ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Alaska Aces defeated the Utah Grizzlies 3-1 Friday night in Anchorage.

For the second-straight night, Utah hung tough throughout the 60 minutes in the losing effort against the league-leading Aces who improved to 19-3 at home and 17-1-2-3 in their last 23 games.

Alaska took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission after a Brandon Gentile goal through traffic found the back of the net 13:16 into the opening frame.

The Aces then built a 3-0 lead with two goals in 1:46 at 8:35 and 10:21 of the second period.

Paul McIlveen's team-leading 14th goal of the year cut the deficit to 3-1 11:43 into the third period, but the Grizzlies were unable to get anymore on Aces goaltender Gerald Coleman. Mitch Fadden and Logan MacMillan picked up assists.

Shane Owen stopped 26 of 29 in the losing cause for the Grizzlies. Again, it was another shorthanded night for Utah as they dressed just 13 skaters and skated short for the 23rd time in 33 games this season.

Utah and Alaska complete their three-games-in-three-night set Saturday in Anchorage at 9:15 p.m.

The Grizzlies return home Friday, Jan. 13 to host Idaho at 7:05 p.m.