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Game Day Blog Archive

Game Day Blog Entry: November 30

11/30/2013 10:20 AM - Adam Turner

Utah has taken a 1-0 lead in the first 8:28 of the first period in three of their last four games.

Vs The Bulls

Ben Meisner has stopped 37 of 39 shots the last two games versus San Francisco. Danick Paquette has one goal and three assists for four points in three games against San Francisco. Kris Hogg has two goals and one assist in three games against the Bulls.


Ben Meisner ranks fifth in the ECHL with a 1.82 goals-against-average. Utah has made life light on their goaltenders by allowing 21 shots or less in four of their last six games. Utah is fifth in the ECHL allowing 26.40 shots-per-game. Utah goaltending has allowed two goals or less in eight of their last 15 games. Utah ranks second on the penalty-kill at home, by killing 40 of 43 chances for a 93-percent clip. In Utah’s five wins, they have allowed one total power-play goal. In their 10 non-wins, they have allowed nine total power-play goals. Igor Bobkov has returned to the team from the AHL's Norfolk Admirals after being reassigned by Anaheim.

Utah has been tied, ahead or within a goal in the third period in 13 of 15 games.

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Game Day Blog Entry: November 29

11/27/2013 12:00 PM - Adam Turner

The Grizzlies have been quick out of the gate on their Teddy Bear Toss night the last two years.

Last year, Brad Mills scored 3:33 into the first period to give Utah a 1-0 lead over Alaska on Black Friday.

The previous season, also the day after Thanksgiving, Bryan Cameron scored 3:46 into the first period to tie the game against Alaska.

Ben Meisner narrowly missed winning ECHL Goaltender of the Week this past week.  He went 2-1 with a .990 goals-against-average and a .958 save percentage. Brian Foster of Stockton went 3-0-0 with a 1.33 goals-against average and a save percentage of .954 last week.

This marks the first Thanksgiving weekend since 2005, that Utah hasn’t played Victoria or Alaska at home and it marks the eighth time in the last nine years that the Grizzlies have been home for Thanksgiving.

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Game Day Blog Entry: November 23

11/23/2013 12:38 AM - Adam Turner

Last year, the Grizzlies came to the Cow Palace for their first game ever and left with a 5-2 win and three of four points on the weekend November 17 and 18. In the process, they ended a six-game losing streak as they headed into Thanksgiving. While things aren’t as dire now, the Grizzlies will look to stay unbeaten in the ECHL at the nearly 75-year-old barn when they head in for action tonight at 8:30 p.m. and salvage something on this road trip that has seen them lose two one-goal games to two very good teams in Stockton and Idaho.

Rylan Galliardi played five games with San Francisco last year and had one goal and three assists for four points before being traded to Idaho. Danick Paquette started the season in San Francisco before being traded to Utah.

As heartbreaking as the first two games of this trip have been, the Grizzlies have been tied in the third period with two of the best teams in the west on their home ice before falling by a goal as they struggle to score goals. Utah has had a chance to win 11 of 13 games this year, with 10 of the last 11 games being tied in the third period.

The Grizzlies look to get in on what Idaho did Friday, by beating the Bulls 6-0, while San Francisco looks to take their frustration out on Utah; who is looking to leave California with a win on this three game in four-night trip.

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Game Day Blog Entry: November 22

11/22/2013 12:14 PM - Adam Turner

The close games continue for Utah. Nine of their last ten games have been tied in the third period.

In 10 of 12 games this year, Utah has either been tied, within a goal or ahead going to the third period. Utah is 4-4-1-1 in those contests.

Martin Lee and Michael Pelech each enter tonight with two-game scoring streaks after picking up assists Monday on the game-winning goal and on Utah’s first goal Wednesday.

Utah has allowed two goals in the last six first periods after allowing two first period goals here in their last game played in Stockton on November 3.

Stockton is 3-3-1-1 since beating Utah 6-1 here on November 3, Utah has gone 3-3 since then and won three of the last five after starting 1-3-1-1.

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Game Day Blog Entry: November 20

11/20/2013 10:37 AM - Adam Turner

The Grizzlies and Steelheads will be mirroring each other for the week. After playing each other tonight, they will both be in California this weekend. Utah plays in Stockton Friday and San Francisco Saturday. Idaho plays in San Francisco Friday and Stockton on Saturday and Sunday.

