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Utah Grizzlies: Utah falls 5-4 in Wheeling

The Wheeling Nailers defeated the Utah Grizzlies, 5-4, on Friday night at WesBanco Arena.

Utah took a 2-0 lead with two goals 11 seconds apart in the first period as Erik Higby (six) scored on the power play and Colin Martin (three) slammed in an Evan Stoflet shot in transition.

The 2-0 lead held for 20:33 before Wheeling scored two goals late in the second period, and it was 2-2 at the second intermission.

Wheeling took a lead early in the third period as the Grizzlies couldn’t get the puck out, but the Grizzlies kept going.

Mathieu Aubin tied the contest on another power-play goal 3:16 later, and it was 3-3 with 4:29 left in regulation.

Wheeling took a 4-3 lead as Utah attempted to block a shot and it got redirected through traffic. The Nailers made it 5-3 after a late power play with 1:17 left.

The Grizzlies got within a goal with 35 seconds left as they scored six-on-five for the second-straight game, and it was 5-4 on a goal in front by Tim Daly. Utah marched back up ice on the ensuing faceoff and had a few chances to tie but was denied as time ran out.

Grizzlies goaltender Ryan McKay stopped the first 19 shots in his professional debut as he took the loss in goal.

Utah outshot Wheeling, 38-35, in the contest.

Utah is next in action Saturday in Wheeling before completing this six-game road stretch Sunday in Fort Wayne.

Utah returns to Maverik Center on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 9 and 10, to host Rapid City at 7 p.m. each night.