Grizzlies take five-point lead for final playoff spot


A 3-0-1 record last week, including taking five out of six points in a crucial weekend series at Alaska, gives the Utah Grizzlies a five-point lead over the Aces for the final playoff spot in the Pacific Division.


The Grizzlies opened last week with a 2-0 win against Idaho on Monday. Patrick Wellar and Michael Pelech both had a goal and an assist for Utah while Igor Bobkov stopped all 32 shots he faced to record the shutout.


After suffering a 4-3 overtime loss in the first game of their series at Alaska on Friday, the Grizzlies rebounded with a 3-2 victory on Saturday. Mathieu Aubin scored a pair of goals while Pelech (2a) and Ryan Hayes (1g-1a) added two points each with Hayes notching the game-winning tally early in the third period.


Utah closed out the series on Sunday, skating away with a 4-0 win. Pelech had a goal and an assist for his third two-point game of the week while Barry Almeida and T.J. Syner also chipped in with a goal and an assist each. Bobkov turned aside all 30 shots for his third win, and second shutout, of the week.


Pelech is tied for third in the league with 58 points in 53 games, while his 25 goals are tied for fourth overall. Aubin has moved into the top 20 of the scoring race, as his 49 points (20g-29a) are tied for 18th.


Bobkov is 10-6-2 with two shutouts in 18 appearances with the Grizzlies this season and ranks 14th in the league with a 2.58 goals-against average.


Utah, which plays 13 of its final 19 games at home, opens a six-game home stand this week with games against Stockton on Wednesday and Saturday.