Rylan Galliardi has a four-game goal scoring streak for the Grizzlies. He had two goals and 10 assists for 12 points and a plus-11 in 15 games with Idaho last year after being acquired in a trade from San Francisco.

Galliardi's four-game goal scoring streak is tied with Idaho's Justin Mercier's for the longest current goal scoring streaks in the league right now.

Both teams have struggled in the second periods this season. Idaho has been outscored 15-8, Utah 11-5.

This is the first of five games this year between Utah and the Steelheads in Boise. After tonight, the two teams will not meet again until January 15, when the Grizzlies will close with 11 of their final 37 games against them.

When Utah and Idaho met opening night on October 18, Jamie MacQueen scored all four goals for the Grizzlies.

Over the next four nights, Utah will double their amount of road games played, which currently stands at three. Utah looks to quickly even up their road record, which right now stands at 0-3.

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Game Day Blog Entry: November 18

11/18/2013 11:41 AM - Adam Turner

The Grizzlies have done a good job of drawing penalties this year, while also staying out of the penalty box. Utah has drawn 52 power-plays, to the oppositions 45. Utah has had more than or equal to power-plays to the opposition in nine of 11 games this year. Utah has scored a power-play goal in seven of 11 games this year and has now allowed a power-play goal in six of 11 games. Utah has only allowed more than one power-play goal once this year.

Utah has led 1-0 after 2-straight first periods. Utah hasn’t allowed a first period goal in three-straight games and five of seven games at home this year. Utah has allowed nine shots or less in 9 of 11 first periods this year and has 10 shots or more in 8 of 11 first periods this year. Utah however, has been outscored 11-5 in the second period, being outshot 98-79.

Starting tonight, Utah starts a stretch of four games in six nights or five games in eight nights that started Saturday.They will be in Idaho Wednesday, Stockton Friday and San Francisco Saturday. Utah had played just four games in 14 nights.

Norm Ezekiel has rejoined Utah from the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals. Ezekiel played the first three games of the season with Utah and has also played three games with Norfolk.

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Game Day Blog Entry: November 16

11/16/2013 11:03 AM - Adam Turner

Including tonight, Utah wraps up a stretch of four games in 14 nights. Starting Monday with Colorado, Utah starts a stretch of four games in six nights. They will be in Idaho Wednesday, Stockton Friday and San Francisco Saturday.

This is the first of 11 games with Colorado this year for Utah. All-time, Utah is 8-3-1-2 versus the Eagles at Maverik Center. Seven of the 14 games have been decided in shootouts and 10 of the 14 have been decided by one goal. Utah enters tonight winners of two-straight, Colorado is 4-0-1-0 in their last 5.

Goaltender Aaron Dell was loaned to the LA Kings AHL affiliate in Manchester on Friday as Ben Meisner was returned from the Ducks AHL affiliate in Norfolk.

Pat O’Keefe is a plus-one in each of his first two games with the Grizzlies.

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Game Day Blog Entry: November 11

11/11/2013 10:47 AM - Adam Turner

Utah is 2-1-1-1 at Maverik Center this year, collecting standings points in four of their five home games.

The Series So Far
Ontario beat Utah 2-1 on Friday and Utah countered with a 2-0 win on Saturday. Five combined goals have been scored in the three games. Two combined goals have been scored in the first two periods for both teams. 11 combined goals have been scored in the last four games between Utah and Ontario at Maverik Center going back to last April’s playoffs. Utah is 0-11 on the power-play and 12-12 on the penalty-kill. Utah has outshot Ontario 54-50. Utah has outshot Ontario 26-10 in the first period. In both games, the game-winning goal has broken a third period tie. Kris Hogg’s insurance goal with 1:41 left was the first time in four games at Maverik Center that either side has had more than a one-goal lead. Hogg and Ontario’s Matt White each have one goal and one assist to lead their teams in this weekend series.

Aaron Dell stopped all 24 shots that he saw Saturday, including 12 in the third period for the shutout. Igor Bobkov and Dell have combined to stop 48 of 50 shots in the series. Ontario’s Mathias Niederberger has stopped 49 of 52 Utah shots.

Close Ones
Five of Utah’s last six games have been tied in the third period.

