Summer Blog Entry: April 26
04/26/2013 9:36 AM - Adrian Denny
Putting together the 2013-2014 team, I don’t really think anything changes for Head Coach Kevin Colley in terms of recruiting. For a team that has started and finished as the hottest in the ECHL each of the last two years, there is no doubt about the teams on the ice when they are not playing short and battling injuries. The goal for 2013-2014? Hope the string of bad luck on health ends, and the chance to play with the team that was recruited for the season; without the rash of injuries from the last two years.
Here is a behind the scenes shot of Head Coach Kevin Colley and the newly promoted Ian Greenwald from Thursday as they shot a scene for the 2013-2014 Recruiting Video. The video will be used as a resource for players that the Grizzlies are talking to this summer. We will post it on online at its completion so you can view it. And as I alluded to, we will announce Ian’s added role with the team coming up. He served as Kevin’s Assistant in Hockey Operations/Video this past season.
Earlier this week on Facebook, we asked you who you’d be rooting for in the two Western Conference semifinal playoff series. Entering my ninth season in the ECHL and dealing with every team (east and west) both on and off the ice, for me it’s more of a matter of who I am rooting against in most ECHL playoff series. Some coaches lack tact and sportsmanship behind the bench and that is a definite factor in rooting against them. Other teams are hassles to deal with in off-ice situations from an operations standpoint. Some teams are headaches both on and off the ice. That being said, who am I rooting against? Not going to tell you that, but I will tell you there are also remaining teams I like; with coaches that I respect who are also great to deal with. In addition, there are some teams remaining with some great professionals on their staffs who are fantastic to work with throughout the seasons.
Playoff Game Day Blog Entry: April 5
04/06/2013 9:13 AM - Adrian Denny
Shane Owen stopped the first 34 shots last night and 36 of 38 overall. Owen has allowed three one five-on-five goals in this series. Going back to last Friday and his last five games, Owen has stopped 125 of 136 shots for a .919 save percentage. Owen returned to action last Friday after having not played since February 24 due to injury.
Playoff Game Day Blog Entry: April 4
04/05/2013 9:43 AM - Adrian Denny
Shane Owen stopped 30 of 32 shots Tuesday in relief of Ben Meisner and only allowed one five-on-five goal on Wednesday, before Ontario scored two power-play goals and Owen was relieved by Meisner. Owen has allowed only one five-on-five goal in this series.
Playoff Game Day Blog Entry: April 3
04/03/2013 11:00 AM - Adrian Denny
The Grizzlies need more shots tonight, Ontario goaltender J.F. Berube had a save percentage of only .894 and was really only tested on the power-play situations last night, in which he did come up big. 40 shots for Ontario last night was also a little much, as Utah couldn’t get the puck out of their own end, especially early. Ontario is successful because they outwork teams to win. With Utah’s talent, if they outwork or even equal Ontario’s work ethic in this series, they shouldn’t have any issues.
The solace last night was that the Grizzlies came out flat or for some reason were caught off guard by the tenacious Reign. Even so, after falling behind 3-0, the game was 3-2 for 14:02 in the second period and 4-2 for most of the third and while doing nothing effective, Utah was still in the game. The Grizzlies have too many stars for that stuff to be happening, but everyone has an off night and the Reign, who have never won a playoff series, despite winning three division championships, came out with a big chip on their shoulders.
Nine of Utah’s 18 players made their professional playoff debuts last night. 15 of Utah’s 18 players entered the night with five games of pro playoff experience or less. With only Riley Armstrong (18), Nick Tuzzolino (23) and Tommy Maxwell (18) being Utah’s playoff veterans.
Playoff Game Day Blog Entry: April 2
04/02/2013 10:42 AM - Adrian Denny
For the second-straight year, the Grizzlies have a quick turnaround and open the playoffs on the first day on the ECHL schedule, while most teams wait as late as Friday to open. Utah did get an extra day this year after opening on Monday last year. It marks the fourth-straight year that the Grizzlies have opened on a Monday or Tuesday after finishing the season on a Saturday.
Three of Utah’s last four series wins going back to 2008, have been against a three seed or better as the Grizzlies tonight open against the second seeded and Pacific Division Champion in Ontario.
Five of Utah’s six playoff series wins since winning the Turner Cup in 1996 and all five since 1998 have come since 2008.
This is one of two Western Conference playoff series with a Head Coach taking on his former Assistant who is now a Head Coach with Ontario’s Jason Christie going against Utah’s Kevin Colley for the first time. It also marks the first time that Matt Thomas in Stockton will take on his former Assistant Coach of four years in Ryan Mougenel with Las Vegas.