected to the Steelheads on idahosteelheads.com or by following the team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.