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Game Day Blog Archive

Game Day Blog Entry: December 31

12/31/2012 11:43 AM - Adrian Denny

Utah has 81 shots in their last two games, which is the second most two-game shot output of the year. (100: 53, 47; 10/26 Vs Col, 10/27 Vs IDH). 22 shots in the first period Saturday tied a season-high for their highest period this year and it was their best first period shot output this season. Utah last had 22 shots February 24 in a 4-3 win in Boise. Utah has scored four goals or more in four of the last six games (2-1-1-2), which ties their best stretch of the year (3-2-0-1 November 30-December 8). Utah is 9-3-2-0 when scoring four goals or more this year. In all four games in this six-game stretch when getting four goals, Utah has 13 or more shots in the first period in all four games.

Utah is 3-1-0-1 on New Year’s Eve since joining the ECHL in 2005 and 2-1-0-1 at home.

Mitch Wahl leads the ECHL with 22 assists and 25 points since November 17 in 16 games. Wahl has multiple-points in nine of those games. Utah is 7-4-2-3 in that stretch, which also matches up with Wahl getting an “A” and Brad Mills and Riley Armstrong being named co-captains.

Brad Mills (three goals, six assists) has tied a season-high five-game scoring streak. Mills has multiple-points in three of the last four games. Mitch Wahl, now has a four-game scoring streak (two goals, five assists) and has scored in 13 of the last 15 games. Jimmy Martin has a four-game scoring streak with one goal and five assists.
 

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Game Day Blog Entry: December 29

12/29/2012 10:34 AM - Adrian Denny

Utah enters tonight with a season-long four-game unbeaten streak at 2-0-0-2. The four-game unbeaten streak is second only to Alaska in the Western Conference, with the Aces having won six-straight games.

In last night’s 4-3 shootout win, Utah trailed for 16:05, led for 24:10 and the game was tied for 18:45. The Grizzlies went 38:29 without allowing a goal during of which they scored three goals in 13:22 to build a 3-1 lead. 80 combined shots in the game tied the most total shots in a Grizzlies game this year with Utah having 39 and Ontario totaling 41. It marked the second-straight game that Utah has blown a 3-1 lead as they were unable to take a three-goal lead for the fourth time this season. Andrew Engelage stopped 38 of 41 shots in his first start since November 10. Brad Mills had his fourth three-point night of the season and his third two-goal night of the year with two goals and one assist for his eighth multiple-point night of the season. Jimmy Martin had two assists, his second-straight multiple-point game and extended his scoring streak to three. Utah and the Reign have gone past regulation in two-straight games and three of the last five at Maverik Center.

Utah goaltender Andrew Engelage improved to 6-3 last night and 3-0 in shootouts last night. Engelage led Utah to a 5-1 start with a .933 save percentage and a 2.27 goals-against-average before his first injury the week of October 29. Engelage enters his next start second all-time among Grizzlies goaltenders with 50 wins, having moved into the second spot with his 48th win and Utah’s 4th of the year in a 4-3 shootout win against Colorado on October 26. He is second all-time with 5,841 minutes played and second all-time with 2,754 saves.

Overall, Utah goaltending has allowed three goals or less in regulation in five of the last six games and in seven of ten contests overall. Utah has points in all seven of those games when allowing three goals or less in regulation at 5-0-0-2.

Utah is 3-0-1-1 on Saturday nights at home this year, with three of the five games going past regulation. 13 of Utah’s 27 games have been decided by a goal and Utah is 6-3-1-3 in such contests. Utah is now 3-1 at home against the Pacific Division and 4-2-0-1 overall.

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Game Day Blog Entry: December 28

12/28/2012 11:26 AM - Adrian Denny

The Grizzlies return to action tonight after a week long holiday break. Utah and Idaho are the only two Western Conference teams to have had full weeks off for Christmas. Utah is 4-3 overall, having won three-straight and 4-1 in their last five games overall in their first game since Christmas since joining the ECHL in 2005. Utah is 2-1 at home  coming off of Christmas break with their only loss coming to Idaho December 26, 2005 in a 4-3 score.

The Grizzlies have played 19 of their 26 games against Mountain Division opponents who have a combined record of 57-26-2-5. Overall, having not played 7-21-1-2 Bakersfield yet, Utah opponents have a record of 96-63-7-9

This is Utah’s first meeting against Ontario since March 7 at Maverik Center when Utah came back for a 3-2 overtime win to snap a five-game losing streak.
Utah is 23-14-1-4 in the regular season since that win. Ontario hasn’t lost a road game since November 23 in San Francisco.

