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Game Day Blog Archive

March 31: Blog Entry: Game Day

03/31/2012 9:30 AM - Adrian Denny
The Grizzlies have responded from their last three non-wins by outscoring the opposition 17-4 and winning three-straight. They will look to close out the season in Bakersfield on a strong note.

A win tonight in Bakersfield gives Utah a record of .500 or better against five of their seven opponents this year.

Utah is 3-0 on the final game of the regular season under Kevin Colley. The Grizzlies have won four-straight games overall to finish the regular season, going back to 2008.

Tonight marks the second time in seven years that Utah will close against a team on the road that won’t qualify for the playoffs. They turned out the lights on Victoria in 2006, before opening the first round in Alaska two nights later.

Ontario and Las Vegas are now the Grizzlies two playoff options and the answer will be revealed at the close of the ECHL season tonight.

If Ontario wins and/or Las Vegas loses, the Reign will be the two seed and will play the seven seed. If Las Vegas wins and Ontario loses in regulation, the Wranglers are the two.

So that brings us to the six versus seven. If the Grizzlies get a point tonight, they are the sixth guaranteed. If not, they will be the sixth seed, if Idaho doesn’t win.

GO GRIZZLIES!!

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March 30: Blog Entry: Game Day

03/30/2012 10:35 AM - Adrian Denny
The Grizzlies have definitely gotten used to life on the road. This is the sixth weekend in the last eight and next weekend will be the seventh in the last nine that they are out of state.

We could know the first round playoff opponent tonight. For that to happen, here’s what needs to happen.

Ontario beats Alaska, who clinched the Western Conference Wednesday, but is still aiming to capture the league’s Brabham Cup for the regular season title.

Las Vegas loses in regulation at home to Colorado.

Stockton gets at least one point in Idaho.

Utah wins in Bakersfield.

If all that happens, Utah will play Las Vegas in the first round.

If not, we’ll wait until tomorrow to make things official.

This is Utah’ s third trip to Bakersfield in the last month, where the playoff ineligible Condors are looking to finish the season strong on the heels of Tuesday’s announcement that Head Coach Matt O’Dette will return next season. They are 13-8-0-2 in their last 23. The Grizzlies also look to finish strong, entering tonight as the hottest team in the Western Conference by collecting 15 out of 20 points in the last ten games.

GO GRIZZLIES!!!

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March 24: Blog Entry: Game Day

03/24/2012 9:27 AM - Adrian Denny
Utah is 6-2-0-1 in their last nine games and tied with Bakersfield for the second best ten-game stretch in the Western Conference at 6-3-0-1. Alaska is 7-2-0-1 in their last 10.

The Grizzlies are 4-1-0-1 in their last five home games. The Grizzlies have clinched their third best home record since 2002-03 with an 18-13-0-4 record.

The line of Wahl, Falite and Vock has eight goals and 10 assists in the last five games. Mitch Wahl has tied a season-high with a five-game scoring streak with one goal and seven assists in his last five games. Kory Falite has three goals and four assists in his last five games and is an even or better in four of the last five games. Colin Vock has a five-game scoring streak with five goals and three assists.

A win tonight gives Utah a 5-5-0-3 record against the Eagles and a record of .500 or better against five of the seven teams on their schedule. Utah meets Colorado for the 13th of 13 times on the year. Utah and Colorado have gone to shootouts in five of the 12 games and four-straight games that have been tied after two periods. All five games at Maverik Center have been tied or within a goal going to the third period. Derick Martin is the only Utah player to have now played in all 13 games against Colorado.

GO GRIZZLIES!!!

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March 23: Blog Entry: Game Day

03/23/2012 9:22 AM - Adrian Denny
Eight of Utah’s 16 skaters were not with the team during their last meeting against Colorado on January 11 and will play their first-ever game against the Eagles tonight.

Utah started the season 4-1-0-1 against Colorado, but faced the Eagles five times from December 14-January 11 with a depleted lineup and went 0-4-0-1 in that stretch. Utah is 6-2 in their last eight games and is coming off of a 3-2 road  trip to Bakersfield, Stockton and Idaho.

