Game Day Blog Entry: January 31, 2018
01/31/2018 11:37 AM - Adrian Denny
-The Grizzlies have added forward Todd Skirving from Orlando after adding Nate Mitton last week and being assigned Mitch Hults from Anaheim.
-Skirving had five goals and four assists for nine points in 19 games with Orlando, including five goals and two assists in his first ten games of the season.
-He was fifth in the NCAA in face-off win percentage last year at the Rochester Institute of Technology where he won over 60-percent of his draws.
-Utah outshot Tulsa 33-15 Saturday and 64-39 on the weekend.
-15 shots allowed by Utah was the fewest they have allowed since allowing 16 twice November 14, 2015 and March 23, 2016 against Rapid City and Tulsa.
-The team that has scored first has not won four-straight games involving the Grizzlies with Utah winning their last two games when the opposition scores first.
-Utah beat Idaho in two games in December when the Steelheads scored first each night on December 29 and 30.
-The team that has not scored first has won three of the last four between Utah and Idaho after the team that scored first won the first five contests of the season.
-Utah has lost two-straight games when scoring first after previously starting the season 9-3-2-0.
-Jon Puskar has scored Utah’s first goal in two-straight games and in three of the last five games.
-Chris Leibinger has scored in three-straight games.
-Cliff Watson, Taylor Richart and James Melindy have all had three-game scoring streaks this year, but no Utah defenseman has had a four-game scoring streak.
-Utah drew 11 of 15 power-plays against Tulsa last week.
-Utah has only gone shorthanded more than three times once in the last nine games and it was four times January 20 at Rapid City.
Game Day Blog Entry: January 27, 2018
01/27/2018 3:45 PM - Adrian Denny
-Utah looks to make it two of three in the series over Tulsa with the two teams once again separated by one point in the standings.
-The team that has scored first in the previous two games has lost after being unable to hold 1-0 leads.
-Aggregate scoring is 13-12 Utah in four games.
-All-time, Utah is 6-1-0-1 against Tulsa at Maverik Center and 9-5-1-1 overall.
-Utah is 5-2-2-0 against the former Central Hockey League members in the Mountain Division this season in Allen, Tulsa and Wichita.
-Ryan Walters leads Utah with six assists in four games against Tulsa, Brendan Harms has three goals and three assists.
Last Three Games
-Utah has won two of the last three games and both wins have come by three goals as Utah has outscored the opposition 5-1 in the third periods after a 5-2 win Friday and a 6-3 win in Rapid City Sunday.
-Utah is 6-22 (27.2-percent) on the power-play against Tulsa this year.
-Utah has at least two power-play goals against Tulsa in two of five games and at least two power-play goals in four of the last ten games.
-3-6 on the power-play for Utah Friday was the first time they have gotten three power-play goals since a 3-4 effort against Alaska on March 1.
-Utah is now 18-18 on the penalty-kill against the Oilers.
-Utah hasn’t allowed a power-play goal in five of the last seven games.
-Utah is 12-37 (32.4-percent) on the power-play since January 7.
-Utah is 18-20 (90.0-percent) on the penalty-kill over the last six games.
-Utah has three shorthanded goals in their last seven games, Tulsa leads the ECHL with ten and has two against Utah in three games.
Maguire At Home
-Sean Maguire has stopped 60 of 64 shots in his first two starts at Maverik Center for a .937 Save Percentage and a 2.00 Goals-Against-Average.
-He stopped 22 of 24 last night after turning aside 38 of 40 on Wednesday.
-Maguire is 2-1-1-0 with Utah, 10-6-1-0 overall this season as he makes his sixth-straight start Saturday.
-Brad Navin has one goal and two assists in his last four games.
-Brendan Harms has two goals and three assists in his last three games.
Game Day Blog Entry: January 26, 2018
01/26/2018 3:48 PM - Adrian Denny
-Utah is 4-0-1-0 in their last five Friday games.
