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Game Day Blog Entry: December 31, 2015

12/31/2015 12:37 PM - Adrian Denny

The Grizzlies come to Alaska after two losses in a row to Idaho; the same situation they were in coming up here in November before winning three-straight games.

While the Grizzlies were fighting off the Christmas Break rust Saturday and Monday after a week off, Alaska will be doing the same tonight; having not played in almost two weeks and since December 20.
 
Utah has won five-straight games in Alaska and is 6-1-2-0 in Anchorage over the last two seasons.
 
Matt Berry has six goals and three assists in six games against Alaska after scoring three goals in three games here in November. Charles Sarault had two goals and one assist and has three goals and five assists for eight points in six games against the Aces.
 
Ryan Faragher won ECHL Goaltender of the Week after winning all three games, allowing five goals and stopping 89-of-94 shots against the Aces here in November for a 1.66 goals-against-average and a .946 save percentage. Taran Kozun won all three games against Alaska three weeks ago in Utah with Faragher in the AHL.
 
Utah is over twenty percent at 5-for-23 (21.7-percent) on the power-play against Alaska after a 2-for-8 stretch here in November.  Utah is 12 for their last 13 and 13 for 15 overall against the Aces on the penalty-kill. The Grizzlies power-play is over 25-percent at 8-for-30 in the last eight games at 26.6-percent.
 
The Grizzlies lead Idaho by now just one point in the West Division, but the Grizzlies have FIVE games in hand on the Steelheads. To compare, Utah has a .607 winning percentage and Idaho is .500.
 
This is the Grizzlies last road trip until January 22-24 when they go to Toledo. Utah won’t play another West Division game on the road until January 27 after tonight and that’s the only division road game until a trip to Idaho February 13.
 
Shayne Taker has been called-up to San Diego where he joins Eric Knodel who got the call right after Christmas for the third time this season.
 
Roberts Lipsbergs has scored in eight of 11 games with Utah and has seven goals and three assists since being acquired in November.
 

Game Day Blog Entry: December 28, 2015

12/28/2015 9:20 AM - Adrian Denny

 The Situation
-The West Division leading Grizzlies host Idaho in the second half of a home and home series after losing in Boise Saturday night in the return from the Christmas Break.
-This is the eighth-straight week that the Grizzlies enter atop the West Division.
-Utah leads Colorado by four points and Idaho and Rapid City by five points in the West Division.
-Utah will go to Alaska for games Thursday, Friday and Saturday before returning home for a season-high seven-game home stand on Wednesday, January 6-through Monday, January 18.

Where We Stack Up
-The Grizzlies .630 winning percentage not only leads the West Division, but it’s second in the Western Conference behind Missouri (.870) and fifth in the 28-team ECHL overall behind Adirondack (.750), Florida (.700) and Toledo (.679).game road winning earlier this year.

Against Idaho
-The Grizzlies look to snap a four-game losing streak against Idaho and four of their only nine losses have come against the Steelheads.
-In Utah’s last two losses against Idaho they have been outscored 7-2 on special teams.
-Utah had scored first in six-straight games overall before Saturday.
-Utah is 5-2 in their last 7, Idaho is 5-0-0-1 in their last six.
 
Offense
-Utah now leads the ECHL with 3.44 goals-per-game and is fifth with 32.07 shots.
-Utah is eight for their last 27 on the power-play over the last six games.
-Utah has a three goal period in three of the last four games.
-Utah has nine multi-goal periods over the last seven games and carries a 5-2 record in that stretch.
-Utah has 24 multi-goal periods in the first 27 games.
-11 players have scored goals for the Grizzlies in the last four games in Alex Krushelnyski (3), Ryan Walters (2), Roberts Lipsbergs (2), Barry Almeida, Brent Gwidt, Jason Binkley, Matt Berry, Erik Higby, Jon Puskar and Phil Pietroniro.
 
Who’s Hot
-Alex Krushelnyski has eight goals and four assists for 12 points in his last 11 games.
-Roberts Lipsbergs has six goals and three assists for nine points in ten games since being acquired from Adirondack over Thanksgiving.
-Ryan Walters has five goals and three assists for eight points in his last seven contests.
-Charles Sarault has one goal and seven assists for eight points in his last eight contests.
-T.J. Syner has two goals and three assists for five points in the last five games.
 
