WEST VALLEY CITY -- The Utah Grizzlies defeated the Las Vegas Wranglers 5-1 Tuesday night at the E-Center to win the best-of-five quarterfinal series 3-2. Utah advances to the second round where it will face the Idaho Steelheads in a best-of-seven series that will begin Friday in Boise.
Utah took a 1-0 lead as Ryan Kinasewich fired in a puck from the slot 7:36 into the game and the Grizzlies never looked back.
Utah built the lead to 4-0 early in the second period, scoring three goals in 2:08, including two in 14 seconds to build the lead to 3-0 as AJ Perry and Tim Crowder both scored. Utah capped off its three-goal outburst with a Kinasewich power-play goal 5:05 into the frame.
The Grizzlies made it 5-0, 6:50 into the third period on a James Sixsmith score before Las Vegas scored on its 31st shot of the night on the power-play at 8:45 of the period.
Utah goaltender Mikko Koskinen improved to 2-1 in the playoffs and 8-1 overall with Utah by stopping 38 of 39 shots.
AJ Perry led Utah with one goal and three assists, Justin Suda (two assists), Jake Gannon (two assists), James Sixsmith (one goal, one assist) and Tim Crowder (one goal, one assist) all had multiple-point games for Utah.
Facing elimination Sunday, down 2-1 in the third period and trailing two games to one, Utah stormed back to score eight of the final nine goals to finish the series.