Game Day Blog Entry: January 31
01/31/2015 5:31 PM - Adrian Denny
At 7-1-1-0 in their last ten games, the Grizzlies join Colorado (8-1-0-1) and Toledo (7-1-1-1) as the only three of 28 ECHL teams with just one regulation loss in their last ten games.
The Grizzlies have two free points on the line tonight with Bakersfield not playing and a chance to take a seven-point lead on the Condors for fourth place in the Pacific Division. However, Alaska has now won three games in a row and trails Utah by seven points despite blowing a 4-0 third period lead last night against Colorado and winning 5-4 in a shootout.
The Grizzlies look to win their fifth-straight road game tonight and run their road unbeaten streak to six-straight at 6-0-1-0. Utah is 5-1-2-0 in their last eight road games. They also look to hand Stockton their 12th-straight loss overall.
With four assists last night, Michael Pelech moved into a tie for fifth in the ECHL in scoring with 21 goals and 25 assists for 46 points in 43 games. He once again leads the Pacific Division in scoring.
Ryan Hayes returns to Stockton where he played parts of the last three seasons, including leading the Thunder in playoff scoring the last two seasons as they advanced to the Kelly Cup Finals in 2013. Hayes has three goals and five assists for eight points in six games with Utah.
The Grizzlies have outscored the opposition 8-1 at even-strength the last two games with Bakersfield scoring two of their three goals on the power-play last night.
Game Day Blog Entry: January 30
01/30/2015 12:39 PM - Adrian Denny
Bakersfield lost 2-1 at home to Ontario Tuesday as the Grizzlies have been off since the two teams met Saturday in Utah. With the loss, the Grizzlies picked up a game in hand in the standings on the Condors who failed to gain any ground on the Grizzlies in the game as Utah still holds the three point lead for fourth entering tonight.
The Grizzlies are 16 for their last 16 on the penalty-kill over the last three games and have gone three games without allowing a power-play goal for the third time this year and for the first time since November 14-19 when they went four-straight games. Utah also went three-straight games without allowing a power-play goal October 22-24.
Igor Bobkov stopped 26 of 27 shots in his first start of 2015 on Saturday as the Grizzlies beat Bakersfield 2-1. Last year Bobkov caught fire after the first of the year going 14-4-0-1 from January-April.
Utah looks to finish January 8-3-1-1 with a win tonight after a 9-2-2-2 January last year.
Utah leading scorer Michael Pelech is an even or better in six-straight games which is a season-high.
Mathieu Aubin and Pelech had their team leading ninth and tenth multiple-point games of the year Saturday. The Grizzlies are a combined 16-7-3-2 when Pelech and Aubin score goals.
Game Day Blog Entry: January 24
01/24/2015 9:49 AM - Adrian Denny
-The Grizzlies return to Maverik Center where they are unbeaten in nine of their last 12 games at 8-3-0-1.
-The Grizzlies host Bakersfield tonight and then meet Bakersfield again Friday in California.
-Utah is 3-2-1-0 in six games against the Condors this year, five of the games have been played in Bakersfield.
-The road team has won four of the last five contests.
-Utah had a seven-game unbeaten streak snapped last night at 5-0-1-1 and lost for the first time since January 7.
-Utah is 7-3-2-1 in their last 13 games and they have leapt over Bakersfield and Alaska in the standings and into the fourth playoff spot.
-Utah leads the Condors by two points in the Pacific and Alaska by ten.
-TJ Syner returned to the Utah lineup for the first time since November 19 last night and scored a goal in his return after missing 26-straight games
When Do We Play Bakersfield Again?
-Newly acquired Grizzlies forward Ryan Hayes 10 games against Bakersfield with Stockton before being acquired on January 16 and had two goals and five assists for seven points.
-He has four assists for Utah in three games against Bakersfield.
-So far 13 of his 41 games this year have been against Bakersfield and four of the Grizzlies next six games are also against the Condors.
-Utah is 6-3-1-1 in January after going 9-2-2-2 last year in January.
Game Day Blog Entry: January 23
01/23/2015 10:15 AM - Adrian Denny
-The Grizzlies return to Maverik Center where they are unbeaten in nine of their last 11 games and welcome in Bakersfield for the Condors first visit since last year’s playoffs.
-The Grizzlies host Bakersfield tonight and tomorrow before heading back to California next week.
-The Grizzlies host the Condors after playing the first five games of the season series in California and going 3-1-1-0.
