The Adirondack Thunder (8-3-1-2) defeated the Utah Grizzlies (7-6-0-1), 2-1, on Friday night at Maverik Center before a season-high crowd of 6,671 fans.
“We just weren’t getting the bounces tonight,” head coach/General Manager Tim Branham said. “We definitely had the chances and it’s not like their goalie made unbelievable saves; we just had some bad luck.”
Utah took a 1-0 lead 4:15 into the first period on a goal by Mathieu Aubin as he redirected in a shot by Jon Puskar who picked up an Adirondack turnover in the slot after Puskar drove the puck deep into the Thunder zone. Utah killed a late penalty and got 13 first period saves from goaltender Kevin Boyle to hold the lead after 20.
The Thunder scored two goals 4:01 apart in the second period in the first 5:23 of the frame to take a 2-1 lead—a lead that they would hold for the final 34:37 of the contest.
Grizzlies goaltender Boyle stopped two breakaways and several odd-man rushes to keep Utah in the contest and give it a chance going down the stretch. Boyle stopped 30-of-32 shots in the contest overall.
“Boyle played a really good game,” Branham said. “He didn’t have a chance on those two goals; we just lost some battles. He made some huge saves for us. At the end of the day, we just didn’t get the bounces.”
Utah pulled Boyle and added an extra attacker with two minutes left and was unable to get the equalizer.