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Grizzlies close out preseason on winning note

SHARE Grizzlies close out preseason on winning note

BOISE — The Utah Grizzlies finished the preseason with a perfect 2-0 mark after a shootout victory against Edmonton on Saturday night at the BOA Centre in Boise.

Jason Jaspers scored in regulation for the Grizzlies and Erik Westrum scored the difference-maker in the shootout, giving Utah the victory despite being outshot 35-16 in the game.

Frank Doyle stole the show in net for Utah, making 34 saves in earning his first professional victory.

Edmonton had twice as much jump in the first period than it did on Friday night, but Doyle made seven saves in the period, most of which came in the first 10 minutes of the frame.

Utah rallied later in the first period led by great work around the net from Fredrik Sjostrom. Tyler Moss made six saves in goal for the Road Runners as neither club could find the back of the net.

The second period was dominated by Edmonton, which outshot the Grizzlies 12-0, but again Doyle looked strong, stopping everything he faced, including three power-play chances for the Road Runners.

Heavyweights Doug Doull and Brent Henley squared off toward the end of the period, each earning fighting majors, but those were about the only fireworks for Utah in the period.

Each team netted a goal in the third period. Utah's Mike Stutzel created an opportunity in front of the Road Runners' net for Jaspers, who buried a shot over the left shoulder of Moss. It was Jaspers' first goal of the preseason.

Edmonton answered just 54 seconds later when a turnover created a two-on-one with Nate DiCasmirro dropping a pass back to Sean McAslan, who pushed the puck into a nearly empty net.

The Grizzlies had to kill off a late power play for Edmonton but again held strong, sending the game to overtime. Edmonton outshot the Grizzlies 12-8 in the period for a three-period total lead of 31-14.

In the overtime, Edmonton outshot the Grizzlies 4-1, but Doyle did what he needed to do, sending the Grizzlies to their first shootout in the AHL.

In the shootout, the Grizzlies gained the advantage when Jaspers and Sjostrom scored as the first two shooters with just Toby Petersen scoring for Edmonton. Mike Bishai scored for the Road Runners as the final shooter, extending the shootout to sudden death, where Westrum scored in the third sudden-death round for the win.

Utah begins its regular season on Wednesday at the E Center against the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks at 7:30 p.m.