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Game Day Blog Archive

Game Day Blog Entry: November 30

11/30/2012 10:34 AM - Adam Turner

Utah looks to build off of Saturday’s game this weekend. The Grizzlies, with eight forwards and five defenseman, rallied back from a 3-1 third period deficit Saturday, by outshooting Alaska 18-7 in the third period and scoring three goals in a 3:59 stretch.

Utah beat San Francisco 5-3 on November 17 and fell 4-3 in a shootout on November 18 at Cow Palace. Utah went 4-9 on the power-play and 11-11 on the penalty-kill. Grant Rollheiser started both games in goal for Utah and stopped 72 of 78 shots for a .923 save percentage. Mitch Wahl had one goal and three assists, Bryan Cameron three goals, one assist, Nick Tuzzolino three assists, Riley Armstrong two goals two assists while Gaelan Patterson and Kory Falite had a single assist in each game.

Welcome To The Coast

-Utah is 3-1 versus ECHL expansion teams since joining the ECHL.
-5-4 versus Colorado on November 11, 2011.
-3-2 versus Ontario on November 5, 2008.
-5-4 versus Stockton on November 25, 2005.
-2-4 loss versus Phoenix on October 21, 2005.

San Francisco Head Coach Pat Curcio was Utah’s Assistant Coach during the 2009-2010 season. Bulls Assistant Coach Kyle Paige played for Utah in 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 and was a teammate of current Utah Assistant Coach Greg McCauley on that team.

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Game Day Blog Entry: November 24

11/24/2012 10:02 AM - Adam Turner

Utah’s 5-1 loss last night to Alaska seemed very similar to their 5-2 win over the Aces in Anchorage on October 19 as far as a disappointing evening for the home team. Both road teams led 4-1 in the third period and both scored four consecutive goals in the contest shocking the home fans. Alaska counted the next night with a 1-0 win, Utah will look to do the same tonight.

Quotes After Utah Beat Alaska 5-2 in Anchorage On October 19 (Anchorage Daily News)
“Not a good effort on our part,’’ captain Steve Ward said. “We had some chances, but when they didn’t go in, we kind of lost our details for a while.
“I don’t know if we started feeling sorry for ourselves about not scoring, or what.’’
 “You look at our roster, and it’s very exciting,’’ Ward said. “(But) we’ve got to come to work every day. It’s not going to come easy.’’

Quotes After Alaska Beat Utah 5-1 Last Night (Salt Lake Tribune, UtahGrizzlies.com)
"Our poise dipped off tremendously," Grizzlies Head Coach Kevin Colley said. "I have half a team that can play hockey, but those other guys might as well be playing patty-cake. I should let them in on a little secret — hard work pays off." “Successful people work hard and you have to go to the hard areas. We don’t have a lot of hunger right now,”  “It makes your stomach turn when our guys with talent aren’t willing to play as a team.”

Utah bounced back from a 6-2 loss last Friday in Stockton with a 5-3 win Saturday in San Francisco.

Seven of Utah’s last nine games have had 1-1 first period ties.
Utah is 1-0-0-1 when they take a 2-1 lead and 0-5 when the opposition goes up 2-1.

Utah scoring 3:33 into the first period last night marked the seventh time in 15 games that Utah has scored in the first 6:14 of a game. That includes five goals in the first 4:04 of a game this year.

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Game Day Blog Entry: November 23

11/23/2012 10:50 AM - Adam Turner

If you come to a Grizzlies game at Maverik Center this year, there is roughly a one and four chance you will see Alaska with the Aces playing eight times in Utah’s 36 home games.

Both Utah and Alaska have played well on home ice this year with a combined 10-2 record. Utah is the only team to have beaten Alaska on their home ice, 5-2 on October 19. The Aces scored a third period goal to beat Utah 1-0 on October 20 in the only other meeting between the two teams. Alaska is 1-4 on the road outside of Las Vegas where they are 3-0.

Goaltender Shaun Hunwick and Chris Higgins will both make their Grizzlies and Maverik Center debuts tonight.

