Aces win in overtime thriller

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – Nick Mazzolini forced overtime, scoring with 33.1 seconds remaining, and Zach Harrison scored his first career overtime game-winner, as the Alaska Aces beat the Utah Grizzlies 5-4 in overtime on Saturday night from the Maverik Center in West Valley City, UT.
Alaska won for the eighth time in nine games, upping their record to 13-5 on the season. They improved to 2-0 in games decided in overtime this year.
For the second straight night, the Aces were held without a shot for the first eight minutes, but goaltender Mark Guggenberger and the Aces defense held off the Grizzlies in the first period. Alaska then took the first lead of the game at 17:16 when Garry Nunn scored his fourth goal of the year on a rebound. The Aces outshot the Grizzlies 9-7 in the period.
The Aces scored early in the second period to extend their lead. Sean Curry tallied for the second straight game at 3:24 from the right circle on a set-up from Nate Thompson and Joey Crabb. Utah got within a goal when rookie defenseman Drew MacKenzie scored on a rebound at 10:48, cutting Alaska’s lead to 2-1. But the Aces reclaimed the two-goal advantage before the end of a period. Nunn scored his second of the night on a power play at 15:25 to make it 3-1 Aces after two periods.
The Grizzlies clawed back with three goals in less than four minutes to take the lead in the third period. Mitch Wahl, Brad Mills, and Colin Vock scored to turn the game around to make it 4-3 Utah. The Aces had a late power play, and pulled Guggenberger for an extra attacker. Nick Mazzolini scored for the fourth straight game on a goal mouth scramble with 33.1 seconds remaining to tie the game at 4-4 and force overtime. Alaska then completed the two-game sweep in Utah in the extra session when Zach Harrison scored for the second straight game from the slot at 3:36.
Mark Guggenberger (11-4) earned the win making 31 saves on 35 shots. Shawn Hunwick (4-5-1) made 27 saves on 32 shots, suffering the overtime loss. The Aces went 2-6 on the power play and the Grizzlies went 1-5. Alaska was outshot by Utah 35-31 in the game.
The Aces now travel to California next week to finish their five-city, six-game road trip. The Aces face Stockton on Wednesday, Bakersfield on Friday, and Ontario on Saturday before returning home on Friday, Dec. 5th to host the Utah Grizzlies.

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