Game Day Blog Entry: February 27
02/27/2013 10:50 AM - Adrian Denny
The Grizzlies arrived in Boise at 4 a.m. after bussing to Idaho after last night’s 2-1 win over San Francisco. The team had an optional morning skate in Boise with the entire team at the arena at 10 a.m. to begin the game day routine.
Ian Schultz returns to the Utah lineup tonight after a three-game ECHL suspension. In addition, Riley Armstrong, Colin Vock and Mark Isherwood are all on the trip and hopeful to return to the lineup at some point this week from injuries.
There has been a good vibe on and off the ice the last week or so after Utah went through a little bit of a midseason rut, in which Kevin Colley wasn’t pleased with the work ethic. The team got off to a good start in Colorado last weekend with a 3-2 win, then had to completely readjust and compete shorthanded after several injuries in less than 24 hours.
Game Day Blog Entry: February 26
02/26/2013 12:07 PM - Adrian Denny
The Grizzlies will be short tonight due to all of the injuries in Colorado, but will have most of a full team tonight and will take a full team to Idaho, with a player or two still being day-to-day.
Game Day Blog Entry: February 24
02/24/2013 12:11 PM - Adrian Denny
Utah and Colorado, who have both skated shorthanded all weekend, wrap up 3 games in less than 48 hours this afternoon as both teams are expected to dress nine forwards and four defensemen. Jimmy Martin, who played some forward last night for Utah may be up front again.
Last night the Grizzlies never got off the ground, with Riley Armstrong and Colin Vock both taking limited shifts in the first period only due to injuries and David Eddy arriving late in the second period after a long day of travel back from Abbotsford.
As we anticipated last night when Shane Owen started the third period, it was a strategic move to rest Adam Morrison so he would be as fresh as possible to start today.
Utah has employed some interesting game plans playing shorthanded in the past, we will see what Kevin Colley has up his sleeve for today’s contest, especially wrapping up three-games-in-three-nights against another shorthanded group.
Game Day Blog Entry: February 23
02/23/2013 9:45 AM - Adrian Denny
After having not scored a power-play goal in five of their last six games, Utah’s fourth ranked power-play got going again with a 3-7 last night. Special teams were big last night with four of the total five goals coming on the power-play.
The key for Utah was repetition. They had only drawn four power-plays or less during that rough stretch and didn’t have much time to get going. Another key for Utah last night was staying out of the penalty box, with no penalties called against them in the always pivotal first and third periods.
Adam Morrison is 2-2 with Utah and despite allowing four and six goals in two of his starts, still has a save percentage of .910 with Utah; which really says what he’s capable of when he and the team in front of him are both going.
This series continues to be huge for Utah. After gaining a point on the Eagles last night, Utah trails Colorado by five points in the standings entering this evening’s game.
Game Day Blog Entry: February 22
02/22/2013 9:32 AM - Adrian Denny
The Grizzlies enter tonight with 20 games left in the regular season, nine of which will be played against the Colorado Eagles whom they haven’t seen since November 10.
As is usually the case during an ECHL season, when you go over three months without seeing a team, there is going to be roster turnover. Based on their last games against each other, Utah looks to have eight of the 15 skaters in the lineup tonight compared to November 10 and Colorado looks to have nine of the 16 skaters from that game.
Utah hopes to return Riley Armstrong to the lineup at some point this weekend. Their captain hasn’t played since January 18. Wednesday, Utah returned Ian Schultz from a four-game injury absence and he added two assists.
Utah trails Colorado by six points in the standings and is looking to make their first real run of the season going into the final 20 games.
Game Day Blog Entry: February 20
02/20/2013 10:11 AM - Adrian Denny
The Grizzlies complete a seven-game home stand today with Alaska. This is the 14th of 14 meetings between Utah and Alaska this season. The two teams complete four games in six nights with Utah going for the split
Game Day Blog Entry: February 18
02/18/2013 10:26 AM - Adrian Denny
Colin Vock has scored Utah’s first goal in the first period in both games this weekend.
Game Day Blog Entry: February 16
02/16/2013 9:53 AM - Adrian Denny
Adam Estoclet led Utah with eight shots. Utah’s #1 line of Estoclet, Mitch Wahl (5) and Colin Vock (5) had 18 of Utah’s 40 shots. Utah outshot Alaska 40-35, playing three skaters short with nine forwards and four defensemen.
Game Day Blog Entry: February 15
02/15/2013 10:19 AM - Adrian Denny
The Grizzlies were assigned goaltender Adam Morrison by the Boston Bruins on Wednesday. He had been in South Carolina of the ECHL. Morrison was a third round draft pick of Philadelphia in 2009. He was 79-38-9 during his major junior career with Saskatoon and Vancouver. Last year he was 35-16-3 with a 2.75 goals-against-average and .901 save percentage in Vancouver under former Grizzlies Head Coach Don Hay (2001-2004). David Eddy was recalled to Abbotsford yesterday after tallying two goals and one assist in his last three games.
Game Day Blog Entry: February 13
02/13/2013 10:18 AM - Adrian Denny
Jimmy Martin leads Utah with two goals and three assists in five games against Las Vegas. This is the final visit of the year for Las Vegas to Utah. The two teams will meet March 23 and 24 at Orleans Arena on Utah’s final road trip of the season. The Wranglers enter the week winners of seven-straight and with the ECHL’s Goaltender of the Week and Player of the Week. Andrew Sarauer had five goals and five assists for 10 points in 4 games. Joe Fallon went 3-0 with a 1.95 goals-against-average and a .938 save percentage.
