The sudden resurgence of Brett Lievers and Andrey Vasiljev and the Utah Grizzlies' five-game playoff winning streak is hardly just a coincidence.
Talk about good timing to break out of slumps.After struggling through most of the first two rounds and part of the Las Vegas series, Lievers and Vasiljev are struggling to score no more. They've been the offensive power that's helped the Grizz take a commanding 3-0 lead in the Turner Cup Finals.
Lievers, the American-born rookie of the year, has scored six goals in his last five outings. He had the game-winning goals in sudden-death overtime in Game 1 and also during the third period of Game 3.
Vasiljev, meantime, has scored at least one goal in four straight games, and in that stretch has notched a total of five goals and two assists (including a game-winning assist to Yan Kaminsky in Game 2).
"Both of those guys are very, very skilled people and we need them if we're going to win the series," said Utah coach Butch Goring. "They've really come through with flying colors."
PRICE FOR FISHER: If the Solar Bears had any spark of hope come out of their 4-2 loss in Game 3 it was the play in the third period of Craig Fisher.
He appears to have fully recovered from a concussion that kept him out of most of the Cincinnati series, and then forced him sit out the second part of Game 1 and all of Game 2 against Utah.
Fisher, who led the IHL with 74 goals and 130 points during the regular season, whiffed on a shot but was able to tap it to Dave Barr who scored Orlando's first goal. Then, Fisher was able to lose Chris Taylor and went on to beat Tommy Salo for a goal that trimmed the lead to 3-2.
"Maybe now with Fisher finally finding the net and getting back to 100 percent, that will help us a lot," said Orlando coach Curt Fraser. "Obviously not scoring has hurt us."
Goring said that Fisher isn't going to get off quite as easy as he did in Game 3.
"If he's going to play, I can assure you it's going to be a much more physical game on him," said Goring, who felt he wasn't checked enough in the third. "He is not going to float around there. He's going to pay an awful price if he wants to play."
SIXTH-MAN ADVANTAGE: If you like waving brooms and throwing fish and doing them in front of a very large crowd, the Delta Center's the place for you tonight.
In anticipation of a four-game sweep against the Orlando Solar Bears that could happen in Game 4 tonight, the Utah Grizzlies are expecting their largest playoff crowd of the year.
In effort to boost the crowd even over the so-called "sell-out point" of around 10,500, the Grizzlies announced that they were going to sell their not-so-good sight-line seats for just $3 beginning today at 4 p.m.