This is the second-straight Thanksgiving weekend that Utah and Alaska have met, which overtakes Victoria as Utah’s Thanksgiving weekend rival. Utah and the Salmon Kings played over Thanksgiving in 2006 and 2008. Alaska just spent their third Thanksgiving in Utah since 2009 and plays in West Valley for the third time in the last four years on Black Friday.


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Game Day Blog Entry: November 17

11/17/2012 10:29 AM - Adam Turner

The Grizzlies are the only ECHL team that can say they have ever played in San Francisco at the Cow Place before. Utah and the San Francisco Spiders tangled during their only season in 1995-96 when both teams were in the IHL.

Utah last played here on April 10, 1996 and lost 4-0 to the Spiders. Ironically, Utah entered that game on a six-game losing streak, the same situation that they find themselves here in this evening.

The Grizzlies, who won the championship that season, actually struggled at the Cow Palace, going just 2-4 during the course of the regular season.

In some news on the transaction wire, the Grizzlies have claimed NHL defenseman Theo Peckham, who was just released by San Francisco. We’ll see what comes of it, but the Grizzlies philosophy on waiver claims has always been, if that player could help the team now, claim them, if not, they’ll help someone else. Stay tuned.


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Game Day Blog Entry: November 16

11/16/2012 10:31 AM - Adam Turner

It feels like old times opening a three-game-in-three-night series in California with the Grizzlies playing three games in two relatively close cities this weekend.

Stockton (tonight) and San Francisco (Saturday, Sunday) are less than two hours away and the Grizzlies will have a relatively light travel weekend with the proximity between the two cities.
It’s kind of like when San Diego and Long Beach were in the league or Fresno and Stockton or Bakersfield/Fresno. All were nice transitions from night to night without an overnight bus ride or early morning flight involved.

Utah played three-games-in-three-nights three times last year. Tonight is the first of six three-game-in-three-night series this year, which are mostly all road sets in the Pacific Division.
Utah looks to revert back to the team that was 5-1 two weeks ago at this time as debut Grant Rollheiser in net tonight. Rollheiser was apparently very well thought of by Abbotsford in training camp and also in the Dallas Stars prospect camp earlier this summer. At six-foot-four, Rollheiser, takes up a lot of space over there and kind of reminds me of Andrew Engelage (six-foot-five) and Mikko Koskinen (six-foot-seven) as big Grizzlies goalies between the pipes.


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Game Day Blog Entry: November 12

11/12/2012 9:57 AM - Adam Turner

Utah is 3-0 at home this year, which ties their best home start since joining the ECHL in 2005. Utah went 3-0 at home to start the 2007-2008 season. Like this season, two of those three wins came in shootouts. This is Utah’s 6th 3-0 home start since moving to Utah in 1995, also starting 3-0 in 2000 and 1997 (IHL). In 1996-97, the Grizzlies started out 5-0 and in 2001-2002, Utah started 4-0 at home. Utah has taken a 2-0 lead in each home game thus far this year. Utah had 100 shots in their last two home games.

Utah was the second to last team in the Western Conference to lose two games in a row. The only other team to have not lost two-straight games this year in the Western Conference is the Stockton Thunder. They lost 4-1 in San Francisco Friday and tonight will shoot to hand them a second-straight loss for the first time this year. Utah is 19-10-1 all-time at home against Stockton after going 2-0 last year.

Drew MacKenzie has a four-game scoring streak with one goal and three assists, all points have come on the power-play. MacKenzie has factored in on five of Utah’s eight power-play goals this year as has Kory Falite. Kory Falite has tied an earlier streak by Paul McIlveen, having scored a goal in three-straight games. All four of Falite’s goals have been scored on the power-play, which ranks second in the league. Bryan Cameron has one goal and six assists in the last five games and has been an even or better in eight of nine games this year.

The Grizzlies are home for their only home game from October 28-November 23, in the middle of seven of eight games on the road. This is Utah’s first game this year outside the Mountain Division. This is Utah’s fourth home game in their 11th game this season.


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Game Day Blog Entry: November 10

11/10/2012 9:42 AM - Adam Turner

There is a column called “FG” in the daily statistics report for each team. It stands for “first goal” which is given to the player who scores the team’s first goal each night. Kory Falite has scored Utah’s first goal in two-straight games and in three total games this year. He is one ahead of Paul McIlveen, who has two first goals for Utah this year.

