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Grizzlies Gameday: Opener of Three Game Weekend Set at Fort Wayne

Friday, December 15th
Grizzlies Gameday: Opener of Three Game Weekend Set at Fort Wayne

Grizzlies Gameday: Utah Begins 3 Game Set at Fort Wayne 

Utah Grizzlies (8-12, 16 points, .400 Win %) at Fort Wayne Komets (9-8-1-2, 21 points, .525 Win %) 

Date: December 15, 2023  Venue: Memorial Coliseum

Game Time: 6:00 pm. 

Streaming/TV: FloHockey - https://www.flohockey.tv/events/11053584-2023-utah-grizzlies-vs-fort-wayne-komets 

Audio/Radio: Utah Grizzlies YouTube channel. - https://www.youtube.com/@THEUTAHGRIZZLIES


Friday’s Matchup

The Utah Grizzlies are at Memorial Coliseum for the opener of a three-game baseball style weekend series. Nathan Burke leads Utah with 18 points this season (9 goals, 9 assists). Burke had 4 goals and 4 assists in his last 4 games. Cole Gallant has been on fire as he has 9 points (4 goals, 5 assists) in his last 5 games. Gallant has 3 straight multiple point games. Mick Messner has 7 goals and 4 assists in his last 11 games. Messner has a goal in 3 of his last 4 games. Brett Stapley has 9 assists in 7 games in December. It’s the 8th all-time meeting between Utah and Fort Wayne in the regular season. Utah is 2-5 vs Fort Wayne. 

Games This Week

Wednesday, December 13, 2023 – Utah 2 Cincinnati 5 – Cole Gallant had 1 goal and 1 assist. Brett Stapley had 2 assists. Kyle Mayhew scored a third period goal. Nathan Burke had 1 assist. Dante Giannuzzi stopped 31 of 35. Cincinnati was led by Cristiano DiGiacinto, who had 1 goal and 2 assists. Cincinnati outshot Utah 36 to 21. Both teams went 0 for 2 on the power play. 

Friday, December 15, 2023 – Utah at Fort Wayne. 6:00 pm. Memorial Coliseum. 

Saturday, December 16, 2023 – Utah at Fort Wayne. 5:30 pm. Memorial Coliseum. 

Sunday, December 17, 2023 – Utah at Fort Wayne. 3:00 pm. Memorial Coliseum. 

All Times Mountain. 

Tickets for every Grizzlies home game is available at utahgrizzlies.com or by calling (801) 988-8000. 

Games Next Week

Friday, December 22, 2023 – Utah at Idaho. 7:10 pm. Idaho Central Arena. 

Saturday, December 23, 2023 – Idaho at Utah. 7:10 pm. Maverik Center. 

Grizzlies Acquire Quinn Wichers in Trade with Wheeling

The Utah Grizzlies have acquired defenseman Quinn Wichers and future considerations in a trade with the Wheeling Nailers for Jordan Martel. 

Wichers has played in 3 games with the Wheeling Nailers this season. Prior to that he spent 2 seasons with the Rapid City Rush from 2021-2023, scoring 3 goals and 17 assists in 93 games. He also had 4 assists for the Rush in 11 games in the 2022 Kelly Cup Playoffs. He also has 16 games of AHL experience with the Tucson Roadrunners in the 2021-22 season and 10 games with the AHL’s San Diego Gulls in the 2022-23 campaign. 

Wichers appeared in 15 regular season games and 6 contests in the 2022 Kelly Cup Playoffs against the Grizzlies while he was a member of the Rapid City Rush. 

He played at Mercyhurst College from 2017-2021. He was a teammate with current Grizzlies goaltender Garrett Metcalf for 2 seasons at Mercyhurst. Wichers was the captain at Mercyhurst in the 2019-20 season. 

Martel had 6 goals and 5 assists in 16 games with Utah this season. Martel had 44 points (18 goals, 26 assists) in 45 games last season. 

Will Cranley Assigned to Utah from Springfield

Goaltender Will Cranley was sent to the Grizzlies from the AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds. Cranley played in 6 games with the ECHL’s Reading Royals, where he had a 3.55 GAA and a .893 save percentage. Cranley had previously been on the roster for the AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds. He was drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the 6th round (163rd overall) in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. Cranley signed a three-year NHL entry-level contract with the St. Louis Blues in March 2, 2022. Cranley will wear number 30 for the Grizzlies. 

Could We Finally See an Overtime Game? 

The Grizzlies are the only team in the league who have yet to play a game past regulation. The Fort Wayne Komets have played in 5 games past regulation this season. They are 2-3 in overtime or a shootout this season. Last season the Grizzlies had 9 games decided past regulation. They were 3-4 when the game ended in OT and 2-0 when it ended in a shootout. 

