West Valley City • When the two-time defending Kelly Cup champion Allen Americans come to town, it's essential to bring your best game to the table. Although the Utah Grizzlies outshot their opponents by an overwhelming 41-20 margin, they ran into a hot goaltender in Riley Gill and a determined scorer in Chad Costello. Behind the strength of Gill's 40 saves and Costello's two goals, the Grizzlies found themselves on the wrong end of a 5-1 final. The loss was the first Utah has suffered on home ice this season.
"The difference tonight was goaltending," Utah coach Tim Branham said. "We outshot them 2-1 and I guarantee we outchanced them 2-1. But we need to clamp down defensively. At the end of the day, we had enough chances but we didn't put the puck in the back of the net."
Utah captured an early lead following a flurry of shots against an overwhelmed Gill. Carlos Amestoy scored his first goal of the season on a wrist shot at 4:20. The goal seemed important as Utah had entered the night with an unblemished 5-0 record when scoring first.
The lead was short-lived, however, as the Americans responded with a pair of goals less than two minutes apart. Eric Roy got the visitors on the board with a slapshot at 9:21. Then, Chad Costello scored his first of the night by grabbing a loose puck and blazing up the ice to beat Utah keeper Kevin Boyle for a 2-1 lead.
Facing a deficit, Utah fired a barrage of shots at Gill in the second period, but the Allen keeper brushed aside all 18 he faced. Costello scored his second of the night at 11:01 on a power play to give Allen a commanding 3-1 lead.
Allen denied any thoughts Utah had of a comeback in the third when Spencer Asuchak and Kale Kerbashian provided a goal apiece.