-The Anaheim Ducks today assigned forward Mitch Hults to Utah.
-He had six goals and nine assists for 15 points in 30 games with Anaheim’s AHL affiliate in San Diego.
-He was signed to a two-year NHL Contract by Anaheim last spring after two years at Lake Superior State University where he was last year’s leading scorer with 11 goals and 23 assists for 34 points in 36 games.
-The Grizzlies have also signed Nate Mitton from the SPHL’s Birmingham Bulls after he attended training camp with Utah.
-He had eight goals and eight assists for 16 points in 31 games with Birmingham.
Could Go Either Way
-Four of Utah’s last five games have been tied going to the third period with the Grizzlies holding a 1-2-1-0 record in those contests.
-In the last 17 games, Utah has scored four goals or more nine times, one goal or fewer five times and three goals or more 12 times.
-In their last nine home games, Utah has scored five or more five times and one goal four times.
-Utah led 1-0 for 12 minutes and 10 seconds, Tulsa led for 12 minutes and 56 seconds with the game being tied for 34 minutes and 54 seconds.
-38 saves by Sean Maguire was the second most made by a Grizzlies goaltender this year.
-The contest saw three fights with Cliff Watson fighting Kale Kessy, Travis Howe fighting Kessy and Mike McKee.
-The two games in Tulsa saw just one fight with James Melindy fighting Mike McKee on November 4.
-Howe is on the border of being in the top five in the ECHL in fighting majors with ten and three in the last two games.
-Arizona Coyotes prospect Sean Maguire stopped 38 of 40 shots on Wednesday marking the 8th time in 17 starts that he has turned aside at least 36 shots this season.
-A .950 save percentage Wednesday was his third best this season.
-Maguire has allowed three goals or less in regulation in three of his four starts with Utah.
Game Day Blog Entry: January 24, 2018
01/24/2018 2:10 PM - Adrian Denny
You Get One You Get Two
-Utah is 3-1 coming off of the first win of a streak going back to December 15.
-They look to make it 4-1 tonight after Sunday’s 6-3 win in Rapid City.
6-3 January 21
-Utah beat Rapid City 6-3 exactly a year after being Alaska 6-3 on January 21, 2017.
-Last year’s 6-3 win over Alaska started a seven-game winning streak
-The Grizzlies and Tulsa enter the week separated by one point in the Mountain Division.
-Utah and Tulsa went to overtime in two games November 3 and 4 in Oklahoma with each team winning one game and collecting three of four points.
-This week will mark the final three games of the regular season between the two teams.
-All-time, Utah is 5-0-0-1 against Tulsa at Maverik Center and 8-4-1-1 overall.
-Utah is 4-1-2-0 against the former Central Hockey League members in the Mountain Division this season in Allen, Tulsa and Wichita.
-Ryan Walters leads Utah with five assists in two games against Tulsa, Brendan Harms had two goals and one assist.
-Taylor Richart (one goal, one assist), Kyle Thomas (one goal, one assist) also had two points in two games.
-Arizona Coyotes prospect Sean Maguire will make his Maverik Center debut tonight after going 1-0-1 in Rapid City last weekend.
-He is 9-5-1-0 on the season in the ECHL.
-Rookie Austin Ortega has six goals and six assists for 12 points in nine games with Utah.
-He has scored in four-straight games and had two goals and one assist Sunday in Rapid City.
-Eight of his 12 points have come on the power-play with four goals and four assists.
-Utah joins Cincinnati and Greenville with three players on the roster averaging at least a point-per-game. Only Allen and Fort Wayne have more with four.
-Ryan Walters 16 goals and 19 assists for 35 points in 32 games, Kyle Thomas has nine goals and 20 assists for 29 points in 28 games and Austin Ortega has six goals and six assists for 12 points in 9 games.
-Utah went 3-13 on the power-play in Tulsa and 13-13 on the penalty-kill in November.
