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Grizzlies Gameday: Utah Battles for a Playoff Spot

Friday, April 14th
Grizzlies Gameday: Utah Battles for a Playoff Spot

Grizzlies Gameday: Utah Battles for a Playoff Spot

Tulsa Oilers (22-39-8-1, 53 points, .379 Win %) @ Utah Grizzlies (33-33-4, 70 points, .500 Win %) 

Friday, April 14, 2023. 7:10 pm. Venue: Maverik Center

Broadcast: Video: FloHockey.TV - https://www.flohockey.tv/events/7761412-2023-tulsa-oilers-vs-utah-grizzlies

Audio: youtube.com/UTAHGRIZZLIES.

It’s the next to last game of the regular season as the Grizzlies pursue a playoff spot. Jordan Martel has a goal in 8 straight games. Martel has 11 goals and 6 assists in his last 11 games. Cameron Wright has a point in 17 of his last 23 games. Wright has 13 goals and 14 assists in his last 23 games. Utah has scored 103 goals over their last 26 games for an average of 3.96 per game.a

Playoff Scenario

Utah can clinch a spot in the 2023 Kelly Cup Playoffs with a win on Friday against Tulsa and both Wichita and Rapid City lose in regulation.

Games Remaining in the Regular Season

Friday, April 14, 2023 – Tulsa at Utah. 7:10 pm. Maverik Center. AFCU Friday.

Saturday, April 15, 2023 – Tulsa at Utah. 7:10 pm. Maverik Center. Fan Appreciation and Star Wars Night.

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

All Times Mountain.

Last Game: Mayhew & Ritchie Score First Pro Goals in Utah’s 5-1 Victory

Kyle Mayhew, Jordan Martel and Cameron Wright each scored 1 goal and 1 assist in Utah’s 5-1 win over Tulsa on Wednesday night. Kyle Betts had 2 assists in his first game back after spending most of the season with the AHL’s Belleville Senators.

Mountain Division Playoff Picture

Utah is tied for 4th with Rapid City in the Mountain division standings with 70 standings points. Utah has 28 wins in regulation, which is the league’s number one tie-breaker. Utah has the advantage over Kansas City (27), Rapid City (27) and Wichita (23). Allen became the second team in the Mountain division to clinch a playoff spot after they defeated Tulsa 5-2 on Sunday afternoon.

Remaining Schedules for the 4 teams battling for the 2 remaining playoff spots

Kansas City – 2 games (2 home) – KC has 72 points and are in 3rd place in the Mountain division.. KC hosts Cincinnati on April 14-15.  

Wichita – 2 games (1 home, 1 away) – Wichita has 70 points and are tied for 4th place in the division. Allen at Wichita on April 14, Wichita at Allen on April 15. Wichita is 6-5-1 vs Allen this season.

Utah – 2 games (2 home) – Utah has 70 points and are tied for 4th place in the division. Utah hosts Tulsa on April  14-15.

Rapid City – 2 games (2 home) – RC has 70 points and are tied with Utah for 4th place. The Rush host Idaho on April 14-15.

Grizzlies Standouts

Jordan Martel has a goal and a point in 8 straight games. “The Rooster” has 11 goals and 6 assists in his last 11 games. Martel has a point in 13 of his last 15 games (12 goals, 10 assists). Martel is a +10 in his last 11 games. Martel is a +12 in 43 games with Utah.

Tarun Fizer has 7 goals in his last 15 games. Fizer leads Utah with 25 goals and 10 power play goals. The 25 goals are tied for 4th among all league rookies.

Dylan Fitze has 7 points in his last 7 games (2 goals, 5 assists). Fitze is 4th on the Grizzlies with 17 goals. 

Cameron Wright is tied for the league lead with 8 game winning goals. Wright leads all rookies with 274 shots (4th overall). Wright leads the Grizzlies with 14 multiple point games. Wright has 10 points (4 goals, 6 assists) in his last 8 games. Wright has 91 shots on goal in his last 18 games. Cameron is tied for 7th among league rookies with 58 points.

Keaton Jameson  has a point in 8 of his last 10 games.

Aaron Thow had 5 goals and 3 assists and was a +10 in 5 games vs Wichita this season. Thow is a +15 in his last 26 games. 

Brandon Cutler has a point in 17 of his last 27 games. Cutler has 3 goals and 3 assists in his last 8 games since returning to Utah from the AHL. 

Connor McDonald is +16 in his last 23 games. McDonald has missed the last 2 games for Utah this season.

Luke Martin has a goal in 4 of his last 7 ECHL games. Martin had 3 goals and 2 assists in 3 games against Utah in December 2022 when he played with Jacksonville.

James Shearer is a +8 since the beginning of March.

Bear Bites: Grizzlies Team Notes

Utah went 16-16-4 on the road. They picked up 36 of a possible 72 points for an even .500 record on the road. The 16 road wins are the 3rd most in the Mountain Division. Idaho has 23 road wins and Allen has 18. Utah has a point in 9 of their last 12 road games. Last season the Grizzlies had 19 road wins, which was the most of any Mountain division teams. 

Utah is 3-1 vs Tulsa this season. Utah has scored 103 goals over their last 26 games. Utah is 22-7-1 when scoring first. The Grizz are 13-6-4 in one goal games. Utah is 21-10-4 in games decided by 1 or 2 goals. Utah is 25-2 when leading after 2 periods. The Grizz have standings points in 17 of their last 26 games. Utah is averaging 38.19 shots per game in their last 25 contests.

Recent Transactions

April 11 – Grizzlies Get Kyle Betts back – Kyle Betts was released from the AHL’s Belleville Senators and he returns to the Grizzlies. Betts appeared in 2 games with Utah earlier this season and had 1 assist and 3 shots on goal. Betts played in 40 games with Belleville this season and had 1 goal and 2 assists.

