January 30: Blog Entry: Game Day
01/30/2012 10:15 AM - Adam Turner
The Grizzlies look for two-straight wins and two of three in this weekend series against Idaho this weekend.
Prior to Saturday’s game the Grizzlies acquired goaltender Jimmy Spratt from Idaho for future considerations. Yesterday, Utah traded goaltender Shane Owen to Florida for forward Kory Falite. Falite won a Kelly Cup last year in Alaska during his rookie season and totaled 16 goals and 29 assists for 45 points in 69 games. He ranked third on Alaska last year in scoring against Utah with five goals and five assists in nine games.
Andrew Engelage has allowed one goal in three of his last six starts at home.
After a season-high crowd of 9,225 Saturday, the Grizzlies have drawn 33,977 to the first six games in 2012. They are averaging 5,662 fans per-game in the new year.
Utah and Idaho are tied for the Western Conference lead with five shootout wins and rank second overall in the ECHL behind 8-1 Elmira. They have gone to shootouts twice in the last six games, with each team winning one and the winning team scoring only one goal. This is the third Monday meeting of the year between Utah and Idaho and only the 12th Monday game of the year in the ECHL. Utah has played in four of those 12 games. Utah is 4-1-0-2 this year at home Monday-Thursday.
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January 28: Blog Entry: Game Day
01/28/2012 12:07 AM - Adam Turner
For Utah, the final 31 games will determine their playoff seeding. Spots 4-7 are essentially up for grabs as it stands right now in the ECHL’s Western Conference.
Meanwhile, of their 31 remaining games, 19 of them are against Stockton, Idaho and Ontario, who they are fighting for top seeding, which will again show the impact of four-point swings in the standings on most nights.
As I look at it now, here will be the final records of the seeds 4-7 assuming Alaska, Las Vegas and Colorado don’t collapse at spots 1-3.
4. Eight games above .500
5. Five games above .500
6. Two games above .500
7.Two games below .500
The Grizzlies feel that they are at a point, where their roster will soon be reloaded and they will be ready to make a run.
Until they roll off several wins in a row, completely outplaying a team in the third period like last night and having Idaho cash in on two of the three mistakes for a 3-2 comeback win will be painful.
January 27: Blog Entry: Game Day
01/27/2012 10:22 AM - Adam Turner
It’s starting to seem like an ECHL season again for the Grizzlies now that they’re going to see the Idaho Steelheads in two of the last three weekends.
The two teams usually see each other more than any other team due to the regional proximity, but met only three times in the first 35 games of the year. This is the fourth of six meetings in January and the first of seven remaining meetings on the season.
The last four meetings though have definitely made up for the lost time with some hard feelings that have resonated. There were 113 penalty minutes in just over a ten minute span in the third period in their last game. Five Utah players also had 10 penalty minutes or more on January 16.
Jordan Foreman will make his Utah debut tonight and wear number 10 after being acquired from Stockton, right as the Thunder left for Boise on Monday. He has two assists in three games this season against Idaho, in addition to 14 penalty minutes.
The road teams are 5-1 this year between the Grizzlies and Steelheads. Utah will look to continue that trend tonight and buck it Saturday and Monday.
January 20: Blog Entry: Game Day
01/20/2012 11:07 AM - Adam Turner
Utah is 6 for their last 14 on the power-play. Mitch Fadden and Nick Tuzzolino have been part of five of those goals. Paul McIlveen has been a part of four of the last six power-play goals.
Utah has scored at least a power-play goal in all five games against Bakersfield. Utah is seven for their last 22 on the power-play against Bakersfield in the last three games and 10-37 overall against Bakersfield this year. Utah has three or more power-play goals in two of the last three games against Bakersfield. Utah has scored 10 of 20 goals this year against Bakersfield on the power-play.
Last night, Paul McIlveen became the fifth player in Grizzlies history and the fifth player since November, 2006 to record four goals. His five points were one shy of the all-time Grizzlies high of six points recorded by Ryan Kinasewich January 16, 2008 against Phoenix when he had one goal and five assists. McIlveen scored on all four shots he took.
Mitch Fadden had his second night of three points or more in the last three games with one goal and three assists. Nick Tuzzolino had his highest scoring night of the year with one goal and two assists. Andrew Engelage improved to 2-0 against Bakersfield by stopping 27 of 30 shots. Utah outshot Bakersfield 29-20 in the final two periods after being outshot 10-5 in the first.
Colin Vock, acquired yesterday, is expected to make his Grizzlies debut tonight. Vock, who played four years at the University of Vermont had five goals, nine assists and 14 points in 28 games with Gwinnett.