-The Grizzlies return from the All-Star Break Friday with a seven-game unbeaten streak at 5-0-1-1 since January 9.
-Utah is 7-2-2-1 in their last 12 games and they have leapt over Bakersfield and Alaska in the standings and into the fourth playoff spot.
-Utah leads the Condors by four points in the Pacific and Alaska by ten.
-After being on the road for six of the last seven weekend series, the Grizzlies will finish the year with eight of the final ten weekends at home.
-The Grizzlies will play 18 of the final 32 games this year at home.
-Goaltender Igor Bobkov was returned to the Grizzlies during the break by the Anaheim Ducks.
-The team has also signed defenseman Ray Macias, 2005 draft pick of Colorado who has appeared in seven NHL games.
-He played for Head Coach/General Manager Tim Branham in Reading in 2011-2012.
-He has appeared in 178 AHL games with Lake Erie, Springfield and Toronto and 51 ECHL games with Reading and Johnstown.
-Grizzlies rookie Alex Krushelnyski was named the Grizzlies representative at the ECHL All-Star game in Orlando Wednesday and scored a goal as the ECHL beat Orlando 8-4.
-He also won the Fastest Skater Competition and finished with the 3rd best time in ECHL History.
-Krushelnyski is 9th in the ECHL in rookie scoring with eight goals and 19 assists for 27 points in 31 games.
-He has been held without a point in two-straight games for only the second time this year.
Game Day Blog Entry: January 19
01/19/2015 9:47 AM - Adrian Denny
-The Grizzlies return home after going 3-0-1-0 through Boise and California last week in a four-game in five-night stretch to run their unbeaten streak to a season-high six games at 5-0-1-0.
-The Grizzlies are 7-2-2-0 in their last 11 contests as they once again begin to roll after Christmas.
-The Grizzlies host Ontario in one of two home day games on the year tonight before the All-Star break and returning home Friday and Saturday to host Bakersfield.
-Utah has scored the game’s first goal in five of the six games during their current unbeaten streak.
Maverik Center Debuts Today
-Ryan Hayes, Corey Fienhage, Brandon Yip and Steve MacIntyre will all make their home debuts today after joining the Grizzlies on their just completed road trip.
-Fienhage was acquired from Michael Colavecchia last week and scored an empty-net goal against his former team to seal the Grizzlies 5-2 win in Bakersfield Friday as the Condors looked to tie late.
-Fienhage and Hayes both finished tied for the team lead with Jacob Johnston with plus-threes in their first week with Utah.
-Ryan Hayes had two assists both Friday and Saturday after being acquired from Stockton Friday morning for Vinny Scarsella.
-With 174 games of NHL experience with Colorado, Nashville and Phoenix, Brandon Yip tallied one goal and two assists in his Grizzlies debuts Friday and Saturday after being assigned from Anaheim’s AHL affiliate Norfolk Thursday.
-Steve MacIntyre with 91 games of NHL experience and nearly 700 pro games overall made his Grizzlies debut Saturday after being assigned by the Ducks AHL affiliate in Norfolk.
Grizzlies Versus Ontario
-The Grizzlies and Reign have played four one-goal games to start their season series as they meet for the sixth time today and the fourth at Maverik Center.
-Utah took two of three from Ontario at Maverik Center November 14-17 and fell 2-1 to Ontario in California December 12.
-Last year three of the four games between the two teams were decided by a goal with two going to shootouts.
-Maverik Center has once again become one of the toughest buildings in the league to play in with Utah now having won eight of their last 10 games at home.
-With Igor Bobkov, in the AHL with the Anaheim Ducks, AHL affiliate in Norfolk, rookie Ducks prospect Ryan Faragher has taken over and improved his record to 10-6-2-0 on the season.
-During the Grizzlies six-game unbeaten streak, Faragher is also 5-0-1-0 with a 2.11 goals-against-average and a .929 save percentage.
-Faragher has allowed two goals or less in 12 of 18 starts this year, including five of the last six games during the six-game unbeaten streak.
-Faragher has allowed only nine five-on-five goals in the last six games, the other five have been scored on the power-play.
-Michael Pelech has a seven-game scoring streak (three goals, six assists) and continues to average a point-a-game with 18 goals and 21 assists for 39 points in 39 games.
-He is tied for sixth in the ECHL in scoring and is tied with Brock Nixon of Colorado for the Pacific Division lead in scoring.
-He had a season-high eight-game scoring streak November 22-December 10 with three goals and eight assists.
