The Allen Americans defeated the Utah Grizzlies, 6-3, on Wednesday night at Allen Event Center.
The Americans led 2-1 after one period and 5-2 after two as the two teams traded goals in the second.
“You can’t turn the puck over that many times and expect to win a hockey game,” said head coach and General Manager Tim Branham. “We have to play smarter and it starts with taking care of the puck.”
Allen made it 1-0, 6:39 into the first period before Austen Ortega (two) answered on a power play from Taylor Richart and Ryan Walters 1:12 later at 8:51. Allen made it 2-1 on a power play with 2:07 left in the second period. Utah outshot Allen, 31-28.
“Once again we outshot the opposition, but we gave up too many scoring opportunities,” said Branham. “We have to stay positive. We know we have a good team. We have to go out and outwork the other teams.”
Allen scored 3:07 into the second period and then at 7:47 to make it 4-1 as Angus Redmond replaced Kevin Carr in goal for the second-straight game. Jon Puskar (seven) got Utah within two goals as he knocked in a rebound with 6:03 left in the second before Allen got its three-goal lead back 32 seconds later.
The Americans made it 6-2 just 11 seconds into the third period on a power-play goal before Walters (12) scored off a Puskar face-off win.
The Grizzlies return to action Friday and Saturday in Wichita. Faceoff for both nights is at 6 p.m.
The Grizzlies return home on Monday, Jan. 15, for their annual Maverik Monday Martin Luther King Day Matinee at 1:30 p.m., against the Rapid City Rush.