The Tulsa Oilers broke a 1-1 third-period tie and added an empty-netter to defeat the Utah Grizzlies, 3-1, on Wednesday night at Maverik Center.
Arizona Coyotes prospect Sean Maguire stopped 38-of-40 shots in his Maverik Center debut, but Utah was unable to get him more than a goal.
“You want your goaltender to give you a chance to win every night and he gave us that chance,” said head coach and General Manager Tim Branham. “You can't fault him. We scored one goal and that was by a defenseman. That means our forwards scored zero goals. We need to understand that we need to work hard if we want to score goals. It's been a real battle to get some consistency. We definitely need to find that answer to get that consistency, get that effort. We are going back to the drawing board tomorrow (to) look at what we got, look at what we need (and) what we are doing well to push forward.”
Chris Leibinger (four) fired in a shot through traffic 15:04 into the first period on a setup from Kyle Thomas after Ryan Misiak got the puck into the Tulsa zone as Utah took a 1-0 lead.
The Oilers tied the contest on a shorthanded goal 7:54 into the second period as Utah worked on a four-minute power play after Jon Puskar was high-sticked.
The 1-1 tie held for 18 minutes and 10 seconds before Tulsa scored 6:04 into the third period and added an empty-net goal with 1:11 left.
“Everyone in that room needs to dig down deep and understand what's at stake here, what's on the line so we can make this second half a good second half,” said Branham. “This place has always, always been a tough place for teams to come in and play against and this year it's not. We need to change that.”
Friday, Jan. 26, is date night when the Grizzlies host Tulsa at 7 p.m.