Game Day Blog Entry: April 30, 2016
04/30/2016 7:35 AM - Adrian Denny
The Grizzlies will look to split the first two games in Fort Wayne going back to Utah, just like they did in Colorado. After the first 3:23 last night, Utah outscored the Komets 4-3 and 2-1 5-on-5.
Utah now has three of the top nine and four of the top 14 leading scorers in the playoffs. Charlie Sarault (six goals, three assists), Barry Almeida (three goals, six assists) and Ryan Hayes (three goals, six assists) all have nine points in seven games and Matt Berry (four goals, four assists) has eight points.
Sarault is third in the ECHL playoffs in shooting percentage with six goals on 18 shots for a 33-perent shooting percentage.
Ryan Hayes leads the ECHL with a five-game assist streak and three goals and six assists during that stretch.
Last night was a rare instance where the Grizzlies scored four goals or more and didn’t win, but the second time it’s happened in the playoffs. Utah was 27-1-2-0 during the regular
season when scoring four or more. The Grizzlies also scored two power-play goals and lost, which marked only the third time including the regular season and playoffs that they didn’t win as they dropped to 8-3 there.
Utah has outscored the opposition 22-13 in the final two periods of regulation. Last night they outscored Fort Wayne 3-2 in that stretch.
The Grizzlies have given up a power-play goal in the first seven games of the playoffs which ties a season-high from the regular season when they gave up at least one in each game from December 26-January 8 and going 2-5 in that stretch. Utah has managed to win in spite of the penalty kill in the playoffs at 4-2-0-1.
Here’s that note again. The Grizzlies haven’t lost back to back games on the road in one city all season.
There have been at least nine combined goals in four of Utah’s seven playoff games and they have scored four or more goals in four of seven.
In all three playoff losses, the Grizzlies have given up three goals in less than 2:49 as happened last night in the first 3:23 of the game to quickly build a 3-0 deficit. Nine of the 24 goals (37-percent) the Grizzlies have given up in 463 minutes of playoff action have come in a 6:19 stretch (1.36-percent of the series).
Game Day Blog Entry: April 29, 2016
04/29/2016 9:08 AM - Adrian Denny
Utah (39-27-3-3) and Fort Wayne (40-27-3-2) were separated by one win during the regular season. Though Utah’s schedule was tougher as they played in only division in league where three of the five teams had 38 wins or more. Fort Wayne played in only division where four of the five teams had 81 points or fewer.
While this is the Grizzlies first game in Fort Wayne since 1999, several of their players have played here as opponents and Mike Ratchuk was a member of the Komets in 2010-2011. Jon Puskar made his professional debut here on March 14, 2014 with Florida. Barry Almeida, Ryan Hayes, T.J. Syner and Shayne Taker have also played in this building as an opponent.
The Grizzlies played nine games against Fort Wayne goaltender Pat Nagle when he was with Idaho two seasons ago. Nagle went 5-3-0-1 with a 2.50 goals-against-average and a .920 save percentage against Utah that season.
Cincinnati was not able to muster a whole lot of offense against Fort Wayne as Nagle made 23 saves or fewer in four of the seven games. Two of the three games that he made more than 23 shots went to double overtime, so through 60 minutes Nagle made less than 23 saves in five of seven contests.
Game Day Blog Entry: April 26, 2016
04/26/2016 10:57 AM - Adrian Denny
The Grizzlies look to advance to the second round for a second-straight year by defeating the West Division Champion in six games.
A win tonight or tomorrow would make Utah 3-0 as a six seed against a three seed since 2008.
Colorado went to Ontario last year with a 3-2 series lead and lost the series 4 games to 3. This year, they will look to do the opposite to Utah, while the Grizzlies tonight will look to avoid just the second game seven in their 22 season team history.
Utah was unable to win three-straight games against Colorado for the second time this year on Sunday. They won five-straight from October 16-December 19. Colorado has won no more than two-straight games against Utah this season and only once did that happen in games January 27 and March 11.
Four of Colorado’s 12 non-wins at home this year have come against Utah.
If Utah wins tonight, they will have to wait until tomorrow night to see who they will meet in the second round as Fort Wayne forced a game 7 with a home win over Cincinnati in overtime last night scoring a five-on-three power-play goal.
Colorado has scored 6 of their 16 goals in this series in a 3:30 stretch of the 300 minutes played so far. That’s 37.5-percent of the goals in a 1.1-pecent span of the series. They scored three goals in 90 seconds in game 2 to make a 1-0 deficit a 3-1 lead. Sunday they scored two goals late in the second period to make a 2-0 deficit a 3-2 lead.