The Grizzlies have signed 21-year-old rookie Tyler Maxwell who is from Huntington Beach, California, the home of many Los Angeles Kings players. Trevor Lewis lives in Hermosa Beach, one city over from Manhattan Beach. Maxwell started the season in Salzburg, where he played in the Austrian League. He had seven goals and seven assists for 14 points in 23 games. Last season he had 33 goals and 38 assists for 71 points in 70 games with Everett and Edmonton of the WHL where he won a league championship with former Idaho Steelheads Head Coach Derek Laxdal and advanced to the Memorial Cup. The Grizzlies now have two players from beach towns outside of Los Angeles. Assistant captain Mitch Wahl is from Seal Beach, California.

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Game Day Blog Entry: December 21

12/21/2012 11:20 AM - Adrian Denny

Riley Armstrong has multiple-points in the last three games that he has scored in over the last five contests. Armstrong has scored a power-play goal in two-straight games and has three goals and two assists in his last two games played.

Utah co-captains Brad Mills (25 points in 20 games), Riley Armstrong (22 points in 21 games) and assistant captain Mitch Wahl (29 points in 22 games) all are averaging over a point-a-game this year. The three leaders have combined for 22 multiple-point games. Wahl has multiple-points in nine games, Mills seven and Armstrong six. The three leaders also lead Utah with 42 combined power-play points on Utah’s 28 power-play goals. Wahl has one power-play goal and 14 assists, Armstrong has five goals and nine assists and Mills has six goals and five assists.

Las Vegas is the sixth of nine ECHL teams that Utah will play this year. Utah has still yet to see conference foes Bakersfield and Ontario along with Gwinnett, who will a make a one-game trip to Utah March 6. Utah opens a stretch tonight of five of their next ten games against the Wranglers. Utah and Las Vegas will next meet January 5 and 6 at Orleans Arena and January 11 and 12 at Maverik Center.  Last year Mitch Wahl was second to Paul McIlveen with four goals and three assists for seven points in five games versus Las Vegas.

The Grizzlies are 15 for their last 15 on the penalty-kill over the last two games. Utah has killed 16-straight shorthanded situations. Utah hasn’t allowed a power-play goal in two-straight games for the second time all season and tonight looks for their first game all year without allowing power-play goal in three-straight games. Utah hasn’t allowed a power-play goal in four of their last six games.

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Game Day Blog Entry: December 19

12/19/2012 10:27 AM - Adrian Denny

Grizzlies goaltender Andrew Engelage will be activated from reserve today as will defenseman Drew MacKenzie. Engelage hasn’t played since suffering his second injury in 10 days on November 10 in Colorado during a collision. MacKenzie has missed eight-straight games after taking a high-stick from Alaska’s Tommy Mele on November 24. He had four goals and eight assists for Utah in 16 games before his injury. Six of his 12 points (one goal, five assists) came on the power-play.

Third-year Utah Defenseman Nick Tuzzolino was recalled to Abbotsford Monday. He left Utah with six assists in his last six games and an even or better in nine of his last 11 games. Tuzzolino signed an AHL contract with Abbotsford this past summer and has spent parts of the previous two seasons in the AHL.

Utah is 6-3-1-1 when Brad Mills scores a goal, the most wins of any player when scoring a goal.

Utah is 2-0 versus Idaho at Maverik Center with both wins by a goal; 2-1 on October 13 and 5-4 in a shootout on October 27. Utah fell 3-2 to the Steelheads in their most recent meeting on November 2, with Idaho breaking 1-1 and 2-2 ties.
 

Game Day Blog Entry: December 15

12/15/2012 10:32 AM - Adrian Denny

Utah hasn’t lost two-straight games in over a month, (November 12-16). Grant Rollheiser hasn’t lost two-straight games all year. Rollheiser hasn’t allowed more than three goals in two-straight games all year. Utah allowed less than ten shots in all three periods for the first time since losing 5-1 to Alaska on November 23 to open a four-game home stand. After that game, Utah went 2-0-1-0 to finish the home stand. Utah is 3-0-1-0 on Saturday nights at home this year.