-Utah is 9-28 (32.1-percent) on the power-play since January 7.
-Utah is 13-15 (86.6-percent) on the penalty-kill over the last five games.
-Utah has three shorthanded goals in their last five games, Tulsa leads the ECHL with nine.
Shots For, Shots Against
-Utah has 37 shots or more in six of their last ten games.
-Utah has allowed 28 shots or less in seven of their last nine games.
-Utah is eighth in the 27-team ECHL averaging 34.42 shots-per-game and is seventh in shots allowed at 30.29 shots-per-game.
-Tulsa leads the ECHL in shots-per-game at 38.27 shots-per-game, but average 33.50 shots-per-game on the road.
-Taylor Richart enters the week with a three-game scoring streak on one goal and two assists.
-James Melindy has a three-game scoring streak with one goal and two assists.
-Ryan Walters has multiple-points in four of the last seven games after one goal and three assists Sunday in Rapid City.
-All-Star Cliff Watson has one goal and five assists in six games since rejoining Utah from the Vancouver Canucks AHL affiliate in Utica.
-Jon Puskar has nine goals and four assists in last 13 games.
Gama Day Blog Entry: January 21, 2018
01/21/2018 12:42 PM - Adrian Denny
The Grizzlies are going for three of six points on the road against a team all of a sudden playing some of the best hockey in the ECHL.
Utah has outshot Rapid City 105-50 this weekend with a 49-22 edge Friday and a 56-28 edge last night.
56 shots last night was the second most in the ECHL this season with Idaho having 59 in October. 56 shots was four off of the all-time team high December 4, 2007 against Phoenix.
Utah has 15 shots or more in five of the six periods this week and two periods of 23 shots or more.
Utah has outshot Rapid City 47-22 in the first periods this week, 33-29 in the second period and 60-27 in the third periods.
Despite a disappointing week so far, with more adjusting on the fly, the Grizzlies are still hanging in there. They can still gain three points on Allen this weekend with a win and the Americans fourth loss in a row if Fort Wayne helps out Utah for a second-straight night. That would get the Grizzlies within six points of a playoff spot and gain five points on the Americans in the last ten days. Utah also can pull into fifth place today with a Colorado win over Tulsa.
Game Day Blog Entry: January 20, 2018
01/20/2018 11:04 AM - Adrian Denny
26 shots in the third period last night was the most since Utah tied an all-time high with a 28 shot second period in a 5-1 win over Ontario on March 5, 2011. They also had a 28 shot period
March 14, 2004 at home against Cleveland. So the 26 shot third period last night is the most that they have ever had during a period on a road game.
After last night’s 49-22 shot effort, Utah has now outshot Rapid City 234-167 this season which is a plus-67 shot differential. Brendan Harms led Utah with a season-high eight shots last night, Kyle Thomas had seven, Ryan Walters had six, Austin Ortega had five. Travis Howe was Utah’s only skater without an official shot and he had two near misses in front that went just wide.
It was the most shots for Utah since they had 54 against Missouri on April 7 of last year. Utah has 37 or more shots in five of the last eight games.
Grizzlies special teams are really clicking. They are 8 for their last 21 on the power-play, 10 for their last 11 on the penalty-kill and have two shorthanded goals in the last three games. Austin Ortega has factored in on seven of Utah’s last eight power-play goals with four goals and three assists.
Utah finds themselves two points ahead of last year’s pace and three points ahead of last year’s pace in terms of standings position for the playoffs. On game 40 last year Utah began a seven game winning streak and a stretch where they won nine of ten.
Game Day Blog Entry: January 19, 2018
01/19/2018 10:44 AM - Adrian Denny
Colorado, Idaho and Utah are the only three of seven Mountain Division teams with five wins or more in their last ten games.
Tonight starts a stretch of six of Utah’s next 12 games that will be played in Rapid City.