The Grizzlies tied a season-high by scoring six goals in a game for the third time this season on Wednesday. It marks the first time this year that Utah has scored five goals or more in two of their last three games. A five-goal victory was their largest margin of victory of the season. In Utah’s last six wins, they have outscored the opposition 20-7 five-on-five.

Utah has scored a goal in 19 of their last 23 periods and has two goals or more in eight of those periods. Utah has scored a first period goal in seven-straight games and has not allowed a first period goal in four of their last seven contests. During this 6-2 stretch, Utah has recorded 11 shots or more in the first period all nights.

GO GRIZZLIES!!

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March 21: Blog Entry: Game Day

03/21/2012 9:36 AM - Adrian Denny
At 7-4-0-1 against the Steelheads and by winning five-straight games, the Grizzlies have guaranteed their first winning season series against Idaho in seven years.

In what has been a trend for Utah this year, 10 of the last 11 games against Idaho have either been tied or within a goal in the third period.

Utah’s success when they were in Idaho last month was the fact that they led after one period in all three wins.

Derick Martin has been activated off of IR and will play tonight for Utah. The veteran played in the first 59 games of the year for Utah.

Forward Gaelan Patterson has been assigned to Utah from Abbotsford of the AHL by Calgary. He has played 117 games with the Heat over the past two seasons and put up eight goals and 19 assists for 27 points.

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March 18: Blog Entry: Game Day

03/18/2012 12:12 PM - Adrian Denny
The Grizzlies have gotten major contributions from all three lines this week as they have put up four or more goals twice in three games.

The line of Mitch Wahl (one goal, three assists), Colin Vock (two goals, one assist) and Kory Falite (one goal, one assist) have manufactured four goals in the last two games.

Paul McIlveen (one goal, two assists), Logan MacMillan (one assist) and Ross Carlson (one goal, one assist) have been involved in three goals in the last three games.

Chris Donovan (one goal, one assist), C.J. Severyn (one goal, one assist) and John Armstrong (two assists)  have factored in on three goals in three games.

Evan Stephens tied a team season-high last night with a plus-four. The entire box score last night for Utah looked good on plus-minus as they outscored the Thunder 5-0 even-strength.

Utah has the best winning percentage versus Stockton of any team on the schedule at .800 with a 4-1 record. A win tonight, will tie Utah with Stockton for the 5th spot in the Western Conference.

GO GRIZZLIES!!

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March 17: Blog Entry: Game Day

03/17/2012 11:10 AM - Adrian Denny
The Grizzlies playoff magic number remains one for clinching their fifth-straight playoff berth, their 6th in the last 7 seasons in the ECHL, and their 13th in 18 seasons.

Coming off a 4-1 (.800 winning percentage) record in their last five games, Utah needs a 5-2 (.714 winning percentage) to finish with their 15th season of .500 of better in the last 18 years.

Getting the first goal for Utah has set the tone. The Grizzlies are 6-1 in their last seven games that they have scored first. They are 10-3-0-2 on the road and have won 21 of their 29 games when scoring the first goal.

Utah outscored Stockton 8-4 overall and 3-1 on special teams in last weekend’s action at Maverik Center that saw Utah go 2-0. They outshot the Thunder 30-18 in the first period. Mitch Wahl led Utah with two goals and two assists in the two game series.

The Grizzlies look to finish the season, how they started it, when they went the first 13 games without losing two in a row. Utah looks to bounce back tonight like they did early on following a setback.

GO GRIZZLIES!!

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March 16: Blog Entry: Game Day

03/16/2012 11:05 AM - Adrian Denny
A win tonight or an overtime or shootout loss clinches Utah’s fifth-straight playoff berth and sixth in the last seven years since joining the ECHL.

Ross Carlson can tie a team season-high if he extends his scoring streak to seven games. He has two goals and six assists over that stretch for the Grizzlies.

Utah has four total players carrying scoring streaks of three games or more into tonight in: Dave Strathman (5: 3 goals, 3 assists), C.J. Severyn (3: 4 assists), John Armstong (3: 4 assists)  and Carlson’s six-gamer. Three players in Mitch Wahl, Paul McIlveen and Ryan Turek have scored in three of the four games during this winning streak.

The Grizzlies have scored a goal in 10 of the last 11 periods in regulation over the course of this four-game scoring streak.

