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Summer Blog

Summer Blog: June 23, 2017

06/23/2017 2:06 PM - Adrian Denny

Head Coach/General Manager Tim Branham, who is operating his hockey camp in Ogden this week before shifting to Provo next week, has a stack of contracts on his desk that will soon be headed to the ECHL office for approval. They currently consist of some returning players, a rookie and an opposing player from previous seasons.

Tim continues camp in Provo next week and a few spots remain. Visit BranhamHockey.com for more information. Grizzlies defenseman Erik Higby is one of the instructors.

The ECHL announced on Tuesday that Tulsa and Wichita will join Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Rapid City and Allen in the Mountain Division. While Missouri moves to the Central Division and the Alaska Aces membership has been sold to a group that will operate the team in Portland, Maine starting in 2018-2019. Here’s what it means from last year’s standings: two teams that missed the playoffs in the Mountain Division (Missouri, Alaska) have been replaced by two teams that missed the playoffs Central Division in Tulsa and Wichita.

Rapid City announced this week that they will be affiliated with Minnesota starting in 2017-2018 after a two year run with the Arizona Coyotes.

Wichita will now be affiliated with the Edmonton Oilers after last year with Ottawa.
 

Summer Blog Entry: June 9-June 22, 2017

06/09/2017 10:59 AM - Adrian Denny

Following the Grizzlies playoff run, Head Coach Tim Branham was with the Ducks organization in San Diego working with some of their prospects that had just completed college or juniors, while the AHL Gulls competed in their playoffs. It is likely the Grizzlies will see some of them on what was a pretty deep crop of players. 

Busy week of coaching carousel in the ECHL. Rob Murray moves from Alaska to Tulsa, who the Grizzlies will play five times this season. The most winning coach in ECHL history and former Grizzlies Head Coach Jason Christie resigned in Tulsa to take the same position with the new ECHL team in Jacksonville. I told Christie in a phone call a few weeks ago to go somewhere where we wouldn’t have to deal with him and he kindly obliged. The Grizzlies will not see Jacksonville during the 17-18 regular season. And the Rapid City Rush, who finished in last place in the Mountain Division this past season, have named their Assistant Coach Daniel Tetrault Head Coach. Tetrault has one season of coaching experience after finishing a 16 year career as a player. Tetrault referenced in the press release that the Mountain Division is the “toughest” in the ECHL.

Colorado won the Kelly Cup Championship with a four-game sweep of South Carolina that completed Monday. The Eagles did it under first year Head Coach Aaron Schneekloth after losing in the first round in five-straight seasons. However, while he wasn’t on the bench for the first time in six years, the foundation and culture established by President and General Manager Chris Stewart set the tone for the coaching transition and continuation of success on the ice that the Eagles built off of this year.

The Kansas City Mavericks, who Utah will see for the final three games of the regular season, announced an affiliation with the Calgary Flames on Thursday after previously being with the New York Islanders.

Grizzbee will join me on 2 News Fresh Living at 1 p.m. today (Friday, June 9) to talk about our High Five! Pack and Father’s Day Gift Ideas. If you read this after that time, we’ll have it on UtahGrizzlies.com to watch. (Update: Due to breaking news, the segment will now air on Monday, June 12.)

The blog will return on Friday, June 23 with ECHL Summer Hockey Meetings taking place next week in Las Vegas.
 

Summer Blog Entry: June 2, 2017

06/02/2017 1:42 PM - Adrian Denny

2003-2004 Utah defenseman Trevor Daley looks to win a Stanley Cup for the second-straight year with Pittsburgh. Mark Streit, who played one game with Utah in 1999-2000, is also a member of that team but has only played in three postseason games.

Colorado enters the weekend with a 2-0 series edge against South Carolina in the ECHL’s Kelly Cup Finals as the Eagles advanced out of the first round for the first time in six ECHL seasons. They look to be the second Utah divisional rival in the last four years to win a Kelly Cup.

2012-2013 Grizzlies defenseman Jimmy Martin, who played collegiately at Yale, recently completed law school and his preparing to start his career as an attorney in his home state of Missouri.

As Head Coach Tim Branham goes to work on the 2017-2018 roster, I would say expect to see more returnees than usual on next year’s roster. As the season went along, several young players established themselves as leaders that the team is excited to build around. Player contracts can be submitted to the ECHL office starting on June 15, with up to eight qualifying offers issued on July 1.

