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Game Day Blog Entry: January 20, 2018

01/20/2018 11:04 AM - Adrian Denny

26 shots in the third period last night was the most since Utah tied an all-time high with a 28 shot second period in a 5-1 win over Ontario on March 5, 2011. They also had a 28 shot period

March 14, 2004 at home against Cleveland. So the 26 shot third period last night is the most that they have ever had during a period on a road game.

After last night’s 49-22 shot effort, Utah has now outshot Rapid City 234-167 this season which is a plus-67 shot differential. Brendan Harms led Utah with a season-high eight shots last night, Kyle Thomas had seven, Ryan Walters had six, Austin Ortega had five. Travis Howe was Utah’s only skater without an official shot and he had two near misses in front that went just wide.

It was the most shots for Utah since they had 54 against Missouri on April 7 of last year. Utah has 37 or more shots in five of the last eight games.

Grizzlies special teams are really clicking. They are 8 for their last 21 on the power-play, 10 for their last 11 on the penalty-kill and have two shorthanded goals in the last three games. Austin Ortega has factored in on seven of Utah’s last eight power-play goals with four goals and three assists.

Utah finds themselves two points ahead of last year’s pace and three points ahead of last year’s pace in terms of standings position for the playoffs. On game 40 last year Utah began a seven game winning streak and a stretch where they won nine of ten.

Game Day Blog Entry: January 19, 2018

01/19/2018 10:44 AM - Adrian Denny

Colorado, Idaho and Utah are the only three of seven Mountain Division teams with five wins or more in their last ten games.

Tonight starts a stretch of six of Utah’s next 12 games that will be played in Rapid City.

James Melindy will return to the lineup tonight after missing the last three games injured. Utah will also have Cliff Watson back as he was at the ECHL All-Star Classic on Monday when Utah played Rapid City.  This is the first time this year that Utah has had both Melindy and Watson in the lineup against Rapid City.

Watson had one goal, three assists and scored the game-winning goal in the shootout in the Classic to lead defensemen in scoring. Only two forwards in Taylor Cammarata of South Carolina (five goals, two assists) and Grant Besse of Norfolk (one goal, four assists) had more points.

In six games, Austin Ortega is already tied for second on the team in power-play goals for the season with three, one behind Michael Pelech. Ryan Walters also has three power-play goals.

The Grizzlies didn’t see new goaltender Sean Maguire last year when he was in Wheeling and they played there December 1 and 2.

This is the longest that Utah has gone since 2011-2012 with the same two goalies having been on the roster for the first 38 games as Sean Maguire joins the team tonight, assigned by Arizona Wednesday. Utah had the same two goalies for the first 45 games in 2011-2012 in Andrew Engelage and Shane Owen before Jimmy Spratt was acquired.

Game Day Blog Entry: January 15, 2018

01/15/2018 9:49 AM - Adrian Denny

This Situation
-The Grizzlies open four games in seven nights with Rapid City today, before heading to South Dakota for games Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
-Utah outscored Wichita 8-3 over the weekend with a 4-2 win Friday and a 4-1 win Saturday.
-Utah returns home January 24, 26 ad 27 to host Tulsa.

At All-Star Game
-Rookie defensemen Cliff Watson, who tallied three assists in two games in Wichita, is not with the team today as he participated earlier today in the ECHL All-Star Classic in Indianapolis.
-Watson will rejoin the Grizzlies for Friday’s game in Rapid City after spending December 4-January 8 with the Vancouver Canucks organization.

Holiday Matinees
-Utah is 4-2-1-1 over holiday matinees and 2-0-1-1 on Martin Luther King Day the last four seasons under Tim Branham.
-Utah beat Rapid City 5-1 on President’s Day 2016 as current Grizzlies captain Ryan Walters had two goals in that game.
-Utah has killed five-straight penalties after a stretch that saw the opposition scored on seven of the last eleven power-plays over a four-game stretch.
Other Notes
-Brendan Harms is an even or better in eleven-straight games played.
-Sam Windle is an even or better in 12 of his last 13 games played.
-Zach Saar is an even or better in ten of his last eleven games played.
-Jon Puskar has scored in four-straight games which ties his longest with Utah. He’s had a four-game scoring streak each of the last two seasons.
-Erik Higby has scored in three of the last four games for the second time in the last 12 games.

Injuries All of A Sudden
-In the last week, Charley Graaskamp (January 7), James Melindy (January 10) and Michael Pelech (January 13) have all sustained injuries.
-Before that, Utah had no players unable to participate due to injuries. 

Game Day Blog Entry: January 13, 2018

01/13/2018 10:46 AM - Adrian Denny

Utah has 44 goals in their last 11 games for an average of four goals per-game during that stretch, which would lead the ECHL if it was done over the course of 72 games. Colorado and Fort Wayne lead the ECHL for the season with an average of 3.86 goals-per-game. The Grizzlies are also averaging 34.36 shots during that stretch.

Utah is eighth in the 27-team ECHL with a plus-70 shot differential entering tonight which starts the 37th game of the season.

Utah has 42 or more shots in two of the last three games and 38 shots through two periods last night was the most that they have recorded through 40 minutes this year.
The Grizzlies have outshot the opposition now in a season-high four-straight games.

The Grizzlies are 5-13 (30.7-percent) on the power-play over the last three games and scored their first five-on-three power-play goal last night. Austin Ortega has factored in on four-if the last five Utah power-play goals with two goals and two assists.

Ryan Misiak and Taylor Richart were the only two Grizzlies to play in all 36 games during the first half. 

Four-straight games in Wichita have been tied at one with Wichita scoring the first goal in three of the first four games before Utah has then tied the contest up.

Game Day Blog Entry: January 12, 2018

01/12/2018 10:09 AM - Adrian Denny

Utah’s 3 for 8 on the power-play is the best two-game stretch of the year. The penalty-kill has only gone five-for-nine however the last two games.

Utah is looking to get things back and going in January where they are 34-14-4-3 the last four seasons in January under Tim Branham. 

The Grizzlies have ten or more shots in 13-straight periods. The previous season-high was seven-straight periods with ten or more shots on goal.
Utah is 4-1 this year on the road on one day’s rest.

Jon Puskar has six goals and one assist for seven points in the last seven games. Six goals in seven games is his second best stretch of goal scoring with Utah.  He had six goals in five games January 14-25 last year, including a hat trick against Wichita. He’s been injured over Utah’s last two trips to Wichita so a hat trick January 25, 2017 was the only game he’s played against the Thunder.

Mitch Jones will be back in the lineup tonight after having one goal, one assist and tallying a plus-three in the Grizzlies game here on November 6, his first career game against Wichita. Zach Saar also had one goal and one assist in that game.

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