Utah’s first periods have set the tone as of late. The Grizzlies have recorded 12 or more shots in all first periods during this four-game winning streak and have won six-straight games overall when getting 12 or more shots in the first.

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March 14: Blog Entry: Game Day

03/14/2012 10:11 AM - Adrian Denny
The reining ECHL Player of the Week Paul McIlveen has worked his way up to a tie for seventh in the league in scoring, despite playing the fourth fewest games of anyone in the top ten.

McIlveen also leads Utah in scoring against Bakersfield this year with seven goals and three assists for ten points in six games.

For the second time in 16 days, Utah starts a four-game in five-night stretch in Bakersfield. A 4-2 loss two weeks ago set the table for the team to lose four-straight. Utah has a combined six-game winning streak, between that five-game losing streak that started here on February 28.

Again both of these teams come in having played a good weekend. Bakersfield was 2-0-0-1 two weeks ago, while Utah had won three-straight. This week, Utah brings another three-game winning streak here, while Bakersfield has collected three of four points in Idaho to finish their series last weekend.

GO GRIZZLIES!!

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March 10: Blog Entry: Game Day

03/10/2012 10:15 AM - Adrian Denny
Utah looks to close out their second week in the last three with three-straight wins. Their magic number for clinching their fifth consecutive playoff spot is seven points.

A win tonight and a Bakersfield loss, will give Utah a chance to clinch Wednesday against the Condors.

The Grizzlies have some connections on their recently acquired players. Evan Stephens and Josh Burrows were teammates earlier in the year with Chicago, before Burrows was traded to Gwinnett. Josh Burrows and Dave Strathman both came from Gwinnett but never played there together. Colin Vock and Josh Burrows were teammates at the University of Vermont and Vock came to Utah before Burrows arrived in Gwinnett.

Utah is 3 for their last 3 on the power-play after snapping a 1-34 skid. Utah has needed just 1:38 of combined power-play time to score their last three power-play goals. Utah is 3-13 on the power-play against Stockton this year and 15-15 on the penalty-kill. Last night was the second time in three games that Utah has had only two power-plays and the opposition has had one.

All 15 Utah skaters got a shot last night, including 11 who had two or more. Utah has outshot the opposition in six-straight games for the first time all year. Utah has 35 shots or more in the first three games of this home stand and has 34 shots or more in 14 of their last 16 home games.

The Grizzlies have won four-straight games when leading after one period. 16 shots last night in the first period was the third most in a first period this year.

GO GRIZZLIES!!

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March 9: Blog Entry: Game Day

03/09/2012 11:15 AM - Adrian Denny
This marks Stockton’s first trip to Utah since last year’s opening round of the playoffs. Utah won game one 5-3 on April 5 and fell 3-2 in OT on April 6. Utah won the series three games to one. Utah is 6-2-1-0 against Stockton in their last nine games going back to March 11.

This marks the third-straight second weekend in March that Utah and the Thunder have met in West Valley City. This is the third-straight year, that Utah looks for a good weekend against Stockton after a rough stretch. Utah finished 2-1 in a Friday, Saturday, Sunday set versus Stockton last year after going 1-7-0-1 in the previous nine. Utah went 2-0-0-1 in March of 2010 after losing four-straight on the road previously. Tonight, Utah looks for a second-straight win after snapping a five-game winning streak Wednesday.

Andrew Engelage has stopped 64 of 69 for a .927 save percentage on the first two games of the home stand after stopping 38 of 40 shots Wednesday. Engelage has allowed three or less in two-straight. Engelage stopped 67 of 70 in Stockton in November, including a shootout shutout on November 4 and has a 1.45 goals-against-average and a .950 save percentage against the Thunder this year.

Evan Stephens makes his Utah debut tonight after being acquired from Chicago yesterday. The rookie from Dartmouth had 3 goals, 16 assists for 19 points in 48 games with the Express. He played with Ross Carlson last year in Florida after completing college. Utah added d-man Josh Burrows Wednesday after a trade with Gwinnett. He was a plus-one in the game.

GO GRIZZLIES!!!

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March 7: Blog Entry: Game Day

03/07/2012 10:48 AM - Adrian Denny
This the 9th of nine meetings and the 9th meeting in the last 34 days between Utah and Ontario and completes the fifth of five-straight games between Utah and Ontario in the last eight days.

