Aces get 2-1 shootout win over Grizzlies

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – Mark Guggenberger made 31 saves through regulation and overtime and stopped all four shooters he faced in a shootout to lead the Alaska Aces to a 2-1 shootout win over the Utah Grizzlies on Saturday night from West Valley City, Utah. The Aces improved to 4-0 in games decided past regulation, and finished their six-game stretch with Utah going 4-2. The Aces improved to 20-8 on the season and won for the seventh time in the last eight road games.
The clubs opened the game with a scoreless first period, but set the tone for a physical, hard fought game. The clubs had two fights, and combined for 29 penalty minutes. Alaska outshot Utah 12-7.
The Aces broke the scoreless tie in the second on a highlight-reel goal from Zach Harrison. Harrison rushed the puck down the right wing and deked around Utah defenseman, Jimmy Martin and then stuffed the puck into the net at 6:42 to give Alaska a 1-0 lead. The lead held until the final minute of the period when the puck took an awkward carom off the glass in the Alaska zone and bounced in front of the Aces net. Brad Mills jumped on a rebound and scored from just outside the top of the crease at 19:10 to make it 1-1 heading into the third period.
The clubs combined for 19 more shots in the third period, with Alaska outshooting Utah 10-9, but neither team scored. Utah’s Bryan Cameron hit a post with three seconds left after the Aces turned the puck over in their own zone. Alaska received a power play in overtime when Utah captain Brad Mills took an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and game misconduct, but the Aces could not convert, and the game went to a shootout. Alex Imbeault and Joey Crabb scored for Alaska, and Guggenberger was a perfect four-for-four to seal the win. The Aces became the first ECHL team to 20 wins with the victory.
Mark Guggenberger (13-5) earned the win, making 31 saves on 32 shots and stopped all four shooters in the shootout. Grant Rollheiser (5-4-2) made 36 saves on 37 shots and stopped one of three in the shootout, taking the overtime loss. The Aces went 0-6 on the power play and the Grizzlies were 0-1. Alaska outshot Utah 38-32 in the game.
The Aces return home for the final six games of the calendar year, beginning on Wednesday, Dec. 19 when the Stockton Thunder come to Anchorage for the first time this season to begin a three-game series.
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