Recent Transactions

December 13 – Utah trades forward Jordan Martel to the Wheeling Nailers for defenseman Quinn Wichers and Future Considerations. 

December 12 – Utah receives goaltender Will Cranley, who was reassigned from Springfield (AHL). 

December 6 – Utah signs forward Patriks Marcinkevics. He will wear number 8 for Utah. 

November 25 – Utah acquired forward Adam Berg in a trade with Cincinnati. 

November 25 – Goaltender Trent Miner was recalled to Colorado (AHL). 

November 21 – Utah signs forward Aaron Aragon. Utah released forward Jared Power. 

Grizzlies Player Notes 

Nathan Burke has 4 different games with 3 points this season. Burke has 9 points (4g, 5a) in his last 5 games. Burke leads Utah with 18 points this season (9g. 9a). Burke had 2 goals and 1 assist on both December 6 and December 9. Burke also leads the club with 22 penalty minutes. Burke has a current league best 5 game assist streak. 

Cole Gallant has 9 points (4g, 5a) in his last 5 games.   

Mick Messner has 7 goals and 4 assists in his last 11 games. Messner is a +4 in his last 11 games. 11 of his 13 points this season have come at home. He has 4 goals on 13 shots over his last 4 games. Messner has a goal in 3 of his last 4 games. 

Brett Stapley has a point in 12 of his 15 games with Utah and an assist in 11 of 15 games. Stapley has 5 multiple point games. Stapley has 9 assists in 7 games in December. Stapley leads all Utah forwards with a +6 rating. 

Bryan Yoon leads Utah with a +7 rating. He is a +2 in his last 4 games. Yoon has only had 2 games this season where he’s had a minus rating. 

Kyle Mayhew is tied for first among all league defenseman with 6 goals.   

Josh Wesley has 69 shots on goal (nice), 3rd among all league defenseman.  

Patriks Marcinkevics made his pro debut on December 8. 

Cody Caron made his Grizzlies debut on December 9. Caron returned to Cincinnati to face his former team on December 13. 

Dante Giannuzzi has appeared in 7 of Utah's last 8 games in net. 
Bear Bites (Grizzlies Team Notes)

Utah is 6-2 when scoring first. Utah is the only team in the league who has not played a game past regulation. Utah is 8-5 at home this season, outscoring opponents 47 to 37. Utah has 4 shorthanded goals this season. Utah has outshot opponents 219 to 182 in the third period. Utah is 5-1 when leading after 1 period and 7-1 when leading after 2 periods. Utah had a season high crowd of 7,644 on December 9. They set a team record for Teddy Bears Tossed with 3,647 on December 9.

2023-2024 Utah Grizzlies Regular Season Totals (league rankings) 

Overall record: 8-12

Home record: 8-5

Road record: 0-7

Win percentage: .400

Streak: Lost 1

Standings Points: 16

Last 10: 4-6

Goals per game: 2.95 (Tied 21stGoals for: 59

Goals against per game: 3.25 (13th) Goals Against: 65

Shots per game: 31.20 (13th)

Shots against per game: 31.90 (16th)_

Power Play: 10 for 60 – 16.7 % (23rd)

Penalty Kill: 44 for 59 – 74.6 % (25th)

Penalty Minutes: 185. 9.25 per game.  

Shorthanded Goals: 4 

Shorthanded Goals Allowed: 4.   

Record When Scoring First: 6-2. 

Opposition Scores First: 2-10. 

Record in One Goal Games: 2-4. 

SCORING         1ST       2ND               3RD               OT/Shootout      TOTAL                      

Utah Grizzlies     16         24                   19                   0                               59         

Opposition          20         24                   21                   0                               65


Team Leaders 

Goals: Nathan Burke (9) 

Assists: Brett Stapley (14)

Points: Burke (18)

Plus/Minus: Bryan Yoon (+7)

PIM: Burke (22)

Power Play Points: Jordan Martel/Stapley (5)

Power Play Goals: Martel (3) 

Power Play Assists: Stapley (3) 

Shots on Goal: Brandon Cutler (71) 

Shooting Percentage: Kyle Mayhew (18.2 %)  - Minimum 20 shots.  

Game Winning Goals: Cutler (2) 

Wins: Trent Miner (4)

Save %: Miner (.916) 

Goals Against Average: Miner (2.52) 

Shutouts: Metcalf (1)



Goals: Kyle Mayhew (2) Cole Gallant (1)

Assists: Burke (5) Cole Gallant, Brett Stapley (4) 

Points – Burke, Gallant (5) Stapley (4) Mayhew (2)

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