James Melindy will return to the lineup tonight after missing the last three games injured. Utah will also have Cliff Watson back as he was at the ECHL All-Star Classic on Monday when Utah played Rapid City. This is the first time this year that Utah has had both Melindy and Watson in the lineup against Rapid City.
Watson had one goal, three assists and scored the game-winning goal in the shootout in the Classic to lead defensemen in scoring. Only two forwards in Taylor Cammarata of South Carolina (five goals, two assists) and Grant Besse of Norfolk (one goal, four assists) had more points.
In six games, Austin Ortega is already tied for second on the team in power-play goals for the season with three, one behind Michael Pelech. Ryan Walters also has three power-play goals.
The Grizzlies didn’t see new goaltender Sean Maguire last year when he was in Wheeling and they played there December 1 and 2.
This is the longest that Utah has gone since 2011-2012 with the same two goalies having been on the roster for the first 38 games as Sean Maguire joins the team tonight, assigned by Arizona Wednesday. Utah had the same two goalies for the first 45 games in 2011-2012 in Andrew Engelage and Shane Owen before Jimmy Spratt was acquired.
Game Day Blog Entry: January 15, 2018
01/15/2018 9:49 AM - Adrian Denny
At All-Star Game
-Rookie defensemen Cliff Watson, who tallied three assists in two games in Wichita, is not with the team today as he participated earlier today in the ECHL All-Star Classic in Indianapolis.
-Watson will rejoin the Grizzlies for Friday’s game in Rapid City after spending December 4-January 8 with the Vancouver Canucks organization.
-Utah is 4-2-1-1 over holiday matinees and 2-0-1-1 on Martin Luther King Day the last four seasons under Tim Branham.
-Utah beat Rapid City 5-1 on President’s Day 2016 as current Grizzlies captain Ryan Walters had two goals in that game.
-Utah has killed five-straight penalties after a stretch that saw the opposition scored on seven of the last eleven power-plays over a four-game stretch.
-Brendan Harms is an even or better in eleven-straight games played.
-Sam Windle is an even or better in 12 of his last 13 games played.
-Zach Saar is an even or better in ten of his last eleven games played.
-Jon Puskar has scored in four-straight games which ties his longest with Utah. He’s had a four-game scoring streak each of the last two seasons.
-Erik Higby has scored in three of the last four games for the second time in the last 12 games.
Injuries All of A Sudden
-In the last week, Charley Graaskamp (January 7), James Melindy (January 10) and Michael Pelech (January 13) have all sustained injuries.
-Before that, Utah had no players unable to participate due to injuries.
Game Day Blog Entry: January 13, 2018
01/13/2018 10:46 AM - Adrian Denny
Utah has 44 goals in their last 11 games for an average of four goals per-game during that stretch, which would lead the ECHL if it was done over the course of 72 games. Colorado and Fort Wayne lead the ECHL for the season with an average of 3.86 goals-per-game. The Grizzlies are also averaging 34.36 shots during that stretch.
Utah is eighth in the 27-team ECHL with a plus-70 shot differential entering tonight which starts the 37th game of the season.
Utah has 42 or more shots in two of the last three games and 38 shots through two periods last night was the most that they have recorded through 40 minutes this year.
The Grizzlies have outshot the opposition now in a season-high four-straight games.
The Grizzlies are 5-13 (30.7-percent) on the power-play over the last three games and scored their first five-on-three power-play goal last night. Austin Ortega has factored in on four-if the last five Utah power-play goals with two goals and two assists.
Ryan Misiak and Taylor Richart were the only two Grizzlies to play in all 36 games during the first half.
Four-straight games in Wichita have been tied at one with Wichita scoring the first goal in three of the first four games before Utah has then tied the contest up.
Game Day Blog Entry: January 12, 2018
01/12/2018 10:09 AM - Adrian Denny
Utah’s 3 for 8 on the power-play is the best two-game stretch of the year. The penalty-kill has only gone five-for-nine however the last two games.