Hot D-Men
-Shayne Taker has four assists in his last three games and five assists in his last six games.
-Corey Fienhage has five assists in his last seven games.
-Connor Hardowa has three assists in his last five games.
 

 

Game Day Blog Entry: December 26, 2015

12/26/2015 11:11 AM - Adrian Denny

The Grizzlies come out of Christmas Break at 5-1 in their last six games having scored four goals or more in five of those six and now in 15 of 26 games this season they have scored four goals or more. The Grizzlies have scored two goals or more in the first period in four of their last five games. They scored more than once in the first period just twice in the first twenty one games.

Utah’s six point lead on the rest of the West Division is the third largest in the ECHL coming out of Christmas. Missouri leads Allen by 12 points in the Central Division and Florida leads Atlanta by nine points in the South Division.
 
The day after Christmas usually sees teams against their closest regional rivals to minimize travel. While Utah opens a home and home with Idaho, Colorado does the same with Rapid City. With no one nearby, Alaska waits for the Grizzlies to arrive in Anchorage for Thursday, Friday and Saturday contests next week.
 
At 1-3 against the Steelheads, the 16-8-2-0 Grizzlies look to get back on track against Idaho. All three losses have come without Ryan Faragher in goal due to call-ups. Seven of
Utah’s eight Utah losses have come against three teams with three losses to Idaho, two to Allen, two to Rapid City and then one to Tulsa. Faragher stopped 47 of 48 shots for the Grizzlies in a 4-1 win here on October 30.
 
Rookie Josh MacDonald is possible to return in the next few games. He had four goals and three assists for seven points in 12 games before sustaining an injury against Rapid City on November 13 and missing the last 14 games.
 

Game Day Blog Entry: December 19, 2015

12/19/2015 1:39 AM - Adrian Denny

 The Situation

-The West Division leading Grizzlies host Colorado tonight to wrap up the weekend series in the finale before Christmas.
-Utah leads Rapid City by six points for first place in the West Division as the Rush lost 5-2 Friday in Alaska.
-Utah has the second best winning percentage in the Western Conference at .640.

Last Night
-The Grizzlies beat Colorado 4-0, outshooting the Eagles 33-21. 
-21 shots tied for the third fewest shots allowed this year.
-All Grizzlies goal scorers had five or fewer as Jason Binkley scored his first of the year, T.J. Syner scored his second of the year and Erik Higby’s fifth of the year.
-15 of Utah’s 16 skaters had at least one shot on goal.
 
Four Goals Or More
-The Grizzlies have now scored four goals or more in 14 of 25 games this year.
-Utah has scored four goals or more in three-straight games for the first time this year.
 
Back Home
.-The Grizzlies have two shutouts in their last four home games.
 
Faragher
-Goaltender Ryan Faragher returned to the Grizzlies last night after spending the last three weeks with Anaheim’s AHL affiliate in San Diego.
-Faragher is 10-1-1-0 with Utah with a 1.97 goals-against-average and a .932 save percentage. 
-He is 4-0 on the season against Colorado with a 1.72 goals-against-average and a .944 save percentage.
-Friday was Faragher’s first start with Utah since November 21.
-Faragher is fifth in the ECHL with a .932 save percentage and fourth with a .932 save percentage.
-He is tied for third in the ECHL with 10 wins.
 
Against Colorado
-Utah has scored four goals or more in all four games against the Eagles.
-Utah has outscored the Eagles 17-7 in four games.

Matt Berry
-With an assist Friday, Berry has now scored in 19 of 21 games with Utah and leads the team in scoring with 12 goals and 14 assists.
-He leads the team with seven multiple-point games and now has tied a season-high with a six-game scoring streak.
-Ryan Walters and Alex Krushelnyski, who had six-game scoring streaks earlier this season.
-Berry leads ECHL rookies with 12 goals and is third in rookie scoring with 26 points.
-Berry is eighth overall in the ECHL in scoring.
 

 

Game Day Blog Entry: December 18, 2015

12/18/2015 9:13 AM - Adrian Denny

The Situation

-The West Division leading Grizzlies return home for a weekend series against Colorado.
-Utah leads Rapid City by four points for first place in the West Division as the Rush open a series tonight in Alaska.

