WEST VALLEY CITY — The Utah Grizzlies battled back from a one-goal third-period deficit to defeat the Stockton Thunder 5-3 Saturday night at the E-Center. Evan Kotsopoulos scored the game-winning goal for Utah on a shorthanded breakaway with 9:26 left to go in regulation.
The game also featured 933 teddy bears thrown onto the ice in the team's annual Teddy Bear Toss. The bears will be donated to patients at Primary Children's Medical Center during the teams all-team visit Tuesday.
Utah trailed 2-0 after one period despite outshooting the Thunder 13-5.
The deficit was 3-2 after two periods as the two teams traded three goals in the second period. Andy Sertich scored for Utah on the power-play 3:57 into the period to make it 2-1. Mike Walsh made it 3-2 with 1:19 left in the second pounding home a rebound.
In the third, James Sixsmith tied the game at three as he chased down a puck after Mike Walsh scored his eighth goal of the season.
Utah made it 5-3 as Tim Verbeek scored unassisted with 36 seconds left in regulation scoring an empty-net goal as he fired the puck from the blue line.
Kotsopoulos' goal extended his scoring streak to a team season-high of eight games.
Mike Mole stopped 22 of Stockton's last 23 shots after the Thunder built a 2-0 lead scoring on two of their first four shots.
Walsh and Sixsmith each finished the game with one goal and one assist.
The Grizzlies open a four-game road trip Thursday in Phoenix. The team returns home Saturday, Dec.27 hosting Idaho.