Mitch Wahl (three goals, 11 assists) and Joey Crabb (five goals, nine assists) lead the respective teams in scoring during the season series.

Utah is 8 for their last 18 on the power-play against Alaska’s second ranked penalty-kill. Utah is 5-2-1-0 in their last eight games when allowing two power-play goals or less.

Utah and Alaska meet for the eighth time in 23 days tonight. The Grizzlies and Alaska next meet for four games over six days at Maverik Center February 15,16,18 and 20.

17 shots allowed and three in the third period last night were season-lows for Utah for shots allowed in a game and shots allowed in a period.

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Game Day Blog Entry: December 14

12/14/2012 10:43 AM - Adrian Denny

Utah plays game nine of 14 against Alaska this season. Road teams are 5-3 so far in this season series.

Josh Burrows scored Utah’s first goal in both wins last week in Anchorage. He has two goals and one assist this year versus Alaska.

Utah hasn’t scored in the first period in two-straight games for the first time all year. Utah didn’t allow a first period goal in three of last week’s four games in Alaska.

Nick Tuzzolino has two assists each in the last two games and five assists in the last four games overall. Utah is 4-0 when leading or tied after one period at home this year and 9-2-0-1 in those situations.

Utah is 4-1 overall and 2-0 against Alaska when not allowing a power-play goal. Utah finished the series last weekend in Anchorage by not allowing a power-play goal in two of their last three games. Utah has scored a power-play goal in 16 of their last 18 games after opening the year by scoring a power-play goal just once in the first five games. Utah has scored two power-play goals in eight of those 16 games.

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Game Day Blog Entry: December 10

12/10/2012 11:23 AM - Adrian Denny

For the Grizzlies to have the best chance at a split, they’re going to want to keep things five-on-five for as much as possible tonight. Over the first three games, five-on-five scoring is even at 6 goals for each team. Even in an 8-4 loss Saturday, five-on-five scoring was only 3-2 Alaska. In Utah’s 4-1 win Friday, it was 3-1 and Wednesday Alaska won five-on-five play 2-1. The difference Saturday was penalties. We saw only eight combined power-plays, two a game for each team through the first two games Wednesday and Friday. Saturday had five power-plays total in the first period, including four for Alaska.
 

A win tonight, would give Utah a 3-3 mark in Anchorage and their most wins ever at the Sullivan Arena. Going .500 for a season in Anchorage, including 2-2 on this stretch would be absolutely invaluable to their 72-game overall record at the end of the season. While Utah has never been below .500 for a season under Kevin Colley, Anchorage hasn’t been particularly kind. Utah went 0-5 in 08-09, 1-4 in 09-10, 1-4 in 10-11 and 0-5-0-1 last year. Alaska remains 9-2 at home, but both losses have come to Utah.
 

While Utah is done with coming to Alaska after tonight, having played 6 games, other key teams in the standings have yet to come here once and it will definitely figure to even things out a bit now that Utah will be heading home for eight-straight games and 13 of the next 16 games going up until January 25.
 

Stockton still has six games in Alaska, with Colorado, Ontario, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Idaho and Bakersfield all coming here for three games.

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Game Day Blog Entry: December 8

12/08/2012 12:25 PM - Adrian Denny

Kevin Colley did three things last night that all turned into magic for Utah in their 4-1 win over Alaska.
 

1.    He welcomed Tommy Maxwell back to the lineup by placing him on the number one line with Riley Armstrong and Mitch Wahl to free up space for them. Wahl and Armstrong each had two assists.
 

2.    He put Ian Schultz onto the first power-play unit and had him camping out in front hovering around Alaska goaltender Gerald Coleman. 1:02 into Utah’s first power-play of the night, Schultz hammered in a rebound to make it 2-0 and that plan was accomplished.
 

3.    With less than two minutes to go in the second period and Utah up 3-1, Kevin used a timeout after an icing call to give his guys a breather before the face-off.  After the face-off, Utah quickly cleared the puck and Alaska wasn’t able to get potentially a late momentum shifting goal.

In other news, Mitch Wahl is on an absolute tear. He has two goals and 12 assists in his last eight games, scoring in seven of those contests and recording multiple-points in five of those contests. Wahl, who was named an assistant captain on the first day of this stretch, has four multiple-point games in his last five played.

This series has largely been played five-on-five, with each team having just two power-plays each of the first two evenings.

