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Grizzlies Gameday: Friday Night Fun in Jacksonville

Friday, December 9th
Grizzlies Gameday: Friday Night Fun in Jacksonville

Utah Grizzlies (9-10, 18 points, .474 Win %) at Jacksonville Icemen (10-9, 20 points, .526 Win %) 

Friday, December 9, 2022. 5:00 pm. Arena: VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena

Broadcast: FloHockey.TV - https://www.flohockey.tv/events/7759935-2022-utah-grizzlies-vs-jacksonville-icemen

Audio: YouTube.com/UTAHGRIZZLIES.

It’s the second of a three-game series between the Grizzlies and Icemen. Jacksonville defeated Utah 5-2 on December 7. Utah is 19 for 63 (30.1 %) on the power play over the last 13 games. Watch out for Johnny Walker, who has 8 goals in his last 13 games. Walker is tied with Zach Tsekos for the club lead in goals. Utah has been a good road team this season as they have a record of 6-5 away from Maverik Center.

Games This Week 

December 7, 2022 – Utah 2 Jacksonville 5 – Neil Robinson and Tyler Penner scored Utah’s goals. Utah went 1 for 4 on the power play. Jacksonville was 1 for 3. Jacksonville outshot Utah 38 to 29. Utah has allowed 134 shots over their last 3 games. Jacksonville’s Travis Howe had 2 goals. Luke Martin and Zach Jordan each had 1 goal and 1 assist.

December 9, 2022 – Utah at Jacksonville. 5:00 pm. VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.

December 10, 2022 – Utah at Jacksonville. 5:00 pm. VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.

You can catch every game on FloHockey and audio on the Grizzlies YouTube channel.

Former Grizzlies Get Revenge on Former Team

There are 4 former Grizzlies players who are currently on the Jacksonville roster and all 4 played a key role in the Icemen’s 5-2 win over Utah on December 7. Hunter Skinner scored a first period power play goal 3:02 in. Skinner played in 26 games with Utah in the 2020-21 season, where he scored 7 goals and 10 assists. Skinner is currently in the second season of an NHL entry-level contract. Luke Martin scored a goal 16:34 into the second period. Martin had 1 goal and 1 assist on Wednesday night. Last season Martin was on the ECHL All-Rookie team and had 43 points (10 goals, 33 assists) in 59 games and a +23 rating.

Travis Howe scored 2 third period goals on Wednesday night. Howe played in 94 games with the Grizzlies over a 2 season stretch from 2016-2018. Travis is 8th in Grizzlies history in penalty minutes with 429.

Goaltender Parker Gahagen saved 27 of 29 to earn his 5th win of the season. Gahagen was Utah’s top goaltender in the 2020-2021 season, where he had a .929 save percentage and was the league’s Goaltender of the Month for May 2021. Gahagen won the league’s Goaltender of the Week award in back-to-back weeks in the middle of that month.

Games Next Week 

December 17, 2022 – Kansas City at Utah. 7:10 pm. Maverik Center. Teddy Bear Toss. Ugly Sweater Night.  

December 18, 2022 – Kansas City at Utah. 3:10 pm. Maverik Center.

You can catch every game on FloHockey and audio on the Grizzlies YouTube channel.

All times mountain.

Andrew Nielsen Leads the Way

Andrew Nielsen has a point in 6 straight games. Nielsen leads the league among defenseman in assists (19) and points (23). Nielsen also leads the league in power play assists (13) and power play points (15). Andrew is on a current 6 game point streak (3 goals, 7 assists). Nielsen has a point in 12 of 18 games.

Transactions Last Week

December 2 – Grizzlies Sign Forward Vladislav Mikhalchuk – Mikhalchuk made his Grizzlies debut on December 2 at Idaho. He had 2 shots on goal. Mikhalchuk will miss Friday and Saturday's games at Jacksonville while he's serving a 2 game suspension. 

December 2 – Andrew Nielsen Returned from Loan to San Diego – Nielsen had 1 assist and was a +1 for Utah on Dec. 2 at Idaho. Nielsen leads Utah with 17 assists and 19 points. He has 1 goal and 5 assists in his last 4 games. Nielsen leads the league in power play assists (12) and power play points (13).