-After being assembled Friday following the transactions. the line of Barry Almeida (three goals, one assist), Ryan Hayes (four assists) and Brandon Yip (one goal, two assists) has combined to score four goals and dish out seven assists.
The 3rd Line
-Led by Danick Paquette with two goals, four assists and four fights in his last eight games, the Grizzlies line of Paquette, Johnnie Searfoss and Cam Wojtala has been productive as well.
-Wojtala is fifth on Utah in scoring with three goals and eight assists for 11 points in 18 games since December 10.
-Johnnie Searfoss has two multiple-point games in the last six.
-Grizzlies rookie Alex Krushelnyski was named an ECHL All-Star Thursday for Wednesday’s event in Orlando.
-Krushelnyski is tied for 10th in the ECHL in rookie scoring with eight goals and 18 assists for 26 points in 30 games.
-He has been held without a point in two-straight games for only the second time this year.
-The Grizzlies have two power-play goals in three of their last six games during the unbeaten streak and are 7-24 during that stretch converting at 29.1-percent.
-Utah had previously not had two power-play goals in a game since November 14.
-After entering business on December 29 10 points out of a playoff spot, the Grizzlies have gone 7-2-2-0 and gained 13 points on Bakersfield in the standings to take sole possession of fourth place in the Pacific Division.
-Not only is Utah currently firmly entrenched into a playoff position for the first time this year, they only trail Colorado and Ontario by eight points for second and third place in the standings and Idaho by ten points in the standings.
Game Day Blog Entry: January 17
01/17/2015 1:01 PM - Adrian Denny
The Grizzlies look for seven of a possible eight points on this four game in five night road trip tonight as they enter tonight in sole possession of fourth place in the Pacific Division for the first time this year, which currently has them in playoff position. Utah is 4-0-0-1 since last Wednesday’s frustrating 5-3 loss to the Aces at home.
Meanwhile, Alaska has gone 0-3-1-0 since that game.
Steve Macintyre, assigned by the Anaheim Ducks AHL affiliate in Norfolk, will wear number 74 for tonight only and then switch to number 33.
The Grizzlies have scored five or more goals in three of four games in Bakersfield and in the four games this year that they have scored five or more goals, three of them have been played against the Condors.
Utah has gotten off to some really good starts this year at Rabobank Arena. They have led 2-0 after one period in two of their last three games and have scored eight goals in four first periods this season here.
The Condors though have been known for their late rallies all year in the ECHL. They have scored seven third period goals in four games against Utah, but the Grizzlies have managed to still go 2-1-1-0 against Bakersfield this season with all four games so far being played at Rabobank Arena.
Last night was a rare night where Mathieu Aubin, Michael Pelech and Alex Krushelnyski didn’t score a goal, but the line of Barry Almeida, Brandon Yip and Ryan Hayes got the Grizzlies first two scores, before Danick Paquette, Johnnie Searfoss and Cam Wojtala made it 3-0 in the second period.
Ryan Faragher made a season-high 36 saves last night including 16 in the first period and nine-straight to finish the game after the Condors made it 3-2 in the third.
Game Day Blog Entry: January 16
01/16/2015 12:40 PM - Adrian Denny
Ryan Hayes, acquired from Stockton, made the 4 hour drive to Bakersfield to join the Grizzlies in time for morning skate, he will wear number eleven. While Tim Branham has pointed out Hayes’ scoring ability in big games and in the playoffs, this morning on “Monty in the Morning” on 1320 KFAN he also detailed what a great locker room guy he is for his teammates.
Brandon Yip, assigned by Norfolk and a veteran of 174 NHL games, flew into Bakersfield last night and will wear number 13 for the Grizzlies. Both newcomers will be in action tonight.
The Grizzlies have played their two highest scoring games of the season in three games against Bakersfield as the two teams meet for the fourth time on the regular season tonight. Bakersfield beat Utah 6-5 in overtime on November 29 in a game that saw seven goals in the first period. On December 13, Utah held on for the 6-4 win against the Condors.
Tonight is the first of four games over the next nine nights between the Grizzlies and Condors who will meet again tomorrow in Bakersfield and host the Condors next Friday and Saturday. Tonight starts seven of their next ten games against Bakersfield over the next three weeks and four weekends.
Utah (16-15-4-2) and Bakersfield (17-16-1-4) are separated by just a point in the standings with Utah holding a game in hand for the final playoff spot in the Pacific Division so it is a huge stretch. Alaska has lost three-straight to drop six points behind the Grizzlies.
