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.