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Grizzlies Game Preview: Dec. 12, 2020 Grizzlies at Rush

Saturday, December 12th
Grizzlies Game Preview: Dec. 12, 2020 Grizzlies at Rush

Utah Grizzlies (0-1) at Rapid City Rush (1-0, 2 points)December 12, 2020 | 7:05 PM | Game #2 | Rushmore Plaza Civic Center   Referees: Nolan Bloyer (31)Linesmen: Cade Bloomenrader (91), Davids Rozitis (90)

West Valley City, Utah – It’s the 2nd game of the 2 game weekend series in the Black Hills as the Grizzlies take on the Rush. Tonight is Rapid City Thrillers night where the Rush will be wearing jerseys reminiscent of the former CBA team which called the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center home.    Opening Night

Cedric Pare, Joe Wegwerth and Miles Gendron each had 1 goal and 1 assist for Utah. Diego Cuglietta had 2 assists in his Grizzlies debut. He was 1 of 15 players to make their team debuts last night. Goaltender Peyton Jones was 1 of 8 to make their professional debuts and the former Penn State standout stopped 28 of 34 shots.Special Teams Last Night

The power play/penalty kill departments from both teams were far from boring. Utah went 2 for 5 on the power play with Joe Wegwerth and Miles Gendron each scoring a goal, while Rapid City went 1 for 5. The Rush scored 2 shorthanded goals in the 2nd period to turn a 3-1 Utah lead into a 3-3 tie. RC’s Cedric Montminy scored 7:23 into the second period, while Avery Peterson scored the game tying goal. Utah added a shorthanded goal 12 minutes into the second frame as Charlie Gerard got his first pro goal. In total, there were 3 shorthanded goals in a span of 4 minutes 37 seconds.

8 Players Made Professional Debuts Last Night

Charlie Gerard and Cedric Pare each scored a goal in their first professional games. Both players are used to playing in big games as Gerard played for college powerhouse Minnesota State – Mankato, while Pare played for the Rimouski Oceanic the past 2 seasons and was a teammate with the 2020 NHL number 1 pick Alexis Lafreniere. Goaltender Peyton Jones, who started at Penn State for 4 seasons and holds the school record for games, minutes, wins and saves was in net for Utah in his first pro game. Jones has good size at 6’4” and 195 pounds. His college teammate the last 4 years Kris Mylleri also played for the first time as a pro. Local star Jared Pike, a Sandy, Utah native wore number 17 in his debut. Ian Scheid, Brayden Gelsinger and Tommy Besinger also played in their first pro games. Later this season Denis Smirnov, Edwin Hookenson and Matt Hoover will play in their first pro contest.  

Grizzlies Among League Leaders

So, the sample size may be a little small but Miles Gendron leads the league in power play points with 2. Charlie Gerard led all skaters in the league last night with 7 shots on goal.

Wegwerth and Zahn Named Assistant Captains

Joe Wegwerth and Teigan Zahn were both given the roles of assistant captains. There has not been a captain “C” named to start the season.

Lots of College Connections

3 teammates from the Minnesota State -Mankato Mavericks have reunited out west. Edwin Hookenson, Ian Scheid and Charlie Gerard were each teammates for all 4 college seasons. They won 3 straight conference championships from 2018-2020. Scheid and Gerard were roommates. Diego Cuglietta and Tanner Jago each played for the Idaho Steelheads last season. Cuglietta and Brayden Gelsinger were teammates at Lake Superior State University for 3 seasons from 2017-2019.  Denis Smirnov and Kris Myllari were teammates at Penn State University for 4 years from 2017-2020. Garrett Johnston and Miles Gendron each played with the Newfoundland Growlers last season.

Current Grizzlies vs Rapid City

Joe Wegwerth has 5 goals and 6 assists in 11 games vs RC, including a 1 goal and 1 assist performance last night. Yuri Terao had 4 goals and 8 assists in 10 games vs the Rush. Mitch Maxwell had 2 goals and 1 assist in 6 games vs RC. Christian Horn scored the last goal of the season on March 7th at Rapid City. It was Horn’s debut with Utah after being acquired in a trade with Indy. Brad Barone is a former Rush goaltender. He had a 24 save shutout vs the Rush on December 7th, 2019. With Idaho last season Diego Cuglietta had 1 assist in 5 games vs the Rush. Diego had 2 assists in last night’s game. Tanner Jago had 1 assist in 8 games for Idaho vs RC last season.

