Utah Grizzlies Opening Weekend at Maverik Center
October 7, 2019
West Valley City, Utah – The Utah Grizzlies open up the 2019-2020 regular season on October 11th and 12th against the division rival Idaho Steelheads at Maverik Center. 7 pm face-off each night.
Tuesday, October 8th is the Grizzlies annual Face-Off Luncheon on the fourth floor at Maverik Center. Doors open at 11:45. Lunch will be served just after noon. We will hear from Head Coach Tim Branham and the 2019-2020 Grizzlies will be introduced for the first time.
2019 Utah Grizzlies Training Camp Presented by Vessel Kitchen began on September 29th as the Grizzlies are celebrating the 50th anniversary of professional hockey in the state of Utah.
The Grizzlies ended the preseason with a 1-1 record, with both games coming against the Steelheads. Utah won 5-2 last Friday with an announced attendance of 6165 as forward Joe Wegwerth had 2 goals and defenseman Ryan Black had 1 goal and 1 assist. Goaltender Mason McDonald stopped 21 of 23 shots in the win. McDonald is coming off a successful 2018-19 season with the Kansas City Mavericks, where he had a record of 23-10-3 with a .917 save percentage and a 2.54 goals against average.
On Saturday night Utah lost 5-1 in Boise to conclude the preseason. Yuri Terao scored the only goal for Utah. Terao comes over from the Colorado Eagles, where he had been a part of their training camp. Terao is a native of Japan.
Tickets are available at the new and improved utahgrizzlies.com, the Maverik Center Box Office or any Smith’s Tix locations. You can also call the Grizzlies at (801) 988-8000.
This Week’s Promotions
Friday, October 11th, 2019 – Idaho at Utah. 7:00 pm. Magnetic Schedule Giveaway. AFCU Friday (Tickets start at $8 for fans paying with their AFCU debit/credit card at the Maverik Center Box office when purchasing tickets).
Saturday, October 12th, 2019 – Idaho at Utah. 7:00 pm. Epilepsy Awareness Night (Specialty Jersey’s that will be auctioned off after the game). Rally Towel Giveaway. Oktoberfest.
2019-2020 roster *Subject to change.
Forwards: Travis Barron, Cole Cassels, Mike Economos, Colin Jacobs, Felix Lauzon, Mitch Maxwell, Tim McGauley, Patrick McGrath, Griffen Molino, Tanner Nagel, Yuri Terao, Ryan Wagner and Joe Wegwerth.
Defenseman: Ryan Black, Sean Campbell, Taylor Richart, Peter Tischke, Eric Williams, Connor Yau, Teigan Zahn.
Goaltenders: Mason McDonald, Hunter Miska, Jeff Smith.
Defenseman Taylor Richart and Teigan Zahn return to the club this season. Both blueliners were the only 2 players to appear in all 72 regular season games and 5 playoff games for the Grizz last season. Richart is in his 4th season with Utah, while Zahn served as team captain last season and is also serving as Player/Assistant Coach.
Forwards returning include Tim McGauley, who had 14 goals and 14 assists last season in 39 games. Travis Barron had 2 goals and 6 assists in 12 games last season for Utah, while also playing in 38 games for the AHL’s Colorado Eagles. Mitch Maxwell had 5 goals and 6 assists in 29 games. Mike Economos had 11 goals and 8 assists in 48 games last year. Tanner Nagel appeared in 9 games for Utah last year, scoring 1 assist.
Mason McDonald is new to the Grizzlies roster but is not new to professional hockey. He played for the Kansas City Mavericks the past 2 seasons. Last year McDonald shined as he had a 23-10-3 record with a .917 save percentage and a 2.54 goals against average. McDonald was selected 34th overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft by the Calgary Flames. Grizzlies fans are glad he’s on their side this season as McDonald had a record of 4-0-1 vs Utah last year, including a shutout on February 16th in a 3-0 Kansas City victory.
Hunter Miska played with the Tucson Roadrunners the past 2 seasons. Miska also appeared in 1 NHL game for the Arizona Coyotes on November 13th against the Detroit Red Wings, where he stopped 8 of 9 shots.
Jeff Smith had a record of 28-16-5 with a .910 save percentage in 3 seasons at powerhouse St. Cloud State.
Forward Griffen Molino played in 5 games for the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks in the 2016-17 season. Last year he split time with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies and ECHL’s reigning Kelly Cup Champion Newfoundland Growlers. Ryan Wagner spent last season with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves. Joe Wegwerth played at Notre Dame for 4 seasons and has good size at 6’3” and 220 pounds. Cole Cassels spent 3 seasons in the AHL with the Utica Comets from 2016-2018. Last year Cassels played in Germany. Felix Lauzon is coming off a successful 5 year career in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Last year he had 28 goals and 52 assists and was a plus-54 for the Drummondville Voltigeurs. Yuri Terao played last season with the Nikko Icebucks in the Asia league. The Japan native had 6 goals and 17 assists in 27 games. Colin Jacobs brings 7 seasons of professional experience to the club. Last season Jacobs split time with Kalamazoo and Wichita in the ECHL.
Peter Tischke played for the University of Wisconsin for the past 4 seasons. He served as Badgers team captain his senior season. Eric Williams spent the past 4 years at Northeastern University. Williams got his first taste of professional experience at the end of last season with Manchester in the ECHL and Charlotte of the AHL. Connor Yau played at Dartmouth College for 4 seasons. Yau was 2nd team all-Ivy League last season. Ryan Black played his college hockey at Northern Michigan University. Black had 1 goal and 1 assist in his preseason debut with the Grizz, earning 3rd star honors for the night. Sean Campbell has 35 games of professional experience over the past 2 seasons.
Head Coach and General Manager Tim Branham is in his 7th season with the Grizzlies. Branham is the winningest head coach in Utah Grizzlies history with 215 victories. Assistant Coach Ryan Kinasewich is in his second full season with the club. Kinasewich is the all-time leading scorer in Grizzlies history with 356 points.
New Trainer and Equipment Manager
Trainer Brady Cufaude and Equipment Manager Matthew Schwegmann are each in their first seasons with the Grizzlies. Both were in the same capacities with the SPHL’s Peoria Rivermen.