Game Day Blog Entry: April 24, 2016
04/24/2016 6:49 AM - Adrian Denny
The Series So Far
In Elimination Games
-The Grizzlies are 5-0 in elimination games going back to 2008.
-Utah has ended three series at series at Maverik Center in that stretch beating Victoria in 2008 (8-3), Las Vegas in 2010 (5-1) and Idaho (3-0) in 2015.
-Utah eliminated Fresno in California in 2008 with a 4-2 win and in Stockton 5-2 on 2011.
-If Utah doesn’t win today, game six will be Tuesday in Colorado, with a potential game seven Wednesday.
The Winner of This Series
-The winner of this series opens the second round in either Fort Wayne or Cincinnati Friday and Saturday.
-Cincinnati currently leads that series 3-2 with game six Monday in Fort Wayne after the two teams split a pair of double overtime games Friday or Saturday.
In Utah/Game 4
-Utah has not trailed since the series moved to Maverik Center.
-A 5 goal defeat tied Utah’s largest playoff margin of victory this season (December 9 5-0 over Alaska) and their largest margin of victory in a playoff game since 2011, a 5-0 win in Stockton when they beat the Thunder in game five to close the series.
-It marked the fifth time this season that Utah had scored four goals in a period.
-Saturday marked the third time the Grizzlies have scored three power-play goals against Colorado this season.
-It marked the first time the Grizzlies have scored three power-play goals in a playoff game since April 13 and 14, 2008 in Fresno when they went 3-6 and 3-10.
Game Day Blog Entry: April 23, 2016
04/23/2016 6:22 AM - Adrian Denny
The Series So Far
Game Day Blog Entry: April 21, 2016
04/21/2016 7:57 AM - Adrian Denny
After taking a game in Colorado last week and returning to Utah with home ice advantage, the Grizzlies can’t have a false sense of security. From ECHL Director of Communications Joe Babik, ECHL road teams are 17-9 in the playoffs and have outscored the opposition 87-66.
All four home teams who won game one on the road lost last night, including Cincinnati who lost 8-0 to Fort Wayne.
Here’s the weekend preview from a Colorado standpoint, though do note the mistake, and don’t be alarmed; our ice is not Olympic Sized.
-Utah went 4-1 at home versus Colorado during the regular season.
-Utah is 7-0 when tied or ahead against Colorado after one period this year.
-Colorado is 4-0-1-0 when leading Utah after one period this year.
-Utah has held Colorado to nine or fewer shots in the first six periods of regulation in the series after allowing 24 shots Thursday and 18 on Sunday through 60 minutes.
-Utah has outscored Colorado 3-1 in the second periods this series and outscored Colorado
-Utah outscored Colorado 12-2 in the second periods during their 7 wins of the regular season.
Pro Playoff Games
Game Day Blog Entry: April 17, 2016
04/17/2016 10:18 AM - Adrian Denny
The last time the Grizzlies went up 2-0 in a series on the road it was also a 3/6 matchup as they won two games in Fresno to start the first round in 2008. Game 2 went to triple overtime on April 14, 2008. Colorado has only fallen behind 2-0 in a series once in the last four years of playing in the ECHL. Two of the three wins to even a series came in overtime.
This is the first time in five years in the ECHL that they have opened a series at home. In the seven other ECHL road series South Carolina, Adirondack and Cincinnati have taken 2-0 series leads on the road with Adirondack being a six seed and Cincinnati a seven seed.
Utah and the Eagles have played three-straight one-goal games after playing eight-straight contests that were decided by two or more goals. This stretch comes after Colorado beat Utah 6-2 on March 11 and Utah countered the next night with a 5-2 win. Couple those 120 minutes and aggregate scoring the last five games is 15-14 Utah.
The Grizzlies have won five-straight first round playoff games that have been decided in regulation going back to last year’s series with Idaho. Utah is 6-2 in their last eight first round playoff games that have been decided in regulation going back to 2014. Six of the Grizzlies last eight first round playoff losses going back to 2013 have been decided in overtime.
Utah has outscored Colorado 14-3 in the second period in their eight wins this year against the Eagles after Thursday’s 2-1 first period.
The Grizzlies have now scored a power-play goal in 13 of their last 16 games after Thursday’s 1-1 effort.
T.J. Syner has a five-game scoring streak coming into tonight with seven assists. Syner and Barry Almeida lead Utah each with 17 points in the last 16 games going back to March 5.