About the Rapid City Rush

The Rush were in a playoff position when the season was canceled on March 14th.  They return their top 3 scorers from last season in Peter Quenneville (24 goals, 34 assists last season, Brennan Saulnier (22 goals, 24 assists) and Tyler Coulter (24 goals, 15 assists). Forward Avery Peterson had 1 goal and 1 assist in 2 games vs Utah last season as a member of the Atlanta Gladiators. Peterson had 16 goals and 13 assists in 51 games for Atlanta. The 16 goal, 13 assist season is the exact totals that new Rush forward Alex Rodriguez had for Norfolk last year. Garrett Klotz played for Utah last season and has rejoined the Rush, a team he played with in the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Klotz had 4 goals and 5 assists in 35 games for the Grizz. Garrett is one of 4 veterans on the team, joining Mason Baptista, Joey Sides and Shawn Boutin. As a member of the KC Mavericks on February 18, 2019 Sides scored 3 goals vs Utah. Baptista has 4 straight seasons with double digit goals. There are 11 players returning who have previous experience in Rapid City, with Klotz, Sides and goaltender Adam Carlson coming back for a 2nd stint. Daniel Tetrault is entering his 4th season as Rush head coach.

2020-21 Roster

Forwards: Tommy Besinger, Diego Cuglietta, Brayden Gelsinger, Charlie Gerard, Matt Hoover, Christian Horn, Jack Jenkins, Mitch Maxwell, Mike McNicholas, Cedric Pare, Jared Pike, Denis Smirnov, Yuri Terao, Joe Wegwerth.

Defenseman: Matt Abt, Miles Gendron, Edwin Hookenson, Tanner Jago, Garrett Johnston, Alex Lepkowski, Kris Myllari, Ian Scheid, Teigan Zahn.

Goaltenders: Brad Barone, Peyton Jones.

2020-2021 Regular Season Totals (league rankings)

Overall record: 0-1

Home record (2019-20): 18-7-2-2. Utah has outscored opponents 90 to 66 at home this season.

Road record: 0-1

Last 10 games of 2019-20: Utah was 4-2-2-2

Goals per game: 4.0 (tied 3rd) last season was 3.34 (9th in the league).

Goals against per game: 6.0. Last season was 2.65 (5th). 

Shots per game: 29.0 (Tied 6th) Last season was 32.82 (8th).

Shots against per game: 34.0 (11th) Last season was 27.37 (2nd). Outshot opponents in 42 of 62 games.

Power play: 2 for 5 (40 %) 1st in the league. Last season the Power Play was 19.3 % (8th).

Penalty Kill: 4 for 5 (80%) Tied for 6th. Last season the Penalty Kill was 83.6 % (Tied 7th). 

Record When Scoring First: 0-1.  

First Goal

Win

Loss

Utah Grizzlies

0

1

Opposition

0

0

Team Leaders

Goals: Cedric Pare, Joe Wegwerth, Miles Gendron, Charlie Gerard (1)

Assists: Diego Cuglietta (2)

Points: Cuglietta, Pare, Wegwerth, Gendron (2) 

Plus/Minus: Matt Abt, Garrett Johnston (+1)  

PIM: 6 tied with 2 minutes each.  

Power Play Points: Miles Gendron (2)

Shots on Goal: Charlie Gerard (7)

Shooting Percentage: Miles Gendron – 1 for 4 (25.0 %)

Game Winning Goals: Last season Yuri Terao/Griffen Molino (5)

Wins: Last season Martin Ouellette (18)

Save %: Peyton Jones (.824 %)

Goals Against Average: Jones (6.00) Last year Miska had a 1.62 in 3 games. Ouellette had a 2.16 GAA in 28 games.  

Coaching Staff

Head Coach: Tim Branham.

Assistant Coach: Ryan Kinasewich.

Equipment Manager: Matthew Schwegmann.

Trainer: Collin Lee.  

 Where to See and Hear the Game  

You can catch every game on Flohockey.TV, the new home for ECHL.TV. The game can also be heard on Mixlr, the new broadcast home for Grizzlies hockey.

Watch Live:  https://www.flohockey.tv/Listen Live: https://mixlr.com/utah-grizzlies

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