Back Home
-The Grizzlies are back at Maverik Center where they have won five-straight games and seven of their last eight contests.
-Utah is 7-4-1-0 at home and 7-4-1-0 on the road.

Back With The Grizz
-Goaltender Ryan Faragher has returned to the Grizzlies after spending the last three weeks with Anaheim’s AHL affiliate in San Diego.
-Faragher is 9-1-1-0 with Utah with a 2.15 goals-against-average and a .928 save percentage. 
-He is 3-0 on the season against Colorado with a 2.28 goals-against-average and a .933 save percentage.
-Tonight is Faragher’s first start with Utah since November 21.
 
Against Colorado
-Utah has scored four goals or more in all three games against the Eagles.
-Utah has outscored the Eagles 13-7 in four games.
-Overall, Utah has won four-straight games against Colorado, all in Loveland.
-Utah is 3-11 on the  power-play against Colorado this season and 6-6 on the penalty-kill over the last two games.
-The Eagles are making their first trip to Utah since December 28 of last year.
 
Good Starts
-Utah has outscored the opposition 8-2 in the first periods the last three games and scored at least two first period goals in that stretch.
-Utah is 10-2 when scoring first and 9-0 against everyone but Idaho when scoring first.
 
Krushelnyski 
-Alex Krushelnyski has seven goals and four assists for eleven points in his last seven contests.
 
Matt Berry
-With two goals Wednesday, Matt Berry has now scored in 18 of 20 games with Utah and leads the team in scoring with 12 goals and 13 assists.
-He leads the team with seven multiple-point games and has a five-game scoring streak entering tonight.
-A point tonight ties him with Ryan Walters and Alex Krushelnyski, who had three-game scoring streaks earlier this season.
 
On Pace
-With a record of 14-8-2-0 and a winning percentage of .625, the Grizzlies are currently on pace to win 42 games this season exactly one-third of the way through the season.
-Utah was 4-3-1-0 the first eight games, 5-2-1-0 the middle eight games and 5-3 in the last eight games.
Offense
-Utah now leads the ECHL with 3.37 goals-per-game and is fifth with 32.78 shots.
-Utah is four for their last 11 on the power-play over the last three games.
-Utah has a four goal period three times in the last eight games.
-Utah has nine multi-goal periods over the last eight games and carries a 5-3 record in that stretch.
-Utah has 20 multi-goal periods in the first 24 games
 

Game Day Blog Entry: December 16, 2015

12/16/2015 11:30 AM - Adrian Denny
The Grizzlies are 11-4-1-0 since a 2-1 loss to Idaho on November 2 while the Steelheads have gone 5-11-3-0 since then. 
 
The Grizzlies return home to host Colorado Friday and Saturday as they lead Rapid City by four points for first place. The Rush make their first ever trip to Anchorage this week for games Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
 
Utah was the last Western Conference opponent to play the Steelheads in Boise in a 4-1 win on October 30 as Idaho has since hosted Atlanta and Florida.
 
In the small sample of three games between Utah and Idaho, the road team has won every game, with Utah winning 4-1 here on October 30 and Idaho winning 3-1 in Utah on October 31 and 2-1 at Maverik Center November 2.
 
Utah is 4-0 on Wednesday nights this year. Idaho is 2-4 on Wednesday nights. The Grizzlies are also 7-1-1-0 on the road in the West Division.
 
Alex Krushelnyski has six goals and three assists for nine points in his last six games. 
 

Game Day Blog Entry: December 12, 2015

12/12/2015 1:14 AM - Adrian Denny

The Situation
-The Grizzlies enter tonight looking for their second three-game sweep of Alaska of the season after winning three-straight in Anchorage November 4-7 and the first two games of this series Wednesday and Friday.
-Utah continues to hold a two-point lead in the West Division over Rapid City after the Rush beat Quad City 5-2 Friday night.
-The Grizzlies are in Idaho Wednesday and back home Friday and Saturday against Colorado.

First Two Games
-Aggregate scoring is 8-2 Utah after Wednesday’s 5-0 win.
-Taran Kozun has stopped 54 of 56 shots after stopping the first 43 shots from Alaska over the first 99:26 of the series.
-Charles Sarault has one goal and four assists and now leads Utah with six multiple-point games.
-Ryan Walters has two goals and two assists.
-Utah has drawn 10 of the 17 power-plays and scored the first goal in each night.
-Utah went two for four on the power-play Friday after going 0-6 on Wednesday.
 
