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Grizzlies Weekly: Opening Weekend at Maverik Center

Tuesday, October 18th
Grizzlies Weekly: Opening Weekend at Maverik Center

Grizzlies Weekly: Home Opener is on Friday Night

West Valley City, Utah – The Utah Grizzlies begin their quest for the Kelly Cup with a 2 game homestand against the Rapid City Rush on Friday and Saturday night. Face-off both nights is at 7:10 pm.

20 of the 25 players have previous regular season or playoff experience with the Grizzlies. It’s the most returning players from one season to the next in Grizzlies ECHL era history. Last season the Grizzlies won the division title for the first time in team history. They advanced to the Western Conference Finals for the third time in club history and the first time since 2008.

Goaltending should be solid again this season. Trent Miner was reassigned to the Grizzlies from the AHL’s Colorado Eagles. Miner led the league with 7 shutouts last season, which also broke a Grizzlies single season record. Goaltender Lukas Parik is a former 3rd round pick of the LA Kings back in 2019. Last season with Rapid City, Parik went 14-8-8 with a .915 save % and a 2.69 Goals Against Average. Salt Lake City native Garrett Metcalf begins his 3rd season in net for the Grizz. In 2 years with Utah, the 6’4” goaltender has a 9-7-1 record with a 2.48 goals against average and a .917 save percentage.

There are 11 returning forwards who spent some time with Utah last season. Ben Tardif returns to Utah. He led the team with 39 assists and 59 points last year. Tardif is coming off an amazing playoff run where he had 5 goals and 25 assists in 18 games. Tyler Penner is back in Utah for his second season. Penner was the only player to appear in every preseason, regular season and playoff game for the Grizzlies last season. Penner had 13 goals and 20 assists last season. Penner was in AHL camp with the Manitoba Moose. Dylan Fitze plays a solid 2 way brand of hockey. Fitze scored some big third period goals for Utah in the 2022 postseason.

Forwards Kyle Betts, Tarun Fizer, Dakota Raabe, Zach Tsekos and Johnny Walker will each begin their first full seasons as professionals. All 5 were part of the Grizzlies postseason run in 2022, which went all the way to the Western Conference Finals. Keaton Jameson made a strong impression in the preseason, assisting on both of Utah’s goals at Idaho on October 14th. Neil Robinson and Christian Simeone each return for their second pro seasons. Robinson is coming off an injury but looked good in 3 games last season for Utah. Simeone had 5 goals and 10 assists for the Grizz in his rookie season.

The Grizz should be solid on the blue line again. Nate Clurman is back in Utah for his second season. Clurman was a +16 for Utah last year, scoring 3 goals and 21 assists in 54 games. Andrew Nielsen scored 27 points in 36 games with Utah last season (8 goals, 19 assists). Nielsen has 6 years of experience in the AHL with Toronto, Stockton, Hersey and Tucson. Connor McDonald was a key piece to the Grizzlies blue line last season, scoring 3 goals and 10 assists in 57 regular season games. McDonald has AHL experience with Indy and San Jose. James Shearer made his pro debut on March 18, 2022 at Idaho and was a key piece to the Grizzlies in the final month of the regular season, scoring 3 goals and 8 assists in 15 games. Shearer was a +9 for Utah. He returns for his first full season as a pro. Joey Colatarci is back for his second season in Utah. Colatarci won the team’s “Unsung hero” award last season, where the Florida native played both as a defenseman and forward for Utah. Kyle Pouncy is back after appearing in 45 games last season, scoring 3 goals and 4 assists. Jordon Stone is also back in Utah for his second season. New Grizzlies D-man Brycen Martin is a former 3rd round draft pick by Buffalo back in 2014. Victor Bartley has 121 games of NHL experience as he enters his 12th pro season.