A few weeks ago the team introduced the High Five Pack! The team’s High Five! Pack features the team’s top five Saturday home games and includes a free meal at each game and a ticket to the team’s first playoff game starting at $65. Visit utahgrizzlies.com/highfive for more information.

In addition, students can get a punch card to attend every game for $49 with the Amtrak Grizzlies Student Pass. They can be purchased at utahgrizzlies.com/Amtrak
 

Game Day Blog Entry: April 23, 2017

04/22/2017 7:40 AM - Adrian Denny

-The Grizzlies host Allen tonight looking to force the series back to Allen for a game six Monday.

Last Night
-Utah led for 27:31 and Allen led for 13:44.
-Kevin Boyle stopped the first 27 shots that he saw and Utah didn’t allow a goal for the first 42:55.

Cam Reid
-Cam Reid led Utah with five shots Friday and scored Utah’s lone goal in his 2016-2017 playoff debut.
-Reid has 9 goals and 9 assists for 18 points in 20 career ECHL playoff games.
-He has 13 goals and 18 assists for 31 points in 39 career playoff games overall.
 
First On The Board
-Austen Brassard has a three-game scoring streak with two goals and two assists.
-He has been involved in Utah’s first goal in three-straight games.
 
Tonight
-Utah is 5-1-0-1 in their last seven Saturday night games.
 
The Lead
-Utah has led for 113:55 of the 240:00 minutes played, which equates to over 47-percent of the series.
-Allen has led for 40:49 of the series so far, which equates to just over 16-percent of the series.
 
First Two Periods
-Kevin Boyle has stopped 82 of 85 shots in periods 1 and 2 in this series for a .964 save percentage.
 

Game Day Blog Entry: April 21, 2017

04/21/2017 6:35 AM - Adrian Denny

This Week
-The Grizzlies host Allen tonight looking to even up the best-of-seven series with the Americans with game five Saturday at Maverik Center.
-Three of the four meetings between Utah and Allen at Maverik Center this season have been tied in the third period.

This Series
-The winning team has scored four goals in each game.
-Allen has scored three of their nine goals on the power-play, one empty-netter and five five-on-five goals in three games.
-Utah has scored seven of their nine goals at even, with six five-on-five, one four-on-four to go along with two power-play goals.
-Utah has led each game 2-1 during the course of the action.

First On The Board
-Austen Brassard has scored Utah’s first goal in two-straight games.
 
Early Streaks
-Erik Higby is the only Grizzlies player to have scored in all three games with one goal and two assists.
-Two of Higby’s three points have come on the power-play.
-Erik Bradford and Garrett Haar each have two assists in the last two games.
 
Crowd
-Utah’s crowd of 5,315 on Wednesday was easily the top attendance in the ECHL on Wednesday by almost 3,000 as Idaho drew 2,524; Quad City paraded in 1,969 spectators and Kalamazoo saw 1,272 fans elbow their way in for playoff action.
-Utah currently sits third in the ECHL in playoff attendance after finishing fifth in the 27 team ECHL in attendance during the regular season.

Third-Straight Season
-The Grizzlies are trailing 2-1 in a best-of-seven series for the second time in three years.
-Utah rebounded from a 2-1 series deficit to beat Idaho 4 games to 2 in the first round in 2015.
 
Last Time Down 2-1 In First Round
-Utah lost games one and three in 2015 by one goal each after winning game two 3-2 and never trailing.
-Aggregate scoring was 10-9 Idaho after three games.
-Utah was unable to hold a 3-1 lead in game three before falling 5-4 in overtime after trailing 4-3 late in regulation.
-Utah closed the series by winning three-straight and outscoring Idaho 12-3 after testing the waters the first three games.

This Time Down 2-1 In First Round
-Utah has lost games one and three after winning game two.
-Utah held a 3-1 lead in game one, before falling 4-3 late in regulation.
-Aggregate scoring is 9-9 through three games.

Other Notes
-Utah has drawn 13 of the last 20 power-plays over the last two games.
-Anaheim Ducks prospect Kevin Boyle has allowed just two five-on-five goals in the last two games and stopped 64 of 68 shots for a .941 save percentage.
-C.J. Eick is tied for the league lead among rookies with a plus-four.

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