April 7 – Grizzlies sign Forward Nolan Ritchie - Ritchie played in the WHL with the Brandon Wheat Kings for 5 seasons from 2018-2029. Ritchie had a breakthrough 2021-2022 season with Brandon, where he scored 33 goals, 43 assists and a +15 rating in 66 games. Ritchie had 70 points (27 goals, 43 assists) in 67 games with Brandon in the 2022-2023 season. Ritchie was the captain of the Wheat Kings during the 2022-2023 season. He averaged exactly 1 point per game in his 5 year WHL career with 185 points (76 goals, 109 assists) in 185 games. Ritchie will wear number 61 for Utah.

April 4 – Grizzlies Sign Forward Mick Messner - Messner started his college career at the University of Wisconsin and played there for 2 years from 2018-2020. He transferred to Merrimack College, where he spent 3 seasons there from 2020-2023. Messner played with current Grizzlies forward Christian Simeone during the 2020-2021 season. Messner had 5 goals, 4 assists and a +6 rating in 35 games with Merrimack this season. Messner majored in Business at Merrimack. Messner will wear number 25, which is the same number former Grizzlies forward Vladislav Mikhalchuk wore.

April 3 – Grizzlies sign defenseman Kyle Mayhew - Mayhew was a key defenseman on the DU 2022 national championship club, where he was a teammate with current Grizzlies forward Cameron Wright. Mayhew was a combined +51 in 5 seasons at Denver, where he scored 6 goals and 29 assists in 153 games. Mayhew is from Anaheim Hills, California and is listed at 5’8” and 160 pounds. Mayhew will wear number 6 for Utah.

April 3 – Defenseman Luke Martin reassigned to Utah – In 26 ECHL games this season Martin has 9 goals and 17 assists.

April 3 – Grizzlies released forward Vladislav Mikhalchuk – He appeared in 31 games for Utah, scoring 4 goals and 8 assists.

Something Changed on February 11th

Utah has taken 993 shots over their last 26 games for an average of 37.96. Prior to February 11th the Grizzlies had averaged 28.43 shots per game and were 26th in the league at that time. Now the Grizzlies are averaging 32.06 shots per game for the season and are currently 11th in the league.

The more shots and scoring chances has translated into goals as Utah is averaging 3.96 goals per game in their last 26 contests (103 goals). Prior to February 11th Utah averaged 2.66 goals per game (117 goals).

Grizzlies Ironmen

There are 2 players who have appeared in all 70 games this season: Dylan Fitze and Tyler Penner. Penner was 1 of 2 Grizzlies along with Mason Mannek, who appeared in all 72 games last season. Fitze has not missed a game for Utah since joining the club via a trade with Orlando on March 24, 2022. Fitze is 4th on the club with 17 goals and is 5th in points with 38.

Utah Grizzlies 2022-2023 Roster

Forwards (15): Kyle Betts, Brandon Cutler, Dylan Fitze, Tarun Fizer, Keaton Jameson, Jordan Martel, Mick Messner, Tyler Penner, Jared Power, Dakota Raabe, Nolan Ritchie, Christian Simeone, Cam Strong, Zach Tsekos, Johnny Walker, Cameron Wright.

Defenseman (10): Victor Bartley, Brycen Martin, Luke Martin, Kyle Mayhew, Connor McDonald, Kyle Pouncy, Jacob Semik, James Shearer, Cory Thomas, Aaron Thow.

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

2022-2023 Utah Grizzlies Regular Season Totals (league rankings)

Overall record: 33-33-4

Home record: 17-17

Road record: 16-16-4

Win percentage: .500

Streak: Won 1

Standings Points: 70

Last 10: 4-5-1

Goals per game: 3.14 (tied 17th) Goals for: 220

Goals against per game: 3.66 (tied 22nd) Goals Against: 256

Shots per game: 32.06 (11th)

Shots against per game: 34.59 (25th)

Power Play: 58 for 325 – 17.8 % (20th) 

Penalty Kill: 239 for 301 – 79.4 % (17th)

Penalty Minutes: 1284. 18.34 per game. (2nd most in the league)

Shorthanded Goals: 5.

Shorthanded Goals Allowed: 13. 

Record When Scoring First: 22-7-1.

Opposition Scores First: 11-26-3.  

Record in One Goal Games: 13-6-4.

SCORING          1ST       2ND               3RD               OT/Shootout       TOTAL                     

Utah Grizzlies     69         84                   62                   5                               220     

Opposition           83         85                   84                   4                               256

Team Leaders (2022-23 Regular season)

Goals: Tarun Fizer (25). 

Assists: Cameron Wright (33). 

Points: Wright (58).

Plus/Minus: Jordan Martel (+12)

PIM: Johnny Walker (171)

Power Play Points: Nielsen (26)

Power Play Goals: Tarun Fizer (10)

Power Play Assists: Nielsen (20). 

Shots on Goal: Cameron Wright (274). 

Shooting Percentage: Johnny Walker (18.5 %) 12 for 65.   

Game Winning Goals: Wright (8) – Tied for the league lead

Wins: Trent Miner (15)

Save %: Miner (.908).

Goals Against Average: Miner (3.13)

Shutouts: Miner (2)

Active Streaks 

Goal Streaks: Jordan Martel (8) Kyle Mayhew, Nolan Ritchie, James Shearer, Cameron Wright (1)

Assist Streaks: Kyle Betts, Brandon Cutler, Dylan Fitze, Martel, Luke Martin, Mayhew, Wright (1)

Point Streaks of 2 or more: Martel (8) Fitze, Ritchie (2)

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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