Utah is looking to get things back and going in January where they are 34-14-4-3 the last four seasons in January under Tim Branham.
The Grizzlies have ten or more shots in 13-straight periods. The previous season-high was seven-straight periods with ten or more shots on goal.
Utah is 4-1 this year on the road on one day’s rest.
Jon Puskar has six goals and one assist for seven points in the last seven games. Six goals in seven games is his second best stretch of goal scoring with Utah. He had six goals in five games January 14-25 last year, including a hat trick against Wichita. He’s been injured over Utah’s last two trips to Wichita so a hat trick January 25, 2017 was the only game he’s played against the Thunder.
Mitch Jones will be back in the lineup tonight after having one goal, one assist and tallying a plus-three in the Grizzlies game here on November 6, his first career game against Wichita. Zach Saar also had one goal and one assist in that game.
Game Day Blog Entry: January 10, 2018
01/10/2018 10:17 AM - Adrian Denny
The Grizzlies are tied for the most home games in the league at 21 as they begin a stretch of 13 of their next 18 and 17 of their next 25 games on the road through March 4.
Don't figure to have two happy teams tonight. While Utah was losing two at home to Rapid City, Allen lost their third and fourth-straight games at 6-3 and 5-0 in Boise over the weekend.
ECHL All-Star Cliff Watson has rejoined the Grizzlies and will be in the lineup tonight at Allen. He was tied for second on the team with six goals and had 14 points in 21 games at the time of his promotion.
In the last five days, the Grizzlies have added Cliff Watson and James Melindy along with Austin Ortega from the AHL. Watson and Melindy will be back on the same defensive pairing, which was pretty good when they were together earlier this year. After getting settled with the Grizzlies the last few days, you can probably expect Ortega to really start putting the puck in the net.
Michael Pelech will play in his 200th career regular season game with Utah tonight. Current Allen American Mathieu Aubin played in 201 career regular season games with Utah. Current Visiting Assistant Coach Ryan Kinasewich leads Utah players in the ECHL with 238 games played. Gord Dineen is the all-time team Grizzlies leader with 440 games played.
The Grizzlies have to be thinking last weekend was just a bizarre anomaly. It was just the third and fourth times this year that they have led and lost in regulation. Sunday was the first time this year that they have scored four goals and lost. It was the first time this year that they have led after one period and two periods and lost as they look to forget those two games and build on the 5-1-0-1 stretch they were on beforehand.
Game Day Blog Entry: January 7, 2018
01/07/2018 7:06 AM - Adrian Denny
-Utah picks up a game they lead 3-1 at the first intermission.
-The are back in action Wednesday in Dallas against Allen before moving on to Wichita Friday and Saturday.
-Utah and Rapid City will begin four-straight games against each other in Utah’s next home game Monday, January 15.
-Utah is playing at home on a Sunday for the first time since March 10, 2013 as they beat Colorado 3-2 in overtime.
The First Period
-Utah outshot Rapid City 13-8 and killed the only penalty to build a 3-1 lead.
-Jon Puskar scored two goals and Charley Graaskamp had two assists.
-Jon Puskar, Ryan Misiak and Mitch Jones were plus twos in the first period.
More On Puskar’s Two Goals
-Jon Puskar became the fifth player to score two goals in a game this year, Ryan Walters has done it twice, but no one has gotten a hat trick.
-Utah had three hat tricks last year, with Jon Puskar getting one on January 25. Utah’s last hat trick was scored by Colin Martin on March 4.
Last Night’s Game
-Utah outshot Rapid City 33-26.
-Utah went 0-6 on the power-play and 5-6 on the penalty-kill.
-Kevin Carr went the first 47:42 without allowing a goal and has stopped 31 of 34 shots this weekend.
-Utah’s seven game home winning streak and six-game home winning streak against Rapid City were both snapped.
-The lead Rapid City took with 2:15 left in regulation was their first lead in 197:45 of hockey this year.