Syner has six goals and 11 assists. Almeida has 10 goals and 7 assists. Barry Almeida has scored in nine of the Grizzlies last 12 games with nine goals and six assists in that stretch; which includes five multiple-point games.
The Grizzlies have six total players with 13 or more points since March 5 which spans 15-16 games played. Bryan Moore has seven goals and nine assists for 16 points in 15 games, Alex Krushelnyski has four goals and 10 assists for 14 points in 16 games, Charlie Sarault has four goals and ten assists in 15 games and Ryan Hayes has eight goals and five assists for 13 points in 15 games. Marc Cantin leads Utah with a plus-nine in the last 16 games with one goal and three assists. Utah is 9-5-1-1 in the 16 game stretch.
Bryan Moore has recorded multiple-points in four of his last five games with four goals and four assists after picking up a goal and an assist on Thursday.
Mark Owuya is 4-1 in April, 5-1 in his last six starts and 6-2 in his last eight starts for the Grizzlies. In April, he has a 2.21 Goals-Against-Average and a .921 Save Percentage. Since March 12, he has a 2.00 Goals-Against-Average and a .934 save percentage. In the 6-2 stretch since March 7, he has a 2.51 Goals-Against-Average and a .916 Save Percentage.
Kyle Kraemer (two goals) and Tyler Fiddler (two assists) were involved in both Colorado goals on Thursday.
Game Day Blog Entry: April 14, 2016
04/14/2016 10:55 AM - Adrian Denny
The ECHL has instituted a two referee system for all playoff games which the Grizzlies feel will be a benefit for them to have a second set of eyes on the action with all of their speed and skill. Utah drew the second most power-plays in the league and had 36 more power-plays than their opposition during the regular season. Only Missouri drew more power-plays than the Grizzlies. Only Allen (58), Fort Wayne (53) and Missouri (53) scored more power-play goals during the regular season than the Grizzlies who had 52.
The Grizzlies open the playoffs here after starting the regular season with back-to-back wins over the Eagles in Colorado on October 16 (4-3 OTW) and 17 (5-2 W).
This is Utah’s first ever playoff meeting with Colorado. Utah has previously faced Alaska (2), Fresno (1), Victoria (2), Las Vegas (3), Idaho (2), Stockton (1) and Ontario (2) since joining the ECHL in 2005.
Colorado has faced Stockton (1), Idaho (2) and Ontario (1) as they look to win a first round series for the first time since joining the ECHL in 2011.
Colorado didn’t have any of the five goaltenders who played against Utah above a .907 save percentage in the season series. Mark Owuya had a .976 save percentage in one game against Colorado and Ryan Faragher had a .910 save percentage.
During the regular season, Ryan Faragher (24-13-2-2) had a .917 save percentage and Mark Owuya (8-6-0-1) had a .916. Kris Lazaruk (13-6-2-1) led Colorado with a .917 save percentage and Clarke Saunders (14-5-0-0) had a .897 save percentage.
The Grizzlies look to win the first game of a playoff series for the first time since 2011 when they beat Stockton at home. Colorado won in Ontario (4-2) last year in game one for their only game one playoff victory in four ECHL seasons, but lost the series in seven games.
Idaho at Allen is the only other playoff game tonight in the ECHL. Utah, Colorado and Idaho all finished within two points of each other and it went down to the final night of the year to see who would play Allen and who would open playoffs within West Division.
Game Day Blog Entry: April 9, 2016
04/09/2016 10:12 AM - Adrian Denny
This game tonight means absolutely nothing to the Grizzlies as far as the standings go, however they will still be keeping a close eye on Fort Wayne/Indy, Idaho/Missouri and Alaska/Colorado as they wait for their first round playoff opponent. It is one of six of the 14 games tonight in the ECHL that don’t matter in the standings. It is the second-straight season that the Grizzlies close a season with nothing to gain or lose in the standings after finishing out last season with a 5-2 win in Colorado.
If Idaho wins and Fort Wayne loses in regulation, the Grizzlies will play Fort Wayne.
If Idaho wins and Fort Wayne collects at least a point at home tonight against Indy, the Grizzlies will play Idaho.
If Colorado wins and Idaho loses in regulation, the Grizzlies will play Colorado.
Utah has gone unbeaten in their final game of the regular season in eight-straight seasons and hold a 7-0-0-1 mark during the last game of the year since 2008.
