West Valley City, Utah - The Allen Americans defeated the Utah Grizzlies 4-0 Saturday night at Maverik Center to win the best-of-seven series four games to one.
Tonight was the only game of the series that Utah did not hold a lead after leading the previous four games going to the third period.
“I definitely thought we had a chance in this series,” said Head Coach/General Manager Tim Branham. “We played really well in the first two games of this series. We got in trouble in the first game due to lack of discipline. Games three and Game four, there was a lack of discipline.”
Allen goaltender Riley Gill stopped all 30 shots that he saw in the contest.
“Riley Gill is a good goalie that's for sure,” said Branham. “There's a reason why he's won so many championships. He's a heck of a goaltender and he's a big reason why they do so well. They are a good team. They have a lot of weapons.”
Allen took a 1-0 lead 3:39 into the first period and made it 2-0 with under four seconds left to go in the frame.
The 2-0 score held for nearly 27 minutes as Utah looked to cut into the deficit to keep the season alive.
“One team holds the trophy over their head every year, everyone else is disappointed,” said Branham. “Hockey is a funny thing, but it's a beautiful sport because it's such a team sport. When you have one guy not pulling the rope in the right direction, it hurts you. When you have everyone pulling in the right direction, it's a beautiful thing. That's what makes this sport great.”
The Americans scored two goals six minutes apart in the third to increase the lead to 4-0.
Utah drew seven of the ten power-plays awarded in the contest.
Anaheim Ducks prospect Kevin Boyle stopped 29 of 33 shots in the contest.
“Kevin Boyle is a special goaltender,” said Branham. “He played real well for us, played really well in the AHL. He will definitely play in the AHL next year and we wish him the best of luck.”
Complete First Round Schedule
Utah Grizzlies Versus Allen Americans
Game 1: Wednesday, April 12: Allen 4 Utah 3
Game 2: Friday, April 14: Utah 4 Allen 1
Game 3: Wednesday, April 19: Allen 4 Utah 2
Game 4: Friday, April 21: Allen 5 Utah 1
Game 5: Saturday, April 22: Allen 4 Utah 0