Game Day Blog Entry: February 10
02/10/2013 12:53 PM - Adrian Denny
Utah and Idaho complete four games in five nights, with Utah holding a 1-1-0-1 record against their closest regional rival. Over the last 48 hours, Utah and Idaho have each won a 5-4 game, with Utah winning 5-4 last night and Idaho winning 5-4 Friday in Boise. The two teams have combined for 29 goals over the last three games with Idaho winning 7-3 Wednesday to open the set. The power-plays, have scored 13 of the 29 goals in the series between two of the top four power-plays in the league. Utah has gone 8-21 on the power-play, Idaho has gone 7-19. Utah has scored in eight of nine periods, Idaho has scored in all nine periods of regulation. Mitch Wahl leads Utah with four goals and two assists, Brett Robinson leads Idaho with six assists. Adam Estoclet, (four assists), Bryan Cameron (two goals, two assists), Nick Tuzzolino (four assists), Colin Vock (one goal, two assists) and Ian Schultz (one goal, two assists) all have at least a point a game this week. Idaho has eight total players averaging a point-a-game or more. Idaho has had five one-goal leads this week and Utah has had two, that the opposition has countered to tie. The home team has won all three games and scored the first goal.
Game Day Blog Entry: February 9
02/09/2013 2:20 PM - Adrian Denny
The Grizzlies open a seven-game home stand tonight after going 3-2-1-1 on a seven-game road trip that ended last night in Idaho. Utah hosts the Steelheads again Sunday at 4 p.m., before starting five games in nine nights beginning Wednesday with Las Vegas. This is Utah’s first home game in 20 days. This is the 9th of 13 meetings between Utah and Idaho this year with Utah holding a 4-3-1-0 record against the Steelheads.
Game Day Blog Entry: February 8
02/08/2013 10:36 AM - Adrian Denny
A win tonight gives Utah a 4-2-0-1 road trip, and nine of 14 standings points against three of the top four teams in the west in Ontario, Idaho and Stockton over the last 15 days.
In three of the last four games after giving up six or more goals, Utah has given up one or less and won three of the four games.
One person in Boise told me after the game Wednesday that Utah rookie Berkley Scott may have been the best player on the ice for both sides. Scott had his first multiple-point game with Utah Wednesday with one goal and one assist and has two goals in his last three games.
Mitch Wahl is now the ECHL’s active leading scorer with Ontario’s Colton Yellow Horn loaned to the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs yesterday.
Wahl comes into tonight with a season-high nine-game scoring streak, which also ties him with Bryan Cameron for the team’s season-high scoring streak this season.
Game Day Blog Entry: February 6
02/06/2013 11:02 AM - Adrian Denny
While Colin Vock scored six goals last week, Mitch Wahl had six assists and assisted on five of Vock’s goals.
The Grizzlies have gotten some great performances on this 3-1-0-1 road trip. Wahl has three goals and eight assists in five games, Vock has seven goals and two assists and Tuzzolino has seven assists.
Utah tied a season-high with 53 shots in their last game against Idaho as the Grizzlies and Steelheads gear down for four games in five nights after seeing each other just twice over 35 games. Utah opened the season with four of seven games against the Steelheads.
Utah has outshot the opposition in nine of their last 12 games and by seven or more shots in seven of those games.
Game Day Blog Entry: February 2
02/02/2013 11:50 AM - Adrian Denny
Utah has scored four or more goals in all four games against Ontario this year. That’s a little out of character for the Reign who are fifth in the ECHL at allowing just 2.70 goals-per-game for the season.
Three of the four games this year between Utah and Ontario have gone past regulation, with the home team blowing leads of two goals or more in all three.
Last night’s shootout loss marked the first time in just over a year that Utah has battled back from a deficit of three goals or more to earn at least a standings point. They trailed 4-0 on January 30, 2012 against Idaho, before coming back for a 5-4 shootout win at Maverik Center.
Colin Vock became the first Utah player to have two or more hat tricks in a season last night since Ryan Kinasewich had three during the 2009-2010 season. Keith Johnson and Tyler Haskins each had two hat tricks during the 2007-2008 season as well.
Not surprising, but Utah leading scorer Mitch Wahl leads the way with three goals and six assists against Ontario this season, with multiple-point games in three of the four contests.
Utah is 1-1-1-1 against Ontario this season as they play the fifth and final game against the Reign tonight.
Game Day Blog Entry: February 1
02/01/2013 12:24 PM - Adrian Denny
Utah has led in all three games against Ontario this year by two goals as they stand at 1-1-1-0 against the Reign this year. In their last meeting here on January 4, Andrew Engelage left in the first period hurt with a 3-1 Utah lead and the Reign came back for a 6-4 win.
Ontario won 5-2 in San Francisco last night and arrived home at 5:30 a.m. while Utah arrived early yesterday and practiced at the arena here Thursday, while the Reign were up north preparing to take on the Reign.
Utah looks to improve on a 3-1 record in their last four road games and 6-5-0-1 in their last 12 road games overall.
Andrew Engelage has allowed two goals or less in four-straight starts.
The Grizzlies have outshot the opposition in eight out of their last ten games. They have had seven shots or more than the opposition in six of those eight games.