Utah has scored two or more power-play goals in two of the last four road games after only doing it the first game of the season before that and over the first 31 road games.
It marked the fifth time in the last six road losses that the Grizzlies have given up at least the same amount of goals in the first period that they have scored in the entire game. Getting off to a good start has been the only issue for this team all season.
A win tonight gives Utah their most wins since 2001-2002 when they won 40 games. A win tonight also moves Utah to 12 games above .500, which would be their second highest total since 1999-2000.
A win tonight gives the Grizzlies winning season series against three of the four opponents in the West Division.
27 goals by Barry Almeida is the most in a season by a Utah player since Colin Vock had 29 in 2012-2013.
Matt Berry was recalled after the game last night to Anaheim’s AHL affiliate in San Diego.
Game Day Blog Entry: April 8, 2016
04/08/2016 10:16 AM - Adrian Denny
Going into the final weekend of the regular season, the following needs to happen for Utah to clinch the division.
Utah needs to win both games in Rapid City.
Idaho can go no better than 1-1 against Missouri.
Alaska has to beat Colorado twice, one of which will need to be in regulation.
At 6-3-0-1, Utah has the third best record in the Western Conference in the last ten games behind only Colorado (8-1-1-0) and Quad City (7-3).
Utah has outscored the opposition 28-19 during this current 6-2-0-1 stretch. Grizzlies goaltenders have allowed one goal or fewer in four of the nine games and two goals or less in three of the last four games.
Utah and Rapid City combined for 120 penalty minutes in their last game on February 15 as the Grizzlies won 5-1 to drop the Rush to 18-26-2-2. Rapid City is 11-8-1-2 since that game after Mark Desantis replaced Joe Ferras as Head Coach.
Mark Owuya stopped 36 of 37 in his only other start against Rapid City on January 29 in a 4-1 Utah win. He is 4-1 in his last five starts with a 2.21 goals-against-average and a .930 save percentage. He has stopped 147 of 158 shots in that stretch.
Charlie Sarault enters the final weekend tied for 8th in the ECHL in scoring with 19 goals and 42 assists for 61 points in 65 games.
Game Day Blog Entry: April 2, 2016
04/02/2016 6:57 AM - Adrian Denny
Game Day Blog Entry: April 1, 2016
04/01/2016 7:43 AM - Adrian Denny
-The Grizzlies magic number for officially clinching their ninth-straight playoff berth is 3 and could happen tonight with a win and a Quad City win over Tulsa.
-Utah’s next win ties last year’s mark of 37, their next win after that matches 2013-2014 and if they get to 39 wins with three more wins, that is their highest total since 2001-2002 when they won 40 games.
-The Grizzlies have at least 21 wins at home for the third-straight season and it’s the seventh time since 2000-2001 that the Grizzlies have won 21 or more games at home.
-2 more wins by Utah this weekend, ties their total from 2013-2014, which was their highest total at home since 1998-1999.
-9 home losses is the second fewest since 1996-97 when they also lost nine, they lost six at home in 2013-2014. The six losses in 2013-2014 was the fewest since the team moved to Utah in 1995-96.
The Grizzlies have scored the game’s first goal in six of the last seven contests and in four-straight games at home to improve to 27-5-0-2 and 17-1-0-2 when scoring first.
-The Grizzlies are 4-2-0-1 since suffering a 6-2 loss at home to Colorado on March 12.
-Barry Almeida leads Utah with three goals and five assists in that stretch.
-Ryan Faragher has been recalled to Anaheim’s AHL affiliate in San Diego for the fourth time this season.
-The Grizzlies are 8-1 against Alaska this year and 14-3-2-0 against the Aces the last two seasons.
-Utah is 12-1 in their last 13 games against the Aces, all 13 games have been decided in regulation.
-The Grizzlies have outscored Alaska 33-16 this year and 12-4 at home.
-Utah is 6-38 on the power-play against Alaska and 3-15 at home.
-Utah is 20-27 on penalty-kill against Alaska and 9-10 at home.
-Utah has four active players averaging a point a game or more against Alaska in Matt Berry (eight goals, five assists in nine games), Charlie Sarault (four goals, eight assists in eight games), Alex Krushelnyski (three goals, seven assists) and Eric Knodel (one goal, seven assists in eight games).
-Utah has allowed just 75 shots in the last four games and 10 or fewer shots through 40 minutes in three of their last four games; including allowing just seven shots against Idaho on Wednesday through two periods.
-Utah has allowed 20 shots or fewer in three of their last four games.