More Twos
-Utah scored two power-play goals in a game Friday for the third time this year and the second time in six games.
-Utah scored two goals in a first period Friday for the third time this year and the second time in four home games.
-Utah has not allowed a first period goal in two-straight games for the first time this year.
-Utah has allowed two goals or less in all five games against Alaska.
 
Against Alaska
-Utah has now beaten Alaska in nine-straight games, all in regulation and they are 5-0 against the Aces this year.
-Utah’s last chance to sweep Alaska in three games at Maverik Center was January 31-February, 2008, but the Aces won 4-2 after Utah beat them 6-3 and 9-5 to open the series.
-Utah is 4-18 on the power-play and 11-12 on the penalty-kill over their first five wins.
-Utah has outscored the Aces 12-2 in the third periods.
-Scoring is 4-2 Utah in the first and 3-3 in the second.
-Sarault leads all scorers in the series with three goals and five assists for eight points in five games.
-Eric Knodel has one goal and five assists for six points in seven games.
-Utah goaltending has allowed just seven goals in five games and stopped 143 of 150 shots.
 
First Goals, First Period
-The Grizzlies have scored first in six of their last eight home games and in three of five games against Alaska and three of the last four.

Kozun At Maverik Center
-Taran Kozun is now 3-0 at Maverik Center having stopped 88 of 93 shots for a .946 save percentage and a 1.67 goals-against-average.
-The Grizzlies have put up 15 combined goals in Kozun’s two starts.
 
Alex Krushelnyski
 
-Alex Krushelnyski has scored in five-straight games and has five goals and four assists in that stretch. -He has ten goals and ten assists for 20 points in 22 games.
-A six-game scoring streak for Krushelnyski ties him with Ryan Walters for the team lead after Walters scored in Utah’s first six games from October 16-October 31.
 
Matt Berry
-With one assist Friday, rookie Matt Berry has now scored in 16 of 18 games this season and has nine goals and eleven assists for 20 points.

Knodel Leading Off
-Grizzlies defenseman Eric Knodel has scored four goals and added three assists in the last six games. -All four goals have been the Grizzlies first goal of the contest.
-Knodel has scored five times in the last six games.
 

Game Day Blog Entry: December 11, 2015

12/10/2015 5:14 PM - Adrian Denny

The Situation

-The Grizzlies enter tonight two points above Rapid City for first place in the West Division after opening the three-game series with Alaska with a  5-0 win on Wednesday.

Firsts and Fives
-Wednesday’s game was Utah’s largest margin of victory on the season.
-It was Utah’s first shutout of the season.
-It was the first professional shutout for goaltender Taran Kozun in his third professional start.
-Five players recorded multiple-point performances in Ryan Walters (two goals, one assist), Matt Berry (two assists), Charles Sarault (one goal, two assists), Alex Krushelnyski (one goal, one assist) and Eric Knodel (two assists).
-Utah is 5-0-1-0 when Charles Sarault scores a goal this year.
-Eric Knodel had a Utah season-high with a plus-five, which is one off of the all-time team high of a plus-six recorded by Milan Tichy on January 6, 1995 against Houston.
-Barry Almeida had eight shots on goal, which tied a Utah season-high at home.
 
First Goals
-The Grizzlies have scored first in five of their last seven home games.
 
Fridays
-Utah is 3-1 at home on Fridays and 5-2 overall for TGIF.
 
Kozun At Maverik Center
-Taran Kozun is now 2-0 at Maverik Center having stopped 60 of 63 shots for a .952 save percentage and a 1.50 goals-against-average.
-The Grizzlies have put up 12 combined goals in Kozun’s two starts.

Back Home
-The Grizzlies are back at Maverik Center where they have won five of their last six games. 
-Utah has recorded 33 or more shots in nine-straight home games and has scored four or more goals in six of their last nine home games.
-Utah has a four goal third period in two of the last three home games.
Back With The Grizz
-Defenseman Shayne Taker was returned to Utah by Anaheim’s AHL affiliate in San Diego on Monday after being called-up on November 23.
 
