PROVO — Don't expect the Utah Blitzz to show any mercy toward the Northern Nevada Aces this weekend, there's too much at stake.
Two weekends ago the Blitzz destroyed the Aces with 5-0 and 6-0 road victories, and with two more games this weekend, you'd think Utah would feel sorry for the worst team in the Division 3.
For Saturday's game the Blitzz might play conservatively, but fans shouldn't count on it on Friday. That game's a U.S. Open Cup game, and with an impressive win, Blitzz coach Chris Agnello feels his team will likely advance to the second round.
Utah is paired with Seattle and Portland of the A-League, and Division 3's Northern Nevada in it's U.S. Open Cup group, with each team playing each other twice. The group winner is guaranteed a second round berth, and realistically the Blitzz don't expect to win their group.
However, as is customary, the Open Cup allots five wildcards to Division 3 teams, and Utah hopes to slide into one of those spots with a big victory over the Aces. One of those five berths is reserved for New Jersey, last year's D3 champs.
With Mike Littman in goal for Utah, a shutout is a good possibility.
The goalie became the second Blitzz player to be named D3 player of the week following his five critical saves against Seattle last weekend.
In five games this year the 10-year A-League goalie has a goals against average of 0.18.