Game Day Blog

Game Day Blog Entry: April 23

04/24/2014 10:50 AM - Adrian Denny

The close games continue between Utah and Bakersfield as now all three playoff games have been tied in the third period and all three games have been decided by a goal.

In nine games this year, Utah has outscored Bakersfield 23-21 with seven of nine games being decided by a goal.
12 of the 24 games in the ECHL playoffs so far have been decided by one goal.
 
The winner of this series will hold home ice advantage against Stockton, who finished their four-game sweep of the Ontario Reign last night in a matchup where the seven seed beat the second seed.
 
With a 3-0 lead on Las Vegas, Alaska is the only higher seed in the ECHL right now who has a series lead or hasn’t been eliminated by a lower seed. Colorado (5) leads Idaho (4) 2-1.
 
In the East, all series that have played three games have the lower seed up 2-1. Reading and Fort Wayne are tied at one, with a game three tonight.
With Igor Bobkov (2nd) rejoining Utah yesterday, three of the top four goalies numbers wise in the ECHL during the regular season are now active for this series as he joins Laurent Brossoit (1st) and Aaron Dell (4th).
 
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Game Day Blog Entry: April 22

04/22/2014 10:36 AM - Adrian Denny

This is has been the lowest scoring first round playoff series in the ECHL and the tightest so far. There have been only four combined goals. Greenville/Kalamazoo and Idaho/Colorado are the next lowest scoring series with seven combined goals.

 
It is one of two ECHL series where scoring is even.  Greenville and Kalamazoo also split two one goal games last weekend. Cincinnati /Orlando has been the highest scoring series with 16 goals in 2 games and Cincinnati outscoring the Solar Bears by six goals.
 
Jamie MacQueen returns to the Utah lineup tonight after playing three games in Bakersfield this year and totaling four goals and one assist at the Rabobank Arena.
 
Both playoff games and six of the eight games this year between Utah and Bakersfield have been decided by a goal, with Utah winning four of the six.
 
Both playoff games thus far have been tied going to the third period.
 
Here are quotes from both coaches in this morning’s Bakersfield Californian:
 
"We're looking at a few things," Utah Head Coach Tim Branham said of changes, "but mostly it's just hard work. You've got two
great goaltenders (Laurent Brossoit for Bakersfield and Aaron Dell for Utah) so it's just a matter of getting to the paint, taking the goalies' eyes away and then making the shots from there. It's just a matter of either picking up the pace, making slight little adjustments or just a matter of sheer will," he said.
 
"When you're 0-for-11 you've certainly got your concerns," Bakersfield Head Coach Troy Mann said of the power-play woes. "We talked about some adjustments, changing some personnel as well. I think the series is so tight 5-on-5 that when you get some power-play opportunities you need to try and bury them. There's not a lot of room out there," Mann said. "It's very physical. I think we had 45 hits Friday night alone. A lot of battles. We talked about this before the series, both teams are very, very similar. There's just not a lot of room offensively and those Grade A opportunities for both teams have been under 12 both games. You can see how tight it is."
 
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Game Day Blog Entry: April 19

04/19/2014 8:53 AM - Adrian Denny

Regular Season
The Grizzlies and Condors played three weekend series during the season, with the same team winning both games on all 3 weekend’s' Utah will look to force the first weekend split tonight to even the series.
During the regular season, the Grizzlies never lost two-straight at Maverik Center.
Utah was 10-1-0-1 on back-to-backs at home during the regular season and 9-0-1-2 in game two of a series.
Alaska was the only team in the regular season to beat the Grizzlies twice in regulation.

 
Last Night
Utah outshot Bakersfield 26-25.
Bakersfield drew six of the seven power-plays.
Teigan Zahn and Phil Mangan led Utah with five shots each.
Aaron Dell stopped 24 of 25 shots and Laurent Brossoit stopped all 26 for Bakersfield.
Last night’s crowd of 3,829 was the 3rd largest of the 8 series openers in the ECHL’s first round.
 
Home-Road
So far in the ECHL playoffs, the home team is 3-5, with the Eastern Conference being 0-4 at home and the West being 3-1.
 
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Game Day Blog Entry: April 18

04/18/2014 9:33 AM - Adrian Denny

12 players on the Grizzlies active roster have professional playoff experience, though some of their most experienced players at the next level will be making their playoff debuts tonight in Norm Ezekiel, Teigan Zahn and Danick Paquette.

