WEST VALLEY, UT – For the second game in a row, Wichita and Utah needed overtime to decide the outcome and it was Barry Almeida providing the heroics for the home team in a 3-2 win on Martin Luther King Day at the Maverik Center.
Kale Kerbashian had a pair of goals including the game-tying marker with under seven minutes left in regulation to force overtime.
The Thunder got on the board first at 5:07 during a delayed penalty as Kerbashian shoveled home a loose puck in the crease to make it 1-0. Utah outshot the Thunder 13-7 in the first 20 minutes.
Utah grabbed its first lead of the contest midway through the second during a five-on-three. Eric Knodel fired one from the deep slot that beat Grant Rollheiser to tie the game. Eric Higby made it 2-1 less than two minutes later on the man advantage.
Kerbashian’s second of the game came at 13:26 as Ian Lowe slipped one through a seam and he re-directed it through Matt Hackett to even things at two. Wichita controlled the final frame, outshooting the Grizzlies 16-5. The final horn rang and the contest headed into overtime.
The extra session was fast and furious with both goalies making some outstanding saves on each end. With 16 seconds left, Josh Macdonald found Almeida cutting to the back post and he beat Rollheiser to claim the 3-2 win.
Kerbashian potted his first two-goal outing since coming to Wichita and has points in his last three (2g, 2a). Lowe registered his third assist in the last three contests. Kenton Miller continues to stay hot, grabbing a helper and has points in his last five (1g, 4a).
Rollheiser suffers back-to-back overtime losses, stopping 33 of 36 shots. Hackett earns his second ECHL win, stopping 32 of 34 shots he faced.
Wichita went 0-for-2 on the power play. Utah was 2-for-5 on the man advantage, which was their sixth two-man advantage during the three-game series this weekend.
Wichita fell to 9-23-3-4 (25 pts) on the season, while Utah improved to 23-13-2-0 (48 pts) on the campaign.
The Allen Americans will visit INTRUST Bank Arena Friday night. Puck drops at 7:05pm.
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