Tonight will be Utah’s fourth chance in eight years to win back-to-back games in Alaska. In the last two chances they’ve come close with either a lead or tie going into the third period.

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Game Day Blog Entry: December 7

12/07/2012 11:23 AM - Adrian Denny

17 shots in the second period by Utah on Friday set a record for most shots the Grizzlies have ever gotten in Alaska as Utah skated in their 38th regular season game at the Sullivan Arena since joining the ECHL in 2005.
 

It marked the seventh time in 38 games that Utah has outshot Alaska in Alaska by seven shots or more. Utah’s previous high for shot differential in a period at Sullivan Arena was 8, which they had accomplished twice.

They outshot the Aces 13-5 on January 5, 2006 in their first ever win in Alaska as they added five second period goals in a 6-4 win. On December 29, 2007, Utah outshot Alaska 14-6 as they took a 2-0 first period lead.
 

Unfortunately Wednesday, Utah was only able to get one goal in their most dominating period ever at the Sullivan Arena with the exception of the scoreboard.
 

Chris Donovan has scored both of his goals and all three of his points in Alask this season. Ironically, Chris scored his first pro goal in Anchorage in his first pro game on October 15, 2010.

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Game Day Blog Entry: December 5

12/05/2012 4:23 PM - Adrian Denny

The road team is 3-1 this year between Utah and Alaska, with each team winning a game either 5-2 like Utah did on October 19, or like Alaska did 5-1 on November 23.

The following night, each home team countered. A 0-0 tie after two periods went Alaska’s way here on October 20; while on November 24, Utah rallied back from a 3-1 third period deficit shorthanded to take a 4-3 lead before falling 5-4 in overtime.

The two teams come in with a combined eight-game unbeaten streak as Alaska has won five-straight games while Utah is unbeaten in three-straight.

Alaska comes in tonight fresh off of a six-game road trip that saw them go 5-1, while Utah was 2-1-1-1 on a just completed four-game road trip.

It marks the second-straight trip that Utah brings a reining ECHL Player of the Week into Anchorage with Brad Mills having won last week’s award yesterday. Riley Armstrong captured the award for the previous week before Utah came here on October 19 and 20.

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Game Day Blog Entry: December 1

12/01/2012 9:55 AM - Adrian Denny

Last night Colin Vock scored two goals in 20 seconds for Utah’s fastest consecutive goals of the year. Last Saturday, Utah scored two goals in 27 seconds with Brad Mills and Vock scoring. Utah’s quickest back-to-back goals were seven seconds apart October 29, 2005 with Matt Craig and Barrett Ehgoetz getting two goals against Victoria. Utah has scored in the first 6:14 of the first period in eight of their 17 games.  Taking it a step further, Utah has scored in the first 4:04 of a game six times in 17 games and in two of three games on this home stand. Utah has tied a season-high three times in the last four periods with three goals. Before Saturday’s third period, Utah had scored three goals in a period twice this year.

Last Night’s Highs
-Utah had a season-high seven goals.
-22 shots in the second period was a season-high for shots in a period.
-3 shots allowed in the second period was a season-low for shots allowed in a period.
-23 shots allowed in the game was the fewest allowed by Utah this season.
-Four points by Brad Mills (two goals, two assists) was a season-high for a Utah skater.
-Colin Vock recorded Utah’s first hat trick of the year at home and Utah’s second overall this year.
-Brad Mills was credited with a goal 22 seconds into the third period, which was Utah’s fastest goal to start a period this year.
-Mark Isherwood had three points (one goal, two assists) in the second period after logging five assists in Utah’s first 16 games.
-Last night was the first time all year that Utah has won a game when trailing after one period.

The Grizzlies have been assigned Ian Schultz by the Montreal Canadians via the ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers. He had one assist and one fight in his Utah debut last night after taking a 6 a.m. flight in from Pittsburgh. Schultz has 105 games of AHL experience with Hamilton and was a teammate of Mitch Wahl last year in Hamilton. In the AHL, Schultz had nine goals, 18 assists for 27 points and 153 penalty minutes. He has appeared in 15 playoff games or more in four of the last five seasons. Schultz was the co-captain of the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen during his final season of major junior hockey. He was drafted in the third round of the NHL Entry Draft in 2008. His brother Jeff plays for the Washington Capitals.

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