The Grizzlies completed their 22nd season in Utah with their tenth-straight playoff appearance and their 19th season with a record of .500 or better.
Ticket packages for the 2017-2018 season are on sale now that include: free parking, buddy passes, unused ticket exchange, a free gift and more. Call (801) 988-8000 for more information or visit www.utahgrizzlies.com.
The playoff streak is the second longest in the ECHL and this marks the first time in three years that Utah won’t be advancing to the second round. Entering the playoffs, only Utah, Allen, South Carolina and Fort Wayne had advanced to the second round in two consecutive seasons.
The Grizzlies finished fifth in the 27-team ECHL with an average of 5,360 fans during the regular season as Utah increased their average attendance for the seventh time in eight seasons.
In The Community
Grizzlies players and mascot Grizzbee visited 62 elementary schools to present the team’s school assembly “Hockey Is A Lot Like Life” during the regular season.
Four Seasons Under Tim Branham
Tim Branham completes his fourth season with Utah with a record of 150-107-30 for a .575 winning percentage. 150 wins is ranked fifth in the ECHL during that stretch.
Utah’s playoff roster consisted of 12 players who were on the opening day roster, 8 players acquired in midseason trades and one player signed following college in April.
The Constant Battle
The Grizzlies finished the regular season at 36-29-5-2. They rebounded from a nine-game winless streak from November 18-December 4 and a 9-16-2-1 record on December 21, to being 14 points out of a playoff spot on January 5, to go 8-2-1-0 in January; which included part of a seven-game winning streak. They hit hard times again in February with a six-game winless skid following the injuries of five defensemen, but rebounded for an 8-4-1-0 March and winning seven of eight to finish the season overall.
Despite leading four of the five games going to the third period, the Grizzlies were unable to finish as they fell four games to one to Mountain Division Champion and two-time defending champion Allen in the first round series.
Fourth Season In Utah Complete
Mathieu Aubin just completed his fourth season with Utah; having played in 71 of 72 games this season after missing all of last season following an injury sustained in the preseason. It marks the second time in three years that he has played in at least 71 games. Aubin has played in 201 career games with Utah and totaled 60 goals and 99 assists for 159 points after totaling 18 goals and 29 assists for 47 points this season. Aubin has played in 627 professional regular season games and 97 career playoff games. He leads the ECHL in total games played since joining Cincinnati as a rookie in 2006. He currently ranks sixth all-time in Utah Grizzlies scoring.
Another Veteran Staple
The Grizzlies reacquired Michael Pelech on December 13 after he previously played with the team from 2013-2015. He had 16 goals and 21 assists for 37 points in 48 games and was the team’s third leading scorer after being acquired. Pelech, who was voted the Grizzlies MVP, now has 54 goals and 86 assists for 140 points in 167 games. He currently ranks eighth all-time in Grizzlies scoring.
234 penalty minutes from Travis Howe is the eighth most during a regular season in Grizzlies history. He finished second in the ECHL with 22 fighting majors and fourth in the ECHL in penalty minutes.
27 goals by rookie Ralph Cuddemi is the most by a Grizzlies rookie since Tom May had 31 goals during his rookie season in 2008-2009. He is the fourth rookie in team history to lead the team in goals.
Other Players With 20 Or More Goals
Rookie Colin Martin finished with 22 goals this year as did Jon Puskar. Michael Pelech totaled 21.
Rookie of the Year: Ralph Cuddemi
Player’s Player: Mathieu Aubin
Trash Talker: Colin Martin
Unsung Hero: Erik Higby
Best Defensemen: Tim Daly
Leading Scorer: Erik Bradford
Most Improved: C.J. Eick
Community/Fan Favorite: Jon Puskar
MVP: Michael Pelech
Grizzlies Head Athletic Trainer Cole Libby also finished the final month and a half of the season as the team’s Head Equipment Manager; marking the first time in team history that the same individual has overseen both departments.
The Anaheim Ducks System
Anaheim, San Jose and Washington are the only three NHL teams in which them and their AHL and ECHL affiliates have all made the playoffs two years in a row.
2013-14 Grizzlies goaltender Aaron Dell debuted with San Jose this season and went 11-6-1 with a 2.00 Goals-Against-Average and a .931 Save Percentage. 2013-14 Utah forward Joseph Cramarossa debuted with Anaheim this season before moving over to Vancouver; playing in 59 NHL games. 2011-12 Utah forward Justin Dowling made his NHL debut with Dallas and played in nine games.
The team televised nine games in HD on KMYU TV during the course of the season and has televised 37 games over the last five seasons on KMYU. 2016-2017 caps off the team’s first season with ESPN 700 as the team’s flagship radio station and Z-104 as the team’s “Official Country Station” with select games broadcast on sister station Utah’s Classic Country AM 1370. Fans got the latest on the Grizzlies every day on ESPN 700 during the regular season at 11:25 a.m. and 3:25 p.m. during Grizzlies In 60 with “Voice of the Grizzlies” Adrian Denny.