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Playoff Preview: Grizzlies are On the Hunt for the Kelly Cup

Monday, April 17th
Playoff Preview: Grizzlies are On the Hunt for the Kelly Cup

Grizz are On the Hunt for a Kelly Cup

#1 Idaho Steelheads (58-11-3) vs. #4 Utah Grizzlies (35-33-4)Game 1 – Wednesday, April 19 at 7:10 p.m. MT at IdahoGame 2 – Friday, April 21 at 7:10 p.m. MT at IdahoGame 3 – Wednesday, April 26 at 7:10 p.m. MT at UtahGame 4 – Friday, April 28 at 7:10 p.m. MT at UtahGame 5 – Saturday, April 29 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Utah (If Necessary)Game 6 – Monday, May 1 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Idaho (If Necessary)Game 7 – Tuesday, May 2 at 7:10 p.m. MT at Idaho (If Necessary)

The Utah Grizzlies will face their longtime rivals, the Idaho Steelheads in the first round of the 2023 Kelly Cup Playoffs.

Utah swept Tulsa in a 3 game series to secure the 4 seed in the Mountain Division. Utah outscored Tulsa 15 to 4 in the series, with Utah winning 5-0 in the regular season finale on April 15th as Trent Miner earned his 3rd shutout of the season and 10th in a Grizzlies uniform. Utah’s power play got rolling in the 3 game series as they were 8 for 15 on the man advantage.

Playoff tickets are on sale now for the Grizzlies 3 home games in the first round series. Go to utahgrizzlies.com or call (801) 988-8000 for tickets and more information on the Grizzlies 2023 Kelly Cup Playoff run. The Grizzlies playoff roster will be finalized by 1 pm on April 17th.

Grizzlies Ironmen

There are 2 players who appeared in all 72 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 finished 4th on the club with 17 goals and is 5th in points with 38.

Grizzlies Standouts

Cameron Wright tied for the league lead with 9 game winning goals. Wright led all rookies with 281 shots on goal. Wright was 4th among rookies with 29 goals and was 5th among first year players with 63 points. Wright led Utah this season in goals (29), assists (34), points (63) and shots on goal (281).

Luke Martin tied for the league lead among defenseman with 7 power play goals. 6 of those goals came with the Jacksonville IceMen. Martin had 10 ECHL goals this season, which matched his mark from last season with Utah, where he was named to the league’s All-Rookie team.

Tarun Fizer had an outstanding first full season as a professional. Fizer led Utah with 12 power play goals this season. He finished second on the team in goals (27), points (50) and shots (223). Fizer was 3rd on the team with 20 power play points (12g, 8a). Tarun is doing okay after taking a skate to the face in the final game of the regular season on April 15.

Jordan Martel has been red hot for the Grizzlies to end the season. “The Rooster” has a point in 10 straight games (8 goals, 10 assists). Martel has 18 points in his last 10 games. He finished 2nd on the club with 14 multiple point games. “The Rooster” was just about a point per game for Utah as he scored 44 points (18g, 26a) in 45 games.

Keaton Jameson  has a point in 9 of his last 12 games. Jameson had an 11.6 shooting % this season (15 for 129).

Dylan Fitze has 8 points in his last 9 games (3 goals, 5 assists). Fitze finished 4th on the Grizzlies with 17 goals. 

Aaron Thow had 5 goals and 3 assists and was a +10 in 5 games vs Wichita this season. Thow is a +16 in his last 28 games. 

Brandon Cutler has a point in 19 of his last 29 games. Cutler has 5 goals and 4 assists in his last 10 games.

Connor McDonald is +17 in his last 24 games. McDonald led all Grizzlies defenseman in plus/minus (+11).  

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

Overall record: 35-33-4

Home record: 19-17

Road record: 16-16-4

Win percentage: .514

Streak: Won 3

Standings Points: 74

Last 10: 6-3-1

Goals per game: 3.19 (15th)  Goals for: 230

Goals against per game: 3.59 (21st) Goals Against: 259

Shots per game: 32.04 (11th)

Shots against per game: 34.53 (24th)

Power Play: 64 for 336 – 18.4 % (19th) 

Penalty Kill: 244 for 306 – 79.6 % (17th)

Penalty Minutes: 1316. 18.28 per game. (2nd most in the league)

Shorthanded Goals: 5.

Shorthanded Goals Allowed: 14. 

Record When Scoring First: 24-7-1.

Opposition Scores First: 11-26-3.  

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

SCORING          1ST       2ND               3RD               OT/Shootout       TOTAL                     

Utah Grizzlies     72         87                   66                   5                               230     

Opposition           84         87                   84                   4                               259

Team Leaders (2022-23 Regular season)

Goals: Cameron Wright (29). 

Assists: Wright (34). 