Michael Pelech has moved into seventh in the ECHL in scoring with 18 goals and 19 assists for 37 points in 37 games. Pelech enters tonight with a five-game scoring streak with three goals and four assists.
Mathieu Aubin has two goals each in two of three games against Bakersfield this year.
In three of the last four games, the Grizzlies have 32 shots or more and have allowed 27 shots or less.
Game Day Blog Entry: January 14
01/14/2015 10:51 AM - Adrian Denny
12 of the last 18 games between the Grizzlies and Steelheads have been decided by a goal, including three of four this year; with the last two going past regulation.
In the last two games, the home teams have each come back from 2-0 deficits to win past regulation.
The Grizzlies are on their sixth three-game unbeaten streak of the year as they look for their first four-game unbeaten streak of the year.
Camden Wojtala has two goals and eight assists for ten points in the last 15 games and ten of his eleven points this year have come since December 10.
Danick Paquette, Wojtala, Jacob Johnston and Alex Krushelnyski each have three game scoring streaks as Mathieu Aubin and Michael Pelech each have four-game scoring streaks.
Ryan Faragher has stopped 72 of 78 shots for a .923 save percentage during the team’s three-game unbeaten streak at 2-0-1-0. Two of the six goals have been scored on the power-play.
With a one for three last night on the power-play, the Grizzlies improved to 4 for 10 in Boise this year and 5 for 12 in the last three games.
Game Day Blog Entry: January 13
01/13/2015 10:52 AM - Adrian Denny
Corey Finehage acquired from Bakersfield Saturday night, arrived in Utah Sunday and practiced with the team Monday before leaving for Boise. He will be in the lineup tonight and wear number 7.
The Grizzlies are starting a stretch of five of their next nine road games in Idaho over three trips between now and February 14 tonight.
The two teams have only meant three times this season, once in Boise on October 18 as the Grizzlies beat Idaho 3-2 after losing 3-1 the night before at Maverik Center. Utah battled back from an early 2-0 deficit on December 1 to win 4-3 in a shootout.
Of the seven goals, the Grizzlies have allowed to Idaho in three games, four have come in the first 4:44 of the game.
Ryan Faragher will make his sixth-straight start tonight which is a team season-high as the Grizzlies go for their third-straight win for the first time this year.
Game Day Blog Entry: January 10
01/10/2015 9:47 AM - Adrian Denny
Inside Last Night
-7 goals in the 7-2 win last night was the most the Grizzlies have scored since November 30, 2012 in a 7-3 win over San Francisco.
-It was the first time since November 14 that the Grizzlies have scored two power-play goals in a game.
-33 was the sixth most shots they’ve had in a game this year.
-It marked the fifth and sixth times this season the Grizzlies have scored three goals in a period.
-Kevin Lind’s hat trick was Utah’s first since December 28 against Colorado when David Vallorani had three goals.
-Mike Folkes had a season-high plus-four.
-12 of the Grizzlies 16 skaters scored and six had multiple-point games, with Connor Hardowa joining Kevin Lind with three points on two goals and one assist.
-It was the eighth time in 12 starts that Ryan Faragher has allowed two goals or less in a start.
A Shootout And 2 Blowouts
-Utah and Stockton played to a 3-2 Thunder win in a shootout in their first meeting on November 7.
-The Thunder then beat Utah 6-1 in Stockton on November 28, before the Grizzlies countered with a 7-2 win last night.
-The two teams will meet again three weeks from tonight in Stockton.
Barry Almeida has seven shots in three of five games since coming back from injury December 31.
Utah beat Stockton 6-4 last year on Star Wars Night on January 11, 2014.
Game Day Blog Entry: January 9
01/09/2015 9:44 AM - Adrian Denny
The Grizzlies host Stockton for the first of five meetings at Maverik Center tonight and tomorrow.
Having only played two road games (0-1-0-1) Stockton is the only team that the Grizzlies haven’t beat this year and not including Bakersfield is the only team the Grizzlies haven’t defeated at least twice.
The Grizzlies look to a strong finish to the home stand before leaving again for four games in five nights next week in Idaho and Bakersfield.
Utah is 22-12-2 all-time at home against the Thunder and went 2-0-0-1 last year.
Wednesday was the first time in the last five games that the Grizzlies have allowed a first period goal.
Utah is 4-0 at home on one day rest.
Barry Almeida has four goals in four games since returning from nine games injured from December 6-29. -He had three goals and 12 assists for 15 points in 20 games at the time of his injury.