December 2 – Cameron Wright Recalled to Colorado - Wright signed an AHL contract on July 27, 2022. Wright is tied for 2nd in the league lead with 3 game winning goals. All 3 of his professional goals have been game winners. Wright leads all rookies with 67 shots on goal (2nd overall). Wright has 2 goals and 11 assists in his last 11 games. Wright has 25 shots on goal over his last 5 games.

November 29 – Andrew Nielsen Loaned to San Diego (AHL) - Nielsen played in 1 game with San Diego on Nov. 30 at Colorado.

November 29 – Zach Tsekos Recalled to Colorado (AHL) - Tied among all league rookies with 4 power play goals. Tsekos has 6 goals and 6 assists in his last 11 games. Tsekos leads the club with 8 goals. Tsekos scored his first professional game winner on Nov. 26 vs Trois-Rivieres. 

Offense is on the Right Track

Utah has scored 23 goals over their last 6 games. They have at least 4 goals in 5 of their last 6 games. The power play has played a key role recently as they are 10 for 30 on the power play over their last 7 games. The Grizz have a respectable 10.1 shooting % this season. Johnny Walker had 3 goals and 1 assist in the 2-game series at Idaho on Dec. 2-3. Tyler Penner has 3 goals in his last 5 games.

7 Players in the AHL

There are 7 players who have appeared in 2 or more games with the Grizzlies this season who are now in the American Hockey League. Last week Cameron Wright and Zach Tsekos each went to the Colorado Eagles. On Thanksgiving week Tarun Fizer went to Colorado and Brandon Cutler was loaned to Belleville. Ben Tardif and Nate Clurman each went up to Colorado in early November and are still with the Eagles and Kyle Betts is still in Belleville.

Grizzlies Player Trends

Andrew Nielsen – Nielsen has a 6-game point streak (3 goals, 7 assists). Nielsen leads all league defenseman in assists (19) and points (23). He leads the league with 13 power play assists and 15 power play points. Nielsen has a point in 12 of his 18 games. Andrew has 2 power play goals in his last 5 games.

Johnny Walker – Walker has 3 goals and 2 assists in his last 3 games. He has 8 goals in his last 13 games. Walker leads all league rookies with 58 penalty minutes. 4 of his 8 goals have come on the power play. Walker has 2 games with 2 goals this season (November 5 at Kansas City, December 2 at Idaho).

Dakota Raabe – Raabe has a point in 5 of his last 6 games (2 goals, 6 assists). Raabe has 3 multiple point games in his last 6 played.

Victor Bartley - Bartley has 4 points in his last 4 games (1 goal, 3 assists).

Brycen Martin – Has a point in 3 of his last 7 games.

Tyler Penner – Penner has 3 goals and 1 assist in his last 5 games.

Dylan Fitze –Fitze has a point in 4 of his last 6 games.

Neil Robinson – Robinson has a point in 4 of his last 5 games (2 goals, 2 assists).

Bear Bites: Grizzlies Team Notes

Utah is 19 for 63 on the power play over the last 13 games (30.1%). Utah is 5th overall on the power play this season at 22.8 % (21 for 92). Utah is 5-3 in one goal games. Utah is 7-2 when scoring first. Utah has outscored opponents 23 to 19 in the second period this season. Utah is 4-0 when leading after 1 period. Utah is 6-1 when leading after 2 periods. Utah is 2-0 in overtime this season. Utah is 6-5 on the road this season. 

Match-Up With Jacksonville

It’s the second straight season Utah will face Jacksonville. Last season Jacksonville swept Utah in a 2 game series at Maverik Center on February 3-4, 2022. Jacksonville has 4 former Grizzlies players on their current roster: Goaltender Parker Gahagen, Defenseman Luke Martin and Hunter Skinner as well as former Grizzlies fan favorite Travis Howe. Jacksonville and Utah share identical 9-9 records this season. Jacksonville is 3rd in the league in average attendance at 7.021 per game. Icemen forward Derek Lodermeier won the ECHL Player of the Week award for November 28 – December 4 after he scored 6 points (4 goals, 2 assists) in 3 games. 

Next Homestand

The Grizzlies host the Kansas City Mavericks on December 17 at 7:10 pm and December 18 at 3:10 pm. Saturday the 17th is the annual Teddy Bear Toss as well as Ugly Sweater Night, where the Grizzlies are wearing ugly sweater themed specialty jerseys. 

Upcoming Home Games

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

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