Utah’s last three goals scored by Ryan Watson, Ross Carlson and Dave Strathman have been their first goals in a Utah uniform. Utah dropped to 12-5-0-2 at home on Monday when allowing three goals or less.

Paul McIlveen has 15 shots in the last three games. Kory Falite has 19 shots in the last four games. C.J. Severyn led Utah with six shots on Monday.

Utah has had three shorthanded situations or less in all four games versus Ontario in the last seven days.

Josh Burrows makes his Utah debut tonight after being acquired from Gwinnett Saturday for Jordan Foreman. He was a teammate of current Grizzly Colin Vock at the University of Vermont and also of recalled GrizzlyPatrick Cullity (Springfield) at Vermont as well.

GO GRIZZLIES!!!

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March 5: Blog Entry: Game Day

03/05/2012 10:25 AM - Adrian Denny
The Grizzlies play on home ice for the first time since February 15 when they defeated Las Vegas 3-1.

In their last three wins, Utah has led after one period.  In their last three losses they have trailed after one period.

Despite being outscored 18-6 in Ontario last week, Utah outshot the Reign in all three games by a combined total of 98-75 and 75-42 in the final two periods.

Paul McIlveen continues his season-long tear and has three goals and six assists in the last seven games after having a six-game scoring streak snapped Saturday. Logan MacMillan has four goals and one assist in his last seven games and had a four-game scoring streak snapped Saturday. Wednesday MacMillan scored 3:09 into the game and Friday, he scored 50 seconds into the contest.

The Grizzlies return from a ten-game road trip that saw them start 4-2, but finish 4-6 after losing four-straight games in Bakersfield and Ontario (3) last week February 28-March 3. The road trip came nearly two years to the weekend that saw Utah go 0-4 in Ontario (2) and Alaska (2) and outscored 18-8 February 26-March 4. The Grizzlies returned home to go 2-0-1-0 against Stockton and outscoring them 14-8.

GO GRIZZLIES!!!

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March 3: Blog Entry: Game Day

03/03/2012 9:05 AM - Adrian Denny
A point tonight by Paul McIlveen ties him with a team season-high seven-game scoring streak. He has three goals and six assists in the last three games.

The last four Grizzlies games, have been tied at one. In their win last Saturday, they took a 2-1 lead. In all three losses this week, the opposition has made it 2-1 and gone on for the victory. 1-0 leads in Ontario haven’t lasted long. Ontario led 1-0 for nine seconds Wednesday, Utah led 1-0 for 20 seconds last night; with each team scoring in the first 3:09 in the games.

If the Grizzlies go back to Andrew Engelage tonight, he stopped 41 of 43 shots last Saturday in Utah’s 4-2 win over Idaho after Jimmy Spratt started Friday. That was the case last night, as Engelage finished up the third period. Last week, marked the first time all year that Engelage had started after a night off the evening before and he had one of his best games of the season.

Utah’s penalty kill seems back in order, having not allowed a power-play goal in three of their last four games.

Utah has really come alive in the final 40 minutes this week, now outshooting the opposition 71-46 in the final two periods after last night’s 26-18.

GO GRIZZLIES!!!

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March 2: Blog Entry: Game Day

03/02/2012 11:04 AM - Adrian Denny
The Grizzlies have won the last three weeks on Friday night on the road. They beat Ontario 2-1 February 10, Las Vegas 4-3 on the 17th and Idaho 4-3 last Friday.

Paul McIlveen has factored in on Utah’s first goal in the last three games with two goals and one assist. All three goals have tied the game at one no more than 5:35 after the opposition scored. McIlveen has two goals and four assists in his last five games and can tie a personal season high with a six-game scoring streak tonight if he gets a point. Logan MacMillan has three goals and one assist in his last five games.

Matt Sorteberg turns 26 today, Ryan Watson turned 24 yesterday. Sorteberg didn’t score for the first time in three games Wednesday, but led the team with seven shots on goal.

The line of Colin Vock (plus-three), Kory Falite (plus-four) and John Armstrong (plus-2) is a plus-nine in Utah’s last four games.

GO GRIZZLIES!!!

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