The Utah Grizzlies defeated the Indy Fuel, 4-1, on Sunday afternoon at Indiana Farmers Coliseum to run their unbeaten streak to nine-straight games at 8-0-0-1.
“The boys came ready to play this entire week,” said head coach and General Manager Tim Branham on the 3-0-0-1 road trip. “We’ve gotten 17 of the last 18 points; the boys are on a roll. We really played good hockey here in Indy, controlled the games from start to finish and I’m really proud of them.”
Joel Rumpel improved to 7-1-0-1 with Utah and 18-9-0-1 overall by stopping 34-of-35 shots.
“Huge blocked shots, they had two extended five-on-three power plays and we showed a lot of character to keep that game scoreless and 4-1,” said Branham.
The Grizzlies took a 1-0 lead with 1:28 left in the first period as Mitch Maxwell fed Sam Babintsev (one) going hard to the net after Utah had just killed 50 seconds down five on three earlier in the period.
Brad Navin (12) gave Utah a 2-1 lead back 48 seconds after Indy tied the game off a power-play goal as he slapped a puck home from Michael Pelech and Austin Ortega right off a faceoff.
After the 2-1 lead held for 18:52, Utah added two goals in 4:10 at 5:48 and 9:58 of the third as Taylor Richart (15) and Maxwell (one) scored. Brendan Harms and James Melindy drew assists on the Richart goal in transition as Babintsev and Jake Marchment drew assists on the fourth goal.
Utah went 7-8 on the penalty kill as it was awarded just two power plays in a bizarrely officiated game.