(WEST VALLEY CITY, UT) – J.T. Henke scored twice and assisted once, and coupled with Kevin Carr’s 23-save shutout, helped the Utah Grizzlies defeat the Rapid City Rush by a 3-0 score on Saturday night. The loss prevents a sweep of the Grizzlies, with the Rush going 2-1-0-0 in the three-game series. Overall on the 8-game/12-night road trip, the Rush posted a 3-4-0-1 record.
For the first time this week, Utah struck first and carried a lead into the locker room session. Just 1:19 into the contest, Julien Nantel streaked into the Rush zone and backhanded the puck from the far faceoff circle and backhanded the puck through Rush net-minder Adam Carlson to put the Grizzlies up 1-0 (J.T. Henke had the lone assist). With 24.8 seconds remaining in the period, Jack Walker fought for a puck behind the Rush goal line and squeaked it to the slot area, where Henke buried his shot to put the Grizzlies on top with a 2-0 lead after one period of play (Walker and Caleb Herbert assisted). Utah goalie Kevin Carr stopped all 8 shots he saw in the first.
The Rush had a phenomenal opportunity to come back into the game with a full two-minutes of a five-on-three power play, yet despite great chances, couldn’t capitalize. Shortly following the big Utah kill, however, Utah got their final goal from Henke. With 3:41 left in the second, a loose puck on a turnover came to Henke, who just threaded it through the armpit of Carlson to make it 3-0 (the goal was unassisted). Carr stopped another 10 shots in the period to bring his save total up to 18.
Tyler Parks came into relieve Carlson in the third period and stopped all 20 shots he saw in his 20 minutes. Carr held on in the third to stop another 5 shots to bring his save total to 23, earning his first shutout of the year for the Grizzlies in a 3-0 win.
Adam Carlson, starting his third consecutive game, suffered the loss, stopping 19 of 21 shots in 40 minutes of action (105-2-2). Tyler Parks stopped all 20 shots he saw in his 20 minutes of relief, marking his fifth appearance of the year.
The Rush, with their marathon road trip now behind them, begin a five-game homestand to close out the year, with a pair of matchups coming before the Christmas holiday against the Wichita Thunder. Puck drop for the first game on Friday, December 21st, is slated for 7:05 p.m. MST at Premier Home Mortgage Ice in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.