The Grizzlies have had eight players record multiple-point games this year. Last night, Kory Falite became the first Utah player to get two multiple-point games on the season as he had one goal and one assist.

Rookie Drew MacKenzie (one goal, three assists) and Falite (three goals, one assist) have stacked up the power-play points this season. They each have four, meaning they have each factored in on four of Utah’s six power-play goals.

Average hasn’t been good enough this week against a Colorado team who is absolutely on fire. They have scored six goals or more in four-straight games. They have a home-ice advantage like Alaska when they are rolling. They feed off of their crowd and like to put on a show for them. The louder it gets in the building, the more the Eagles step it up.

The Grizzlies have scored a lot of early goals as of late. Last night, Falite scored 1:12 into the contest as the team has now scored in the first 5:04 four times in the last five games.


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Game Day Blog Entry: November 9

11/09/2012 4:39 PM - Adam Turner

Goaltender Andrew Engelage was activated today and will be in uniform tonight where he led the ECHL in wins, minutes and saves as he finished his last action on October 27.

Brad Mills who has missed three-straight games was activated and returns to the lineup tonight. He has three goals and one assist in five games for Utah.

Wednesday, was a very out of character evening. Not only did Utah fall, but it marked the first time all season that they have trailed by more than a goal in a game and also the first time all year that they have trailed 1-0 in the first period.

Utah and Colorado met a year ago tonight here in Colorado, with Utah beating the Eagles in their first ever game by a 2-1 score.

Utah has lost four-straight games in Colorado after starting 2-0-0-1 here last season. The difference? A full lineup compared to trying to compete here short or without Andrew Engelage. The Grizzlies are optimistic a full lineup with a potential return of Engelage gets things going tonight; with Mills also probable to return.


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Game Day Blog Entry: November 7

11/07/2012 9:02 AM - Adam Turner

While battling some injuries here and there, Utah’s roster has been the most stable of any ECHL Western Conference team in a very unstable time for hockey. In fact, the Grizzlies roster remains intact with the same roster that they had opening night.

Due to the NHL lockout, Colorado Avalanche broadcasters Mike Haynes and Peter McNab will call tonight’s game on Altitude Sports and Entertainment.

After starting the year 1-4-0-2, the Eagles got back on the right track last weekend with two home wins against San Francisco by a combined score of 13-3, with a 6-1 win Friday and a 7-2 win Saturday here in Colorado.

In Utah’s 4-3 shootout win over Colorado on October 26 at Maverik Center, 15 of Utah’s 16 skaters had at least one shot on goal, while eight of their sixteen skaters recorded at least a point. Mitch Wahl had a season-high of ten of

Utah’s season-high 55 shots on goal in the game.

Utah outscored Colorado 3-1 five-on-five, but was outscored 2-0 on the power-play.


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Game Day Blog Entry: November 2

11/02/2012 9:33 AM - Adam Turner

Drew MacKenzie, who yesterday was named the ECHL’s Plus Performer of the Month for October, is Utah’s first player since 2006 to win that award; after Alfie Michaud in goal carried the team to a 10-2-2 record in February of that year.

Ryan Donovan will make his first start of the year in goal tonight as Andrew Engelage, with just one game on the docket for the week, will get a much deserved weekend off after seeing the most shots and minutes in the league during October.

Donovan had a great preseason and earned the backup goaltender spot after stopping all 24 shots that he saw during 40 minutes of action against Idaho. In fact, Donovan was the only goaltender in the league that didn’t give up a goal during the first month of the season. He played 25 games in Ukraine last year after four seasons at Finlandia University in Michigan.

Tonight marks the sixth meeting in the last 28 days between Utah and Idaho, including two in the preseason. This evening, Utah looks to extend their regular season winning streak to nine-straight games against Idaho before the two teams take some time off. Their next meeting will be December 19 in Utah.

This is the only game of the weekend for the regional rivals as tomorrow’s originally scheduled game here was moved to February 6 as to not go head-to-head with Boise State football tomorrow night. The game couldn’t have moved to Maverik Center due to a previously booked weekend of Cirque Du Soleil.

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