Sure, coming from behind to win is exciting, but Utah Grizzlies coach Butch Goring has had just about enough of the comeback thrillers to last a season.
The Grizz again dug themselves out of an early hole for a 6-4 victory over the Phoenix Roadrunners Wednesday night at the Delta Center. Utah has now needed to rally for all six of its wins so far this season."It's becoming a habit, and it's not something we should be very happy with," said Goring after seeing his team score four straight goals after trailing 4-2 in the second period for the win. "I'm not sure that's a route we want to be traveling."
One of the reasons the Grizz have been able to come back is that they have been dominating offensively and defensively late in the game. With the score knotted at 4-4 going into the final period, Utah scored two goals in the final 20 minutes while shutting out the Roadrunners. The Grizzlies have now outscored opponents 13-1 in third periods.
"We certainly don't wilt," Goring said of his team's success down the stretch.
"It's no secret. We just start playing better. We start doing what we're supposed to be doing," added Grizz right winger Danton Cole, who leads the team in goals and points scored.
Cole came up big for the Grizzlies again as he scored two goals - one on a power play and the other at even strength. His second strike tied the game at 4-4 late in the second period as he smacked the puck in the net from just in front of the goal off of a pass from center Brett Lievers.
The game-winning shot was an acrobatic forehander off the stick of left winger Chris Marinucci, who skated around a defender, then crossed in front of the net and while falling forward wristed it past Phoenix goalie John Blue with 6:08 left in the game.
Another big factor in the outcome was the play of the Grizzlies' speedy left winger Niklas Andersson. He sparked Utah with a shorthanded goal, his third of the season, at the 14:48 mark of the second period to trim the lead to 4-3.
"That third goal really got us going," said Goring, while adding that he was pleased to have Andersson back at full strength for the second game after he had missed three games because of an injury.
"He's a very valuable person for us," Goring continued about Andersson, who also had two assists. "He's been unbelievable; he's playing with a great deal of fire."
Lievers and Andy Brickley accounted for the rest of the scoring as each tallied a goal and an assist.
Utah improved to 6-2 (12 points) with its third straight win, while Phoenix dropped 4-4-1 (9 points). The Grizzlies next face San Francisco at 7 p.m. Friday in the Delta Center.