Shots/Shot Differential
-Utah has outshot the opposition 77-44 in the last two games.
-Utah has allowed 29 shots of fewer in 12 of the last 13 games.
 

Game Day Blog Entry: December 9, 2015

12/09/2015 9:00 AM - Adrian Denny

 Back With The Grizz

-Defenseman Shayne Taker was returned to Utah by Anaheim’s AHL affiliate in San Diego on Monday after being called-up on November 23.
 
The Matchup
-Utah beat Alaska 4-2 November 4, 4-1 November 6 and 3-2 November 7.
-Utah went 2-8 on the power-play and 4-5 on the penalty-kill over three wins in Alaska in November.
-Utah outscored the Aces 7-1 in the third periods.
-Scoring was 2-2 in the first and 2-2 in the second.
-Utah outshot Alaska 37-26 in the first periods.
-Matt Berry had three goals in the series, Ryan Misiak had one goal and three assists and Charles Sarault had one goal and two assists.
 
Power-Plays
Over the last seven games, the Grizzlies have drawn 32 power-plays to their opponent’s 12.
The Grizzlies have drawn 18 more power-plays than their opposition this year at 73 to 55. Only Missouri (plus-21, 88-67) and Adirondack (plus-21, 79-58) have drawn more power-plays than their opposition than Utah. All three teams are in first place in their divisions.
 

Game Day Blog Entry: December 5, 2015

12/05/2015 10:40 AM - Adrian Denny

The Grizzlies play Allen for the fifth time already this season already. Through 20 games, they have seen the Americans more than any other team. The first four games have been played at Maverik Center and Utah is 2-1-1-0 after last weekend’s two wins where the Grizzlies outscored the Americans 11-5. Utah has put up four goals or more in three-straight games against Allen.

This is Utah’s first trip to Texas since 2004-2005 as their originally scheduled trip to Beaumont to play the Texas Wildcatters was cancelled after Hurricane Rita in 2005.

Allen beat Rapid City 3-1 last night, which keeps the Grizzlies lead at two points on the Rush for first place in the West Division.

The two teams remain neck and neck in the Western Conference standings with Allen 13-8 with 26 points and a .619 winning percentage. Utah is 11-6-2-0 with a .632 winning percentage and 24 points.

Allen is trying to win two in a row for the first time since November 10-13, while Utah is trying to avoid just their second two-game losing streak all season after dropping two games to Idaho October 31-November 2.

Alex Krushelnyski has a goal in three-straight games and three goals and two assists for five points in the last three games.

While it is the fifth game against Allen, it will be the first time the Americans see the same goalie twice against the Grizzlies. Entering tonight, Utah has started four different goalies in four games and Allen has not seen 9-1-1-0 Ryan Faragher either.
 

Game Day Blog Entry: December 3, 2015

12/03/2015 9:04 AM - Adrian Denny

Ryan Walters has returned to the Grizzlies after playing one game with Anaheim’s AHL affiliate in San Diego. He has five goals and ten assists for fifteen points in 16 games with Utah this season.

 
ECHL Player of the Week Bryan Moore has been recalled to San Diego after another successful weekend with Utah.
This is the first meeting of a Utah hockey team with Tulsa since the 1983-1984 season when the Salt Lake Golden Eagles played the Oilers in the final season of the original Central Hockey League.
 
Tulsa played Rapid City at home last night and lost 4-2 to the Rush allowing two empty-net goals. Grizzlies Head Coach Tim Branham was at the game and got a first look at Tulsa as second place Rapid City gained two points on first place idle Utah in the process.
 
Tulsa and the Grizzlies are ranked fourth and fifth in the 28-team ECHL in attendance.
 
Tulsa is one of five ECHL teams who has not allowed a shorthanded goal this year while Utah is tied for the league lead with six.
 
The Oilers are coached by former Grizzlies Head Coach Jason Christie (2005-2008) who had been with Ontario the previous four seasons; so there is definite familiarity with his teams. The Oilers enter tonight at 7-9-1-1, while Utah comes in at 11-5-2-0. 
 
Both teams have a common blowout win against a rare elite opponent. Tulsa beat Allen 6-1 on November 21, while Utah beat the Americans 7-3 on Friday.
 

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