The Utah Grizzlies defeated the Wichita Thunder, 4-2, on Friday night at INTRUST Bank Arena as Captain Ryan Walters (13) added an empty-net goal with 10 seconds remaining.
“Solid effort from everyone. We played hard from start to finish,” said head coach/general manager Tim Branham.
Ryan Misiak (seven) hammered in a puck in front from Ryan Olsen (three assists) and Austin Ortega (two assists) as Utah tied the game with 2:18 left in the first period moments after Wichita looked to have taken a 2-0 lead on a goal that was ultimately disallowed for not crossing the goal line. Utah outshot Wichita, 20-8, in the first period, 38-18 through two periods and 42-27 in the game.
The Grizzlies scored two goals in 1:56 in the first 4:14 of the second period to build a 3-1 lead. Erik Higby (four) tipped home a centering pass from Ryan Olsen as he led the Grizzlies up ice in transition.
Jon Puskar (eight) tipped in an Ortega blast on a five-on-three power play to make it 3-1 Utah as Walters also picked up an assist.
Wichita scored a power-play goal with 1:33 left in the second period to pull the game within one going to the third period.
The Grizzlies killed two penalties in the third period to hold the win.
Utah goaltender Kevin Carr stopped 25-of-27 shots and 20 of the final 21 to earn the win in goal.
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