Points: Wright (63).

Plus/Minus: Jordan Martel (+12)

PIM: Johnny Walker (171)

Power Play Points: Nielsen (26)

Power Play Goals: Tarun Fizer (12)

Power Play Assists: Nielsen (20). 

Shots on Goal: Cameron Wright (281). 

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

Game Winning Goals: Wright (9) – Tied for the league lead.

Wins: Trent Miner (17)

Save %: Miner (.910).

Goals Against Average: Miner (3.04)

Shutouts: Miner (3)

Active Streaks 

Goal Streaks: Cameron Wright (3) Brandon Cutler (2) Keaton Jameson, Luke Martin (1)

Assist Streaks: Kyle Betts, Jordan Martel (3) Kyle Mayhew (2) Martin (1)

Point Streaks of 2 or more: Martel (10) Betts, Cutler, Mayhew (2)

Best Grizzlies Home Attendances in the 2022-2023 Season

10,397 – January 28, 2023 – RC at Utah.

9,693 – April 15, 2023 – Tulsa at Utah.

8,136 – March 11, 2023 – KC at Utah.

7382 – January 27, 2023 – RC at Utah.

7164 – March 24, 2023 – Cincinnati at Utah.

6954 – April 14, 2023 – Tulsa at Utah.

6941 – February 24, 2023 – Allen at Utah.

6927 – December 30, 2022 – Idaho at Utah.

6843 – April 8, 2023 – Idaho at Utah.

6494 – December 17, 2022 – KC at Utah.

6415 – February 4, 2023 – Allen at Utah.

6349 – November 18, 2022 – Idaho at Utah.

6325 – December 28, 2022 – Idaho at Utah. – Best Grizzlies Wednesday home crowd in 10 years.

The Grizzlies averaged 5,334 fans per game in the 2022-2023 season. That’s the highest attendance average since the 2018-19 season (5,496).

Multiple Point games (2022-2023 Regular Season)

16: Cameron Wright

14: Jordan Martel,

12: Andrew Nielsen

11: Tarun Fizer

7: Dylan Fitze, Dakota Raabe

6: Zach Tsekos

5: Brandon Cutler

4: Keaton Jameson, James Shearer, Cam Strong, Johnny Walker

3: Connor McDonald, Aaron Thow.

2: Victor Bartley, Kyle Betts, Ben Tardif.

1: Luke Martin, Brycen Martin, Kyle Mayhew, Vladislav Mikhalchuk, Jared Power, Cory Thomas.

  • Luke Martin had 7 multiple point games with Jacksonville this season.

Grizzlies Winning Weekly/Monthly Awards (2022-2023 season)

Andrew Nielsen – Player of the Week (October 31- November 6, 2022)

Andrew Nielsen – 2023 Western Conference All-Star Team.

Trent Miner – ECHL Goaltender of the Week (Jan. 16-22, 2023).

Brandon Cutler – Player of the Week (January 23-29, 2023).

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 has scored 113 goals over their last 28 games. Utah is 24-7-1 when scoring first. The Grizz went 13-6-4 in one goal games. Utah is 22-10-4 in games decided by 1 or 2 goals. Utah is 26-2 when leading after 2 periods. The Grizz have standings points in 19 of their last 28 games. Utah is averaging 37.71 shots per game in their last 28 contests.

Grizzlies First Round Opponent: Idaho Steelheads

The Idaho Steelheads had a record-breaking regular season. They set a new league record with 58 wins and 119 standings points. Idaho went 58-11-1-2 in the regular season. Defenseman Cody Haiskanen and Matt Register tied for the league lead with a +53 rating. The +53 rating is tied for the second highest in a season in ECHL history. Register and fellow defenseman Owen Headrick were named first team all ECHL. Headrick was second on the Steelheads with 54 points (15 goals, 39 assists). Ryan Dmowski led Idaho with 30 goals and 67 points. Register led the Steelheads with 43 assists. Idaho’s team save percentage this season was .927. They were led by 2nd team all ECHL goaltender Adam Scheel, who had a 1.97 goals against average and a .932 save percentage. Idaho led the league in goals per game at 4.03 and they also lead the league in fewest goals per game allowed at 2.13. Idaho broke a league record for home wins in a season with 32. 3 of Idaho’s 4 losses at home came to the hands of the Grizzlies.

Something Changed on February 11th

Utah has taken 1056 shots over their last 28 games for an average of 37.71. 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 32.04 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 4.03 goals per game in their last 28 contests (113 goals). Prior to February 11th Utah averaged 2.66 goals per game (117 goals).

Upcoming Home Games

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Friday, March 8th
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Saturday, March 9th
Rapid City Rush @ Utah Grizzlies
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Smith's Family Night
Monday, March 11th
Smith's Family Night
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