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Game Day Blog Entry: November 9

11/09/2013 9:36 AM - Adam Turner

As the Grizzlies added Mathieu Aubin and Michael Pelech last night after they arrived in Utah around noon, the duo hit the ice for the first time this season. It was definitely a smooth tranistion as Head Coach/GM Tim Branham said the two were the team's best players last night; despite both coming off of injuries and neither having played this year.

Last Night
-Ontario’s goal 3:44 into the third period broke a 1-1 tie and the Reign beat the Grizzlies 2-1.
-Utah got off to a blazing start, tallying 14 of the 17 shots in the first period and drawing three-straight power-plays.
-Danick Paquette broke a 1-0 Ontario lead, that they held for 29:54, to tie the game at 1 late in the second period.
-Ontario led for 46:10 in the game.
-Ontario held on by killing time on a five-minute power-play in the third period in a frame that they outshot Utah 10-2.

Looking To Get Back On Track

-The Grizzlies, while winless in six-straight games have been tied in the third period in four of the six games.
-Four of the six games have been decided by one goal, two of six have gone past regulation.
-Utah has been outscored 6-1 in the third period over this stretch and hasn’t scored a third period goal in five-straight games.
-Utah has scored two goals or less in four-straight games and in five of seven contests this year.

Chance To Win

-Goaltender Igor Bobkov has allowed two goals in three of his four starts at Maverik Center and three goals or less through regulation in all four starts at home.
-Utah has allowed just 25 first period shots in four home games this year.
-Utah has outshot the opposition 86-55 in the first period this year.
-Utah has allowed 26 shots or less in two of their last three home games.

Cracking Ontario
-Going back to last year’s playoffs, Utah has dropped three-straight 2-1 games to the Reign.
-The Grizzlies and Reign have played seven-straight one-goal games at Maverik Center going back to March of 2012.
-Five of those seven games have gone past regulation.

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Game Day Blog Entry: November 8

11/08/2013 10:39 AM - Adam Turner

The Grizzlies return to Maverik Center to start a five-game home stand, their longest of the year, this weekend with Ontario. The series continues Saturday and Monday at Maverik Center, before Colorado comes to West Valley City for action next Saturday and Monday. This marks the second of three-straight weekends, with Utah playing essentially on weekends only.

Transaction Wire
Since last weekend, the Grizzlies have added three scoring forwards in Mathieu Aubin, Michael Peleck and Rylan Galiardi along with, two defensemen in Stefan Warg and Pat O’Keefe, along with goaltender Igor Babkov since last weekend in Stockton. Aubin and Pelech were acquired Thursday from Cincinnati for future considerations. Bobkov and Warg were assigned by Anaheim from Norfolk. Galiardi and O’Keefe were signed as free agents. Kenton Miller, who went scoreless in six games, has been traded to Fort Wayne for future considerations.

In Depth
-Aubin, 27, served as the Cyclones captain from December 2011 to May of 2013 and won two Kelly Cup Championships in Cincinnati in 2008 and 2010. -In addition, he won a Calder Cup Championship with Hamilton of the AHL in 2009.
- In 346 career ECHL games with Cincinnati and Bakersfield, Aubin has totaled 125 goals and 184 assists for 309 points in 346 games.
-He was named the ECHL’s Plus Performer of the Year in 2011-2012 with a plus-25 rating.
-Last season, the 2005 draft pick of Montreal, had 18 goals and 28 assists for 56 points in 67 games with Cincinnati.
-Pelech, 24, has spent the last two years in Cincinnati, where he totaled 29 goals and 77 assists for 106 points in 110 games.
-He was selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2009 NHL Draft. He played against Utah with the Ontario Reign from 2008-2010.
-He played 18 games last year in the AHL with Connecticut, Peoria and Worcester.

-Bobkov, 22 and six-foot-six, returns to Utah where he started the Grizzlies first four games and went 1-1-1-1 with a 2.93 goals-against-average and a .895 save percentage.
-He appeared in two games with Norfolk over the last two weeks and had a 2.95 goals- against-average, a .925 save percentage and a 0-1-0-1 record. Bobkov was selected by Anaheim in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and spent all of last year in Norfolk.

-Warg, 23, and a 2008 draft pick of Anaheim, is six-foot-three and playing in his first year of pro hockey in North America after playing in his native Sweden three years following junior hockey in the Western Hockey League.
-He has appeared in one game for the Admirals this year.