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January 19: Blog Entry: Game Day
01/19/2012 10:37 AM - Adam Turner
Utah is 13-1-0-2 when scoring three goals or more and has done so in all wins against Bakersfield.
Six goals in a game against Bakersfield on December 30, with four goals on the power-play set/tied a Utah season-high for both. 11 goals combined in that game was the highest scoring Grizzlies game this year. 46 shots against Bakersfield on October 19 is still a season-high. Nick Tuzzolino has two of Utah’s three game-winning goals against Bakersfield. Derick Martin has four of his nine assists against the Condors. Utah has 13 total players, six who will play tonight, averaging at least a point a game versus Bakersfield.
The Grizzlies today traded Riley Emmerson to Toledo and in the three-way deal receive David Strathman and a player to be named later from Gwinnett. Strathman, a 6-2 defenseman had two goals, four assists and a plus-five in 18 games with Gwinnett. He was a teammate of Grizzlies forward Chris Donovan at Northeastern University and had 13 goals and 28 assists for 41 points in 66 games last year with Allen in the CHL.
Update: The player to be named later is rookie Colin Vock, who had five goals, nine assists and a plus-three in 28 games this year with Gwinnett. He is currently on his way to Utah.
Excluding empty-netters, Utah has allowed three goals or less in seven of their last eight games. Logan MacMillan (one goal, one assist) and Nick Tuzzolino (one goal, two assists) each carry two-game scoring streaks into tonight’s game.
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January 16: Blog Entry: Game Day
01/16/2012 10:22 AM - Adam Turner
Andrew Engelage set a season-high with 44 saves Saturday after setting a Utah season-high for a period with 18 saves in the second period Friday.
All 4 goaltenders in this series have a GAA of under 2.25 and save percentages of over .931. Engelage is 2-2 with a 2.25 goals-against-average and a .931 save percentage against the Steelheads.
Utah recorded two power-play goals in a game for the fourth time this year Saturday. 16 of Mitch Fadden’s 35 points have come on the power-play. 9 of Nick Tuzzolino’s 12 points have come on the power-play, including six in the last eight games.
Also Saturday, Mitch Fadden had his 11th multiple-point night of the year and his third game of three points. Utah outshot Idaho 40-16 when Idaho wasn’t on the power-play.
80 shots in the last two games is a season-high for shots in back-to-back games. 28 shots in the last two first periods sets a Utah season-high for back-to-back games. The series has seen 33 combined power-plays. Andrew Engelage has stopped 75 of 78 shots for a .961 save percentage. Mitch Fadden has 12 shots on goal, Paul McIlveen has nine.
January 14: Blog Entry: Game Day
01/14/2012 10:06 AM - Adam Turner
Tonight is game 37 for Utah and officially starts the second half of the year.
To recap last night, Utah had 40 shots on goal for the third time this year and their third highest total of the year in the 2-0 loss. 15 shots in the first period tied the second most shots Utah has had in a first period this year. 6 shots allowed in the first period was the lowest allowed in the last 9 games and tied the third fewest shots allowed in the first period. Utah had 18 quality scoring chances in the game. Nick Tuzzolino and Ryan Watson each had six shots on goal. The line of Mitch Fadden (5), Danick Paquette (5) and Paul McIlveen (5) had 15 shots. 13 of Utah’s 16 skaters recorded at least one shot on goal. The only goal Utah allowed, came at four-on-four.
Utah hasn’t allowed a five-on-five goal to Idaho in the last two games and has allowed just one five-on-five goal in the last three games to Idaho.
Odds and Ends
-C.J. Severyn is an even or better in four-straight games and eight of his last nine games played.
-Ryan Watson is an even or better in five straight games and seven of the nine games that he has played with Utah.
-Blair Yaworski is an even or better in six of his last seven games.
-Riley Emmerson is an even or better in 24 of the 30 games that he has played this year.
-Utah is 4-1-0-1 when Matt Reber scores a goal, 4-2 when Bryan Cameron gets a goal and 6-3 when Mitch Fadden scores a goal.
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January 13: Blog Entry: Game Day
01/13/2012 10:41 AM - Adam Turner
Utah is 2-0-0-2 in their last four games when scoring first and 0-5 when the opposition scores first in their last five games. Utah has led or been tied after one period in 17 of their first 19 home games and has only trailed after one period in two games at home this year. Utah is 13-4-0-3 overall when scoring first, Idaho is 12-3-2-1.
Utah is 2-1-0-1 in their last four home games and 5-3-0-2 in their last ten home games overall.
-Andrew Engelage is 6-5-0-1 at home, Shane Owen is 4-2-0-1 at Maverik Center.
-Bryan Cameron has scored all seven goals and 10 of 11 points at home.
