The Allen Americans added an empty-net goal with less than three seconds left to snap the Utah Grizzlies 10-game unbeaten streak at 8-0-1-1 with a 7-4 win.
“It's been a good month,” said head coach and General Manager Tim Branham. “You have to give the boys props. It's just a little hurdle here; just have to get back on the horse and keep plugging away.”
The loss is Utah’s first in regulation since Feb. 10, as the team’s fourth unbeaten streak in team history of at least 10 games is snapped. It marks the third time that the unbeaten streak has ended at 10 games.
“We have a good club here, that's for sure,” said Branham. “We have got to let this one sting a little bit, put it behind us and have a good week of practice. We have some tough games coming up.”
Allen took a 1-0 lead 36 seconds into the game and made it 2-0, 4:53 into the first period as the Grizzlies were unable to clear the puck on the power play. Allen made it 3-0 with 3:17 left in the first period as it scored on a breakaway after Utah was unable to score on a five-on-three and then a four-on-three power play.
Utah made it 3-1 on Michael Pelech’s 17th goal of the year 1:42 into the second period as he picked up a turnover and scored four-on-four.
The Americans countered with two goals in 1:27 and 2:56 later to make it 5-1 at 6:05 into the second period.
After Allen made it 6-1 shorthanded eight minutes into the third period, the Grizzlies scored three goals in the next 8:34 to make it 6-4 with 1:56 left as Kyle Thomas (10), Sam Babintsev (two) and Brad Navin (13) each scored. Austin Ortega extended his scoring streak to 13-straight games assisting on the Navin goal as he tipped in a Sam Windle blast.
Joel Rumpel took the loss in goal for Utah (7-1-0-2) as he stopped 25-of-31 shots.
“We are going out East, and they are some must-win games coming up,” said Branham. “I definitely believe in the boys. We have been facing a lot of adversity this season. We all know that. This is just a little more.”
Utah opens a weekend road trip Friday in Manchester, New Hampshire, at 5 p.m.