-Utah had scored 16 goals in seven periods against Rapid City before getting just one goal last night.
Special Teams Vs Five-On Five In Season Series
-Rapid City has outscored Utah 4-2 on the power-play this year.
-Utah has outscored Rapid City 15-6 five-on-five this year
-Aggregate scoring on the weekend is 4-3 Utah this weekend.
-Utah scored four of the first five goals, before Rapid City scored two-straight to win Saturday.
Game Day Blog Entry: January 6, 2018
01/06/2018 11:03 AM - Adrian Denny
Last Night’s Game
-Last night’s game was suspended with Utah leading 3-1 after 20 minutes on two goals from Jon Puskar and Ryan Olsen’s eighth of the season.
-Utah outshot Rapid City 13-8 in the period and killed their only shorthanded situation.
-Friday’s statistics will not be reflected until after Friday’s game is complete. That contest will resume action at the start of the second period Sunday at 1 p.m.
Since Last Night
-The Grizzlies have been assigned forward Austin Ortega and defenseman James Melindy from the Anaheim Ducks organization as they report from San Diego of the AHL.
-Ortega was signed by the Anaheim organization out of University of Nebraska-Omaha last spring and had two goals and eight assists for 10 points in 17 games this year with the Gulls.
-He had four goals and one assist with the Gulls last year after college.
-Melindy returns to Utah after three call-ups to San Diego this year.
Including Last Night
-Last night's statistics will not reflect until the completion of the contest on Sunday.
-Three goals by Utah in the first period was the second consecutive period of regulation that the Grizzlies have scored three goals.
-Utah has a three goal period in three-straight games and now in eight games last year.
-Taylor Richart has a three-game scoring streak for the third time this year and Chris Leibinger has his first three-game scoring streak after boh players picked up first period assists.
-Jon Puskar now has five goals in his last five games after two first period goals in Friday's suspended game.
-Utah looks to improve to 20-1-2-2 the last 25 games when Puskar scores.
-Four Utah defensemen in Leibinger, Richart, Mitch Jones and Sam Windle had first period assists.
Game Day Blog Entry: January 5, 2018
01/05/2018 6:00 AM - Adrian Denny
Three Weeks Ago
-Utah jumped to 2-0 first period leads twice before ultimately Rapid City tied both games at 2 as the Grizzlies then won 8-3 and 5-4 on December 15 and 16.
-Utah is 16-5-2-0 against Rapid City all-time, 11-1-1-0 in their last 13 games and they have won six-straight games against Rapid City.
-Utah has won seven-straight home games against the Rush.
-Utah has scored four goals or more in seven-straight games and 14 of their last 17 games against the Rush.
-Utah went 2-11 on the power-play and 4-7 on the penalty-kill after the Rush scored on three of their first four two weeks ago.
-Michael Pelech had two goals, three assists; Ryan Olsen had one goal and four assists; Ryan Misiak had two goals and two assists and Kyle Thomas had two goals and two assists.
-Utah had ten skaters with at least two points in two games.
-Michael Pelech has multiple-points in four of the last seven games, he has a three-game scoring streak with one goal and four assists.
-It is the third time this year that Pelech has had a three-game scoring streak.
-Pelech leads Utah with ten multiple-point games and seven special teams points on three goals and four assists.
-Utah is 10-1-1-3 in the last 15 games that Thomas has been in the lineup.
-Thomas has scored in 10 of his last 11 games with Utah and 15 of the last 17 games with the Grizzlies.
-Utah is 9-3-3-1 this year when scoring a power-play goal.
Odds and Ends
-Garrett Haar is an even or better in nine-straight games.
-Charley Graaskamp is a plus-four in his last three games.
-Taylor Richart goes for his third three-game scoring streak of the season tonight.
-Averaging 37.50 wins a season under Tim Branham the last four seasons, 12-12-5-3 is Utah’s second best record entering the new year in five seasons with Branham as coach.