You want to make sure to be at Maverik Center for the weekend series against the Rapid City Rush. Face-off on Friday and Saturday night is at 7:10 pm. Saturday is Hispanic Heritage Night. Tickets are available at utahgrizzlies.com or by calling (801) 988-8000. The Grizzlies will be on the road for 8 straight games after the Rapid City series and return to Maverik Center for 6 straight home games around the Thanksgiving holiday.

New Faces

Defenseman Brycen Martin played with Maine and Indy last season. In 39 games with Indy, Martin had 4 goals and 19 assists. Forward Cam Strong played last season with Reading and South Carolina. Forward Cameron Wright were reassigned to Utah from the AHL’s Colorado Eagles. Wright won a national championship with the University of Denver last season, scoring 23 goals and 11 assists in 41 games for Denver. Defenseman Victor Bartley could be considered new because the last time Bartley suited up for the Grizzlies was back in the 2009-2010 season, where he was a teammate of current Grizzlies Head Coach/GM Ryan Kinasewich. Grizzlies fans will be happy to have Lukas Parik on their side this season. Parik had 2 shutouts against Utah last season, including a 43 save clean sheet in game 5 of the Mountain Division Finals.

Games This Week

Friday, October 21, 2022 – Rapid City at Utah. 7:10 pm. Maverik Center. Grizzlies unveil their Mountain Division Championship banner.

Saturday, October 22, 2022 – Rapid City at Utah. 7:10 pm. Maverik Center. Hispanic Heritage Night.

Games Last Week (Preseason)

October 14, 2022 – Utah 2 Idaho 3 – Dakota Raabe and Andrew Nielsen each scored a goal for Utah. Keaton Jameson had 2 assists. Lukas Parik saved 31 of 34. Idaho outshot Utah 32 to 22.

October 15, 2022 – Idaho 5 Utah 2 – Kyle Betts and Tarun Fizer scored Utah’s goals. Fizer had 1 goal and 1 assist. Garrett Metcalf saved 31 of 35 for Utah. Idaho’s Remi Poirier stopped 24 of 26. Idaho outshot Utah 36 to 26. Idaho was 1 for 6 on the power play. Utah was 1 for 7.

Utah Grizzlies 2022-2023 Roster

Forwards (14): Kyle Betts, Dylan Fitze, Tarun Fizer, Keaton Jameson, Tyler Penner, Dakota Raabe, Neil Robinson, Christian Simeone, Joey Strada, Cam Strong, Ben Tardif, Zach Tsekos, Johnny Walker, Cameron Wright.

Defenseman (9): Victor Bartley, Nate Clurman, Joey Colatarci, Brycen Martin, Connor McDonald, Andrew Nielsen, Kyle Pouncy, James Shearer, Jordon Stone.

Goaltenders (3): Garrett Metcalf, Trent Miner, Lukas Parik.

Staff for 2022-2023 Season

Ryan Kinasewich enters his second season as Grizzlies Head Coach/General Manager. Kinasewich led the Grizzlies to a 42-27-2-1 record, winning the Mountain Division title for the first time in team history. Jared Pike is the new Grizzlies assistant coach. The Sandy, Utah native was a player with Utah in the 2020-2021 season. Mason Weyland enters his second season as the Grizzlies Head Equipment Manager. Collin Lee will be in his third year as Grizzlies Athletic Trainer. Tyson Whiting begins his fifth season as the “Voice of the Grizzlies”.

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
America First Friday
Friday, March 8th
America First Friday
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM MST
Maverik Center
Rapid City Rush
RC Rapid City Rush
at
Utah Grizzlies
UTA Utah Grizzlies
Maverik Center
Rapid City Rush
Utah Grizzlies
Saturday, March 9th
Rapid City Rush @ Utah Grizzlies
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM MST
Maverik Center
Rapid City Rush
RC Rapid City Rush
at
Utah Grizzlies
UTA Utah Grizzlies
Maverik Center
Smith's Family Night
Monday, March 11th
Smith's Family Night
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM MDT
Maverik Center
Rapid City Rush
RC Rapid City Rush
at
Utah Grizzlies
UTA Utah Grizzlies
Maverik Center

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