Allen, Texas - The Allen Americans defeated the Utah Grizzlies 4-3 Wednesday night at Allen Event Center to take a 1-0 series lead.
“I thought we played a really good first period,” said Head Coach/General Manager Tim Branham. “Kind of got a way from our game plan a little bit and allowed them to run and gun which they like to do.”
Game two is Friday in Allen at 6 p.m. before the Grizzlies return home for game three on Wednesday.
Allen scored a power-play goal with 3:23 left in regulation and the Grizzlies were unable to score in the final minute despite several close calls. Ralph Cuddemi and Mathieu Aubin picked up assists.
“I still thought that game should have been ours,” said Branham. “We just need to play a little more disciplined in our game plan.”
The Americans took a 1-0 lead two minutes into the first period before Utah bounced back with two goals in 27 seconds to take a 2-1 lead.
Erik Higby (1) knocked in a rebound 8:33 into the first period five seconds after a power-play expired. Higby was in front 27 seconds later as Marc-Andre Levesque sent in a puck to give Utah a 2-1 lead.
The Grizzlies made it 3-1 7:17 into the second period as C.J. Eick knocked in a rebound on a Jon Puskar shot in transition. Allen made it 3-2 on the next shift 27 seconds later.
Allen tied the contest as Wade McLeod corralled a bouncing puck in the slot 7:28 into the frame.
Utah goaltender Kevin Boyle stopped 21 of 25 shots in the frame.
The Grizzlies are celebrating their tenth-straight trip to the Kelly Cup Playoffs by offering $10 Corner Plaza Tickets for all first round games played at Maverik Center. The offer must be mentioned at the arena box office when purchasing tickets.
Playoff Wild Wednesday
Wednesday, April 19, when the Grizzlies return home for game three, will be a playoff Wild Wednesday that will feature $2 Hot Dogs, $2 Soft Drinks, $2 Churros, $4 Grizzlies Goal-Den Ale and $5 Student Tickets.
Complete First Round Schedule
Utah Grizzlies Versus Allen Americans
Game 1: Wednesday, April 12: Allen 4 Utah 3
Game 2: Friday, April 14: Utah at Allen: 6 p.m.
Game 3: Wednesday, April 19: Allen at Utah: 7 p.m.
Game 4: Friday, April 21: Allen at Utah: 7 p.m.
**Game 5: Saturday, April 22: Allen at Utah: 7 p.m.
**Game 6: Monday, April 24: Utah at Allen: 6 p.m.
**Game 7: Tuesday, April 25: Utah at Allen: 6 p.m.