-Derick Martin has scored 7 of his 10 points at home.
-Paul McIlveen has scored 11 of his 14 goals and 21 of his 28 points.
-Matt Reber has scored four of his six goals and 13 of 19 points.
-Nick Tuzzolino has all three goals and seven of ten points.
-Ryan Watson has three assists in his four games as a Grizzly since being acquired from Idaho December 21.
The Grizzlies and Idaho are separated by one point in the Mountain Division standings and both have recently fallen on hard times. Utah is 0-4-0-1 in their last five, with four of those games coming on the road against Alaska (1st) and Colorado (5th in ECHL). Idaho enters tonight on a four-game losing streak with all four losses coming to the top two teams in the Pacific Division in Las Vegas and Ontario.
January 11: Blog Entry: Game Day
01/13/2012 10:40 AM - Adam Turner
The Grizzlies will infuse a couple of more bodies into their lineup tonight with the addition of Danick Paquette and Tyler Kindle.
Paquette was reassigned from South Carolina of the ECHL to Utah by Washington Monday as the Grizzlies sent Podge Turnbull to South Carolina in exchange. He was originally selected by Atlanta in the third round of the 2008 NHL draft and had six goals, 11 assists and 118 penalty minutes in 31 games this year with South Carolina.
Kindle was claimed off of waivers from Bakersfield on Saturday and joined the team in Colorado today. He played against Utah less than two weeks ago with the Condors. Oddly enough, he was a plus-one in Utah’s wild 6-5 win on December 30 and recorded three shots in the game December 31. He also played against Utah with Idaho in 05-06 and Fresno from 06-08.
Matt Reber is also a game time decision tonight for the Grizzlies, who will be shorthanded again but won’t need to sign any local fill-ins to help out for the first time since December 17.
January 7: Blog Entry: Game Day
01/07/2012 4:54 PM - Adam Turner
The Grizzlies are five simple plays away from outscoring Alaska 2-1 in the first two games of this series, even as shorthanded as they have been
Five instances in 120 minutes, where the Grizzlies haven’t been able to get the puck cleared in a timely manner on the 100-feet wide ice surface, in their own end, has in one way or another led to five of the six Alaska goals.
The home ice advantage here on the Olympic sized sheet cannot be understated. It’s hard for the opponent to play on and the Aces know every secret there is after playing on it for years. As I said last night, when Utah has the puck, the ice seems so small, but when Alaska has it, it seems so big.
Alaska is 19-3 at home and has just one regulation loss in their last 23 games at 17-1-2-3. Tonight, Utah will look for perfection and a win. They have played hard all weekend, and while the goals are always hard to come by with the Aces league-best goaltending, it has ultimately come down to goals allowed.
Local product Merit Waldrop will be back on the ice for Utah tonight after demonstrating his knowledge of this ice surface where he played four years of college Thursday.
January 6 Blog Entry: Game Day
01/06/2012 12:03 PM - Adam Turner
The Utah power-play has been an area lately that has once again been a positive in their game.
After last night’s 1-4 against Alaska’s top ranked penalty-kill, the Grizzlies have scored on the power-play in three-straight games for the first time since November 5-12 when they scored in four-straight games. The Grizzlies are five for their last 21 on the one-man advantage and captain Nick Tuzzolino has factored in on four of those five goals.
Utah’s penalty-kill also finished the night strong, by killing their final seven shorthanded situations, including four-straight minutes in the second period and nearly and 58 seconds shorthanded five-on-three in the third period.
Goals have been hard to come by in Anchorage, the Grizzlies haven’t scored more than one in their last seven games here, which definitely puts pressure on the goaltending. Andrew Engelage last night didn’t look like he had been off for roughly the last month as he stopped 38 of 41 shots last night.
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January 5 Blog Entry: Game Day
01/05/2012 12:11 PM - Adam Turner
The Grizzlies will hope that this article in this morning’s Anchorage Daily News somehow jinxes Alaska and gets them going here in Anchorage for a solid series. The piece talks about their incredible home record since joining the ECHL.
Of the 15 total trips that Utah has made to Alaska, this visit is definitely the coldest ever. Temperatures in Anchorage have been fighting to stay near zero degrees F and a blowing snow has been falling since the team’s arrival last night.
The Grizzlies will enlist the help of three local players this week. Erik Felde, who played four ECHL seasons; Merit Waldrop, who played college in this building as well for the University of Alaska-Anchorage along with the Phoenix RoadRunners and defenseman Sam Tikka who played at St. Norbert’s College.
Andrew Engelage made the road trip with Utah. He hasn’t played since December 14 while battling a minor injury.
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