Last year, the Grizzlies were 17-3 when Danick Paquette scored a goal, this year they are 1-1 as he has battled injuries.
Game Day Blog Entry: January 7
01/07/2015 9:54 AM - Adrian Denny
Defenseman Connor Hardowa has returned to the team from the AHL’s Texas Stars where he played five games after being loaned to Dallas’ AHL affiliate on December 4. He was an even or better in seven of the last eight games before his call-up and had one goal and two assists for three points in his last four games with Utah.
Channing Boe, who hasn’t been able to buy a break so far this season has been placed on 21-Day IR after previously missing 16-straight games October 31-December 6.
Igor Bobkov has been recalled by Anaheim and assigned back to Norfolk. The Grizzlies have Ryan Faragher and Daniel Spence, who was signed in December, but has yet to appear in a game to handle goaltending this week. Faragher has allowed two goals or less in seven of his 11 starts and stopped 60 of 65 shots last week in Alaska.
Utah had scored three or more goals in six-straight, eight of ten and eleven of fifteen games before Saturday.
Utah had played six-straight one-goal games before Saturday and 22 of 32 games overall have been decided by a goal.
The Grizzlies are 7-0-2-1 Monday-Wednesday this year and 15-1-2-2 Monday-Wednesday at home the last two seasons. Taking it a step further, Utah is 15-0-1-2 on midweek night games the last two years.
Game Day Blog Entry: January 3
01/03/2015 12:40 PM - Adrian Denny
A win tonight gives the Grizzlies their best trip to Alaska ever in a three-game series with five of six points. Their previous best was four of six points and taking two of three wins December 28-31, 2007.
A win tonight also gives the Grizzlies a four-game unbeaten streak for the first time this season as they have a three-game unbeaten streak for the fifth time this year.
Ryan Faragher who stopped 31 of 33 shots last night in the win has allowed two goals or less in seven of his ten starts this year.
Against Alaska, the Grizzlies who rank last in the ECHL in shots on goal per-game just want to shoot the puck as it has gone in against the Aces.
Through three games, the Grizzlies have 10 goals on 76 shots for a 13.1-percent shooting accuracy. Against the rest of the ECHL, they are shooting 10.3-percent on 75 of 725 shots.
Barry Almeida has 14 shots and three goals in two games this week in Alaska after returning from nine games injured.
Alex Krushelnyski is now a point-a-game player with eight goals and 14 assists for 22 points in 22 games after two goals and one assist last night and five goals and seven assists for 12 points in his last six games. Michael Pelech also continues to straddle point-a-game range with 15 goals and 15 assists for 30 points in 31 games. Their linemate Mathieu Aubin isn’t far off with 11 goals and 15 assists for 26 points in 31 games after finishing tied for third in the ECHL in scoring in December with eight goals and ten assists for 18 points in 13 games.
Krushelnyski became the fifth Grizzlies player this year to have two goals in a game last night joining Michael Pelech who has three, Mathieu Aubin who has two, Brent Gwidt and Barry Almeida.
Krushelnyski also had three points; the fifth time a Grizzlies player has done that since December 3. The previous four were recorded Michael Pelech and Mathieu Aubin.
Game Day Blog Entry: January 2
01/02/2015 12:54 PM - Adrian Denny
The Grizzlies with three standings points in their last two games and three points in two games overall against Alaska this year look to run their unbeaten streak to three with a win tonight.
15 shots in the third period Wednesday was the most the Grizzlies have recorded in a final period this year. It also gave Utah 33 shots and their highest shot total in the last nine games. It was also the sixth time this year the Grizzlies gave up 22 shots or less.
The Grizzlies haven’t allowed a first period goal in two-straight games for the third time all year and look to make it three-straight games for the first time this season tonight. Utah had previously given up a first period goal in 13 of the last 14 games.
Jacob Johnston had a season-high nine shots on goal Wednesday night surpassing his previous season high of seven. Barry Almeida had a season-high seven shots and two goals in his return to the lineup Wednesday after missing nine-straight games injured.
Barry Almeida (two goals, four assists), Mathieu Aubin (one goal, five assists) and Alex Krushelnyski (three goals, six assists) all enter tonight with five-game scoring streaks.
The Grizzlies have scored three goals or more in six of their last seven games and eight of their last ten games.
Rookie Camden Wojtala now has one goal and five assists for six points and a team leading plus-five in his last seven games. His five assists are second on the team behind Mathieu Aubin and Alex Krushelnyski.