The Allen Americans defeated the Utah Grizzlies, 5-4, in a shootout Friday night at Maverik Center before 7,028 fans.
Utah collects a standings point to extend their unbeaten streak to 10-straight games at 8-0-0-2 in that stretch.
“We have to learn from this,” said head coach and General Manager Tim Branham. “We got a point out of it. We can draw even with those guys tomorrow (in the standings); nothing less is acceptable.”
The Grizzlies held three one-goal leads in the game starting 7:13 into the first period when Michael Pelech centered Austin Ortega (17) as Mitch Maxwell skated down a puck.
Utah took a 2-1 lead on Taylor Richart’s 16th goal of the season 48 seconds after Allen tied the game at 1-1 as the Grizzlies reclaimed the lead with 59 seconds left in the first period. Brad Navin extended his scoring streak to 10 as Ortega added another assist.
Allen scored two quick ones in the first 3:18 of the second period to build a 3-2 lead as it opened the scoring 37 seconds in.
“At the end of the day, we scored four goals, gave up only 22 shots (and) had no full power plays. I thought we battled hard. We got down in the second period (but) found a way to come back,” said Branham.
The Grizzlies countered 3:39 later as Ryan Misiak (13) knocked home a puck sent to the net from the corner by Brendan Harms as Ryan Walters won a battle along the wall.
Utah took a 4-3 lead as Michael Pelech slipped home his 16th of the year as he played catch with Ortega (one goal, two assists), and Gage Ausmus also picked up an assist with 7:06 left in the second period.
The Americans tied the game at 4-4, 6:04 into the third period on a breakaway as Vincent Arseneau (two goals, one assist) knocked a puck free at the Allen blue line.
The Grizzlies killed two late penalties to force overtime before Allen scored in all three rounds of the shootout as Brad Navin was Utah’s only scorer.
“I'm proud of our penalty kill,” said Branham. “We did a good job of that. We scored four goals, which is usually good enough at this time of year, but we need to crack down a little more.”
Joel Rumpel, who is at 8-1-0-2 with Utah, stopped 18-of-22 shots.
Saturday is the final Postgame Skate with the Grizzlies of the season after their game with Allen at 7 p.m.