-Galiardi, 27, is entering his third pro season. He finished last year in Idaho where he had two goals and 10 assists for 12 points in 15 games and a plus-11.
-Overall last year in the ECHL, he played in 59 games and totaled 14 goals and 23 assists for 37 points.
-During his rookie season in Florida in 2011-2012, he had 18 goals and 29 points for 47 points in 61 games and also played 13 games in the AHL.
- He played four years of college hockey at Minnesota State-Mankato where he was a two time WCHA All-Academic selection.

-O’Keefe, 25, enters his rookie season after playing four years of college hockey at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
-He had three goals and 17 assists for 20 points in 26 games last year as he led St Mary’s to the CIS University Cup Final.

 Unbeaten So Far At Home

The Grizzlies have collected four of six standings points at Maverik Center this year and hold a 1-0-1-1 record on home ice through three games. Utah is also 17/17 on the penalty-kill at home this season. Utah is 4-14 (28-percent) on the power-play at home and looks to resume their early season success after last weekend’s 0-6 in Stockton.
Ontario At Home
Utah is 2-2-1-1 against Ontario since former Grizzlies Head Coach Jason Christie took over the Reign at the start of the 2011-2012 season. However, Utah has never defeated the Reign in regulation at home with Jason Christie behind the bench. The Reign are one of four unbeaten teams in the ECHL and the only team out west who has not lost in regulation at 4-0-0-3.

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Game Day Blog Entry: November 2

11/02/2013 10:34 AM - Adam Turner

The Grizzlies top line has scored 9 of their 12 goals this season with Jamie MacQueen (six goals), David Vallorani (two goals) and Berkley Scott (one goal) accounting for 75-percent of their scoring. Brent Gwidt (two goals) and Kris Hogg (one goal) have consisted of the Grizzlies secondary scoring.

For Utah, who has gone winless in three-straight one-goal games and scored seven total goals in the process, the lack of secondary scoring is a big issue right now. Utah is one secondary goal away from being unbeaten in four of five games with their number one line doing all of the scoring in three of Utah five games. For a team to be successful, they need all three lines scoring at least once in a while.

For Utah, who had outscored the opposition 6-1 on special teams going into last night with 14-straight penalty-kills, Stockton’s top ranked power-play scored three power-play goals. It was also the first night all year that the Grizzlies didn’t score a power-play goal and again with a one-goal loss there are so many areas where you can say, if the Grizzlies did one thing here, they at least get a standings point for going to overtime.

Last night’s loss was more frustrating by the fact that Utah led for 28:31 by a 2-1 score, but was never able to extend the lead.

Utah's goals this year have come in bunches. They have four two-goal periods in five games, accounting for 67-percent of their offense.

Utah isn't the only team in the Western Conference frustrated. 5 of the 9 teams out west are .500 or below and off to difficult starts. Bakersfield still hasn't won, Las Vegas has lost 5-straight after a 2-0 start, Idaho hasn't won two in a row yet after their rebound season last year and San Francisco has started to falter as they wrap up their eight-game road trip to start the year.

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Game Day Blog Entry: November 1

11/01/2013 10:59 AM - Adam Turner

The Grizzlies arrived in Stockton at 9 a.m. on Thursday and had a full day to practice and get ready for this weekend at the Stockton Arena.

With Igor Bobkov still in the AHL, it will be the first game this season that the Grizzlies see someone else in goal for a regular season game. Aaron Dell returned to Utah Monday evening after spending the first week of the ECHL season in Norfolk. Ben Meisner has been backing Bobkov up since he pitched a 22 save shutout against Idaho on October 12 to wrap up the preseason.

West Valley City native D.J. Jelitto will play for Utah for the first time since October 21, 2007. He will wear number 62.

Head Coach Tim Branham won two of three games in Stockton last year in the Kelly Cup Finals as Reading’s Assistant Coach on the way to the championship and his return to the visiting locker room and coaches office yesterday was his first trip into this building since celebrating the Cup championship last May.

Grizzlies defenseman Teigan Zahn, now under contract with Norfolk, played 34 games with Stockton last year when he was under contract with the Edmonton Oilers organization.

Tonight’s weekend features the second best penalty-kill with Utah’s 20-21 and Stockton’s number one ranked power-play at four-for-eleven.

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