The Idaho Falls Spud Kings defeated the Grizzlies 7-3 in Rock Springs on Friday night.
The Spud Kings entered Friday’s game with a 1-2 record and on a two-game losing streak, after dropping their last game against the Provo Predators.
Rock Springs entered the game with a record of 0-3, after dropping their previous game against the Utah Outliers 6-1.
The Spud Kings won the season’s previous matchup between the two teams this season, after defeating the Grizzlies 5-1 on opening night.
Prestyn Carter started in the net for the Spud Kings. Merik Erickson started in goal for the Grizzlies.
Idaho Falls started scoring 2:21 in the first period when Martin Crepinsek entered the zone. Crepinsek drove to the net before lifting the puck over Erickson’s right shoulder and giving them a 1-0 lead. Noah Bird and DJ MacLeish collected assists on the goal.
The two teams came together for a scrum with 7:17 remaining in the period, which led to the Spud Kings getting a 5-4 power play.
On the ensuing power play, Ty Walker got the puck in the corner and walked in front of the Rock Springs net before flipping the puck into the net and giving the Spud Kings a 2-0 lead. George Goodwin picked up an assist on the goal.
Rock Springs switched their goaltenders at 9:49 of the period when Creedon Dyck came in to replace Erickson. After one period, the Spud Kings led the Grizzlies 2-0.
Idaho Falls extended their lead when they found themselves on the power play at 9:08 of the second period, and Matteo Mitrovic slapped home a point shot to put them up 3-0. Tobias Omholt and Goodwin collected assists on the goal.
The Spud Kings ran into penalty trouble after they took a pair of penalties to put the Grizzlies on a 5-3 power play.
On that 5-3, Dawson Madden slapped a puck home from the point for Rock Springs, making it 3-1. William Donovan collected an assist on the goal.
The Grizzlies added another goal at 13:15 when John Kremer jumped on a rebound to bring the game to 3-2. Dawson Madden and Denis Kuzmenkov added assists.
Rock Springs ran into penalty trouble when Shawn LeComte was handed a 5-minute penalty for fighting and was ejected from the game at 15:44.
The Spud Kings extended their lead on the ensuing power play when MaCleish accepted a one-time pass from Mitrovic and slapped it into the net, giving them a 4-2 lead. Goodwin and Mitrovic gathered assists on the play.
The Grizzlies took another major penalty when Oskar Jungarve was handed a 5-minute penalty for boarding at 16:48 to put the Spud Kings on a 5-3 powerplay.
Idaho Falls capitalized on the 5-3 chance when Matvei Naumov accepted a cross-ice pass from Jack O’Rourke and put them up 5-2. O’Rourke and MacLeish were given assists on the goal.
On the same powerplay, Jackson Howell took a shot from the slot and gave the Spud Kings a 6-2 lead. Naumov and MaCleish added assists on the play.
After two periods, Idaho Falls led 6-2.
Rock Springs was forced to bring Erickson back in the net when Dyck left the game with an injury 0:53 into the third period.
Idaho Falls added an insurance goal at 9:56 when Nikita Soloviev netted his first goal of the season to put them up 7-2. Kristof Molnar collected his first point of the season with an assist on the goal.
The Grizzlies got a goal back at 15:34 when Garrett Parker scored his first goal of the season, with assists going to Tobias Nordlund and Denis Kuzmenkov, making the score 7-3.
In the end, The Spud Kings defeated the Grizzlies 7-3.
For the Spud Kings, Carter collected the win, stopping 15/18 shots.
Dyck was paired with the loss for Rock Springs, stopping 28/32 shots. Erickson also stopped 15/18 shots.
With the win, the Spud Kings moved their record to 2-2 on the year.
Idaho Falls will return to action on Saturday night when they face the Rock Springs Grizzlies in their home opener. The puck drop of that game will be at 7:05 p.m. from the Mountain America Center. Fans can purchase tickets or stream the game live on FlowSports.