Friday, October 13: Utah at Colorado, 7 p.m. ESPN 700
Saturday, October 14: Colorado at Utah, 7 p.m. Utah’s Classic Country AM 1370
Monday, October 16: Norfolk at Utah, 7 p.m. Utah’s Classic Country AM 1370
The Grizzlies celebrate the 20th anniversary of Maverik Center as they begin their fifth season under Head Coach/General Manager Tim Branham and their fifth season with the Anaheim Ducks; looking for their eleventh-straight playoff appearance.
Branham, 36, carries a record of 150-107-30 into his fourth season with Utah. He needs 29 wins to surpass Butch Goring as the most winning Head Coach in team history. The former Vancouver Canucks draft pick lives year-round in the Salt Lake Valley and is a regular at local hockey rinks across Utah as a visiting coach/instructor.
The Grizzlies look to build on a 6-2-1-0 record in their last nine season openers; they are 3-1 under Branham during season openers.
Utah opens the season with three games in four nights and six games in the first nine nights of the season with three at home and three on the road.
The Grizzlies bring ten players back to Utah, including captain C.J. Eick, team MVP Michael Pelech, who begins his fourth season in Utah, Jon Puskar who scored 22 goals last year and penalty minutes leader Travis Howe .
In addition, Utah has added three forwards who averaged over a point-per-game last season throughout the ECHL in Greger Hanson (35 goals, 41 assists, 76 points, 58 games with Allen), Peter Sivak (35 goals, 30 assists, 65 points, 53 games with Alaska) and Kyle Thomas (27 goals, 42 assists, 69 points, 58 games).
Utah returns four defensemen from last year, while adding Mitch Jones from Alaska, rookie Cliff Watson who was captain at Michigan Tech the past two seasons and James Melindy, who enters his fifth pro season and was just assigned by the Anaheim organization.
Kevin Carr, with 69 ECHL wins the last three seasons with Tulsa and Alaska, stopped 32 of 34 in his preseason debut for Utah Friday. Rookie goaltender Gordie Defiel from Lake Superior State University will backup Carr.
Second Time In Three Seasons
Utah opens the season in Colorado for the second time in three years after taking two-straight to start the season in 2015-2016. Utah started their 7-1 run to finish the regular season last year with two-straight wins at Budweiser Events Center March 24 and 25.
Opening Night for the Grizzlies is Saturday with lower bowl tickets starting at $13 and a $30 special that includes: a premium lower bowl ticket , a Grizzlies Hat and a Grizzlies T-Shirt. That offer can be purchased at utahgrizzlies.com/openingnight.
A quick turnaround for the Grizzlies from Opening Weekend will feature a Maverik Monday on Monday, October 16 at 7 p.m. that will once again offer buy one ticket and get one ticket free with a Maverik Adventure Club Card.
On The Air
Fans can get the latest on the Grizzlies every day on ESPN 700 as “Voice of the Grizzlies” Adrian Denny delivers the morning report at 11:25 a.m. with Grizzlies In 60 during “The Bill Riley Show” followed by the afternoon report at 3:25 p.m. with Grizzlies In 60 during “Gunther and Hackett.”
Official Country Station
Z-104, Utah’s #1 Country Station, returns as the Official Country Station of the Grizzlies with select games broadcast live on the legendary KSOP AM 1370; featuring Utah’s Classic Country. Denny joins Dave and Deb the Friday of every weekend home stand just after 9 a.m. on Z-104, followed by a visit with Country Joe on AM 1370. This week, the appearances took place Thursday.
KMYU will begin its sixth season of televising Grizzlies games after the holidays. A complete schedule will be announced before hand as Denny joins Adam Mikulich from 2 News Talkin’ Sports.