Aaron Dell went 12-7-1 last year in the playoffs during his rookie season leading the Allen Americans to the CHL Championship. He had a 2.46 goals-against-average and a .915 save percentage.
 
Channing Boe looks to make his second deep ECHL playoff run in the last three years after going to the Kelly Cup Finals with Las Vegas 2 years ago.
 
Martin Lee, who finished the season with a plus-26, ranks seventh all-time in Grizzlies history in plus-minus. His plus-26 this year was the highest since Utah joined the ECHL. Rob Hennigar had a plus-24 in 2008-2009.
 
The Grizzlies have signed goaltender Sam Marotta to back up Aaron Dell while Igor Bobkov remains in the AHL. He just finished his college career at Merrimack College.
 
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Game Day Blog Entry: April 12

04/12/2014 9:26 AM - Adrian Denny

 The Situation
-The Grizzlies wrap up their 2013-2014 season tonight having already clinched the third spot in the Western Conference with last night’s 3-2 win.
-Utah has won six-straight season finales going back to 2008.

 
Co-MVPs
-Prior to last night’s game, Grizzlies goaltenders Aaron Dell (19-7-0-2) and Igor Bobkov (17-8-2-2) were named Co-MVPs of the 2013-2014 season.
-The two have combined to go 35-15-2-2 this season.
-Bobkov is tied for the ECHL lead with a 2.04 goals-against-average, Dell is tied for fourth with a 2.16 goals-against-average.
-The two have combined to win a record three-straight ECHL Goaltender of the Months with Dell winning in January and Bobkov winning in February and March.
 
Scenarios
-The Grizzlies will open the 2014 Kelly Cup Playoffs at home next Friday and Saturday against Colorado or Bakersfield in a 2-3-2 best-of-seven series.
-Utah will play Bakersfield if the Eagles win tonight against Alaska at home and Bakersfield doesn’t win their final 2 games in Ontario tonight and home with Las Vegas tomorrow.
-Utah will play Colorado if the Condors win both games or if Bakersfield splits their final two games and Colorado looses tonight.
-If Colorado loses in overtime or shootout tonight and Bakersfield doesn’t get more than 2 points this weekend the Grizzlies will play Colorado based on overall winning percentage.
 
What’s On The Line Tonight
-A Grizzlies win guarantees them a winning percentage over .600 for the year.
-If Utah wins tonight or loses in overtime or a shootout, they will tie the all-time team record for fewest loses in regulation set by the 1994-95 Denver Grizzlies.
-Utah already shattered a record from that same team by going unbeaten in 11-straight home games from December 28-January 29.
-Utah a 8-4-1-0 against Idaho would set a new season-high with nine wins against Idaho in a season.
-A win tonight puts Utah a season-high 15 games above .500.
-If Utah wins tonight, it will give the Grizzlies eight-straight home wins, tying the all-time team record set January 3, 1998 to February 6, 1998.
 
Another Record For Your Radar
-Unless they allow 50 goals tonight, the Grizzlies will shatter the all-time team record for fewest goals allowed in a season. 
-Utah has currently allowed 170 goals in 70 games for an average of 2.42  goals-per-game allowed, which ranks third in the ECHL. 
-Utah previously allowed 220 goals each in 1999-00 and 2000-2001 for 2.68 goals-per-game allowed during the 82 game IHL schedule.
 
Strong Finishes
-Utah, Idaho and Alaska lead the Western Conference going into their final games of the regular season with seven wins in their last 10 games.
 
This Week
-The Grizzlies have opened the final week of the regular season with back-to-back one-goal wins at home after beating Las Vegas 2-1 and Idaho 3-2 last night.
-The Grizzlies have outshot the opposition 79-44 this week, including 29-15 in the second period and 25-9 in the third period.
-The Grizzlies have rallied back after trailing each night 1-0 after one period.
-The Grizzlies have drawn nine of the 13 power-plays awarded this week.
-David Vallorani (one goal, three assists), Danick Paquette (three goals, one assist) and Charles Sarault (four assists) have factored in on four of Utah’s five goals this week.
-Aaron Dell has stopped 41 of 44 shots. 
 
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