03/06/2019 1:46 PM
Grizzlies Begin Road Trip Wednesday Night
Rapid City, South Dakota – The Utah Grizzlies are in Rapid City tonight as they face the Rush in the first game of 6 between the two teams and the first of 3 games at Rapid City.
Tonight is the season Grizzlies debut for defenseman Gabriel Verpaelst. It’s his 2nd stint in a Utah uniform. He played in 14 regular season games and 4 playoff games in the 2016-17 season for the Grizz. Verpaelst previously played with Teigan Zahn, Joe Cannata, Jake Marchment and Gage Ausmus in Colorado and with Taylor Richart in Utah. Verpaelst won a Kelly Cup with Colorado in the 2017-18 season.
These next 6 games are big for the Grizzlies but they are also really big for Rapid City. They are currently 10 points behind Kansas City for 4th place in the Mountain Division. The Rush gets goaltender Adam Carlson back from the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals. Carlson has won 4 games in the 6 he’s played against Utah this season. Carlson shut out Utah on December 1st stopping all 33 shots.
Utah is 3 points behind Tulsa for first place in the Mountain Division and only 1 point behind Idaho for 2nd place. Idaho is home vs Wichita and Tulsa is off tonight.
Face-off is at 7:00 pm and you can catch the game on ECHL.TV and on ESPN 700, ESPN700sports.com.
Utah Grizzlies at Rapid City Rush. Wednesday March 6, 2019. 7 pm face-off.
Both teams have won 4 games out of the 8 in the season series. Utah has a record of 4-3-0-1 vs Rapid City this season.
Utah scored 5 goals in 3 games against Rapid City in a 3 game series on Dec. 12, 14-15 at Maverik Center. 4 of the 5 goals were scored by players who are not expected to play for Utah. JT Henke was amazing that week. He had 3 goals and 1 assist that week, including 2 goals and 1 assist on Dec. 15. Henke has been out since Feb. 9 due to injury. Henke won ECHL Rookie of the Month for December. Rapid City got goaltender Adam Carlson back from the AHL’s Milwaukee club. Carlson has won 4 of the 6 games he’s played vs Utah.
One guy who is back in the lineup and has played well vs R.C is Cole Ully. He has 3 goals and 4 assists in 8 games vs the Rush. He has a point in 5 of the 8 games. Caleb Herbert has 3 goals and 6 assists vs Rapid City this year.
Special teams have been interesting vs Rapid City. In the first weekend of the regular season the Grizzlies were 5 for 13 on the power play. In the last 6 head to head games, Utah is 1 for 31 on the power play. Grizzlies are currently 3rd in the league with a 21.9 % PP.
Previous Week's Record: Utah went 1-1-1 vs Maine
Grizzlies lost 4-1 on Feb. 27, lost 4-3 in a shootout on March 1 and won 4-3 in overtime on March 2nd.
Overall record: 32-18-4-3
Home record: 19-10-1-1
Road record: 13-8-3-2
This Week's Games: (Utah is at Rapid City on March 6, 8-9)
Last 10 games: Utah is 3-5-0-2.
Goals per game: 3.40 (8th in league).
Goals against per game: 2.98 (tied 8th).
Shots per game: 31.91 (13th).
Shots against per game: 28.98 (4th).
Power play: 21.9 % (3rd).
Penalty Kill: 86.3 % (3rd). PK is 30 for 30 last 5 games.
1st Period Scoring: Utah 58 Opponents 49.
2nd Period Scoring: Utah 73 Opponents 56.
3rd Period Scoring: Utah 57 Opponents 58.
● Grizzlies are Fourth in the league with 28.98 shots-against per game. Grizzlies are 13th in the league in shots per game (31.91).
Utah is 3rd in the Mountain Division with 71 standings points. Despite losing 7 of their last 8 games, they are still only 1 back of 2nd place Idaho and 3 points behind first place Tulsa.
Grizzlies Earn 3 of 6 Points vs Maine
In the first ever meetings between the 2 teams, Maine won 2 of the 3 games, while the last 2 games each ended past regulation. Maine won 4-1 on Feb, 27 as they outscored the Grizz 3-0 in the third period. Maine won 4-3 in a shootout on March 1st. In the series finale on March 2nd Josh Dickinson won the game for Utah 21 seconds into overtime.
Grizzlies Acquire Gabriel Verpaelst in a Trade
Grizzlies acquired defenseman Gabriel Verpaelst from the Wichita Thunder for defenseman Nolan De Jong. Verpaelst played in 14 regular season and 4 playoff games for the Grizzlies in the 2016-17 season. Verpaelst has championship experience as he was a member of the 2018 Kelly Cup Champion Colorado Eagles. He scored the biggest goal of the year as he got the game winning goal in game 7 of the finals vs Florida with under 3 minutes left in regulation. He’s got quite a slapshot and displayed it with the Grizzlies 2 years ago as he won the hardest shot competition at the Grizzlies 2017 skills competition. De Jong finished his Utah career with 2 goals and 18 assists in 37 games. Both blueliners are good players and it feels like a win-win trade for both teams.
Welcome Back Cole Ully
Forward Cole Ully returned to the lineup on Wednesday night vs Maine and he announced his presence with authority as he scored a power play goal 1:07 into the game. It turned out to be the only goal scored by the Grizzlies all night. Ully had a great week as he had a goal in each of the 3 games vs Maine. Ully ended the week with 3 goals and 2 assists, with both coming on the power play. Ully has been better than a point a game for the majority of the season. He currently has 13 goals and 25 assists in 29 games. Ully got injured on December 29th and missed close to 2 months.
Josh Dickinson’s Getting It Done
Dickinson had a good month of February as he had 2 goals and 10 assists in 12 games and is a candidate for ECHL Rookie of the Month. Dickinson off to a good start to March as he had a short-handed goal to tie up the game in the third period on March 1st and had the game winning goal in overtime on March 2nd.
Utah went 5-5-1-1 in 12 games in the month of February, picking up 12 standings points (1 per game). The month didn’t end well as Utah lost the last 6 games.
The bright spot of February was a 3 game sweep of the Idaho Steelheads on Feb. 6, 8-9. Mitch Maxwell had a 2 goal game to complete the sweep on Feb. 9.
Gage Ausmus had a game winning goal on Feb. 15 in overtime. It was his first and to date, only goal in a Utah uniform. It was the last time the Grizzlies have won a game.
Ryan Walters led Grizzlies skaters with 9 goals in February. Walters added 6 assists for 15 points (Which led team).
Josh Dickinson has 2 goals and 10 assists in 11 games in February. Dickinson has 5 different games where he had 2 assists.
Turner Ottenbreit had 4 goals and 4 assists in the month. Ottenbreit led the Grizzlies with a +6.
Caleb Herbert had 4 goals and 6 assists for 10 points in 10 games.
Mike Economos was 2nd on the team with 5 goals in February.
Grizzlies Among League Leaders
Caleb Herbert is 3rd in the league with 29 goals and is also tied for 2nd in the league with 61 points. Herbert is 4th in the league with 22 power play points. Herbert is tied for 4th in the league with 6 Game Winning Goals. Joe Cannata is tied for the league lead with 4 shutouts. Teigan Zahn leads all defenseman with 181 PIM.
Grayson Downing has missed the last 7 games to injury.
JT Henke has missed the last 9 games. Henke has 15 goals and 16 assists for 31 points in 31 games this season for Utah. He’s been a big loss for Utah as they are just 2-5-2 since he got hurt.
Forward Austin Carroll and Jack Walker have each been out since January 30th.
Jake Marchment has missed the last 4 games to injury.
2 goal games for Utah this season.
Caleb Herbert and JT Henke – 5 times.
Matt Berry– 4 times.
Ryan Walters – 3 times
Cole Ully and Jake Marchment – 2 times
Tim McGauley, Austin Carroll, Mike Economos , Julien Nantel, Eric Freschi and Mitch Maxwell– 1 time.
December Rookie of the Month: JT Henke.
November Co-Player of the Month: Caleb Herbert & Cole Ully.
Player of the Week: Matt Berry – November 19th-25th.
Goaltender of the Week: Joe Cannata – November 19th-25th, October 12th-14th.
Rapid City Connections with Grizzlies Players
Ryan Walters, Jack Walker and Christian Frey all previously played for the Rush. Walters led the Rush with 30 goals and 29 assists in the 2016-17 season. Walker scored 11 goals and 18 assists in 40 games for the Rush in the 2017-18 season.
On the current Rush team, defenseman Chris Leibinger played for the Grizzlies in the 2017-18 season. Leibinger is having a good year for the Rush with 6 goals and 18 assists in 51 games.
Next Homestand Promotions
Thursday, March 14, 2019 – Rapid City at Utah 7:00 pm – Food Drive Presented by Ford.
Saturday, March 16, 2019 – Rapid City at Utah 7:00 pm – Military Night Presented by Mark Miller Subaru (Specialty Jerseys), Beer Fest.
Monday, March 18, 2019 – Rapid City at Utah 7:00 pm – Maverik Monday, Buy One Get One Free Tickets With Maverik Adventure Card.
Games Last Week
Wednesday, February 27, 2019 – Maine Mariners at Utah Grizzlies – Maine Wins 4-1. Cole Ully scores a power play goal in his first game since Dec. 29. Joe Cannata stopped 24 of 28 shots.
Friday, March 1, 2019 – Maine Mariners at Utah Grizzlies– Maine Wins 4-3 in a shootout. Cole Ully and Caleb Herbert 1 goal 1 assist each. Josh Dickinson shorthanded goal to tie the game in the 3rd period. Eric Freschi 2 assists. Utah was a perfect 12 for 12 on the penalty kill.
Friday, March 2, 2019 – Maine Mariners at Utah Grizzlies – Utah Wins 4-3 in Overtime. Josh Dickinson OT GWG 21 seconds into the extra session. Cole Ully and Caleb Herbert 1 goal 1 assist each. Taylor Richart 2 assists. Utah 2 for 7 on the power play and 6 for 6 on the penalty kill.
Games This Week
Wednesday, March 6, 2019 – Utah at Rapid City 7:00 pm – ESPN 700.
Friday, March 8, 2019 – Utah at Rapid City 7:00 pm – TBD.
Saturday, March 9, 2019 – Utah at Rapid City 7:00 pm – Classic Country 1370, 104.3 FM/HD-2.