by Mason White
The Grizzlies saw their original home-opener postponed due to league safety protocols on December 18th, 2020. Due to that cancellation, the Grizzlies are still sitting at 1-1 on the season after facing Rapid City in their season opener on December 11th. Utah fans are finally receiving their long-awaited opportunity to see the Utah Grizzlies in action at the Maverick Center over the next three games.
The team broke even with seven goals for and seven goals against. The power play was 22 percent this weekend as they went two for nine. Their penalty kill unit did a fair job killing off five out of six powerplays for an overall 83 percent. The games were physical and competitive as this matchup has continued to be for the past few seasons. With no Idaho Steelheads on the schedule this year, we may see this rivalry get even more heated throughout the season. Hopefully the long break will only improve their preparation for this weekend.
The Maverick-center fan capacity is still sitting at 1,800 so be sure to get your tickets early at utahgrizzlies.com.
This weekend’s Schedule
Thursday, December 31, 2020 – Rapid City at Utah. 5:00 pm.
Friday, January 1, 2021 – Rapid City at Utah. 7:10 pm.
Saturday, January 2, 2021 – Rapid City at Utah. 7:10 pm.
What to Look for
Grizzlies’ forward Diego Cuglietta received honors as the ECHL’s player of the week at the conclusion of the Utah Grizzlies first two games. He notched a goal and three assists over the weekend including the game-winning goal in game two. We look forward to seeing him continue his explosive play at home this weekend.
The Utah Grizzlies will see some new faces take the ice this weekend as well.
The Grizzlies also signed Trey Bradley who finished up a four-year career at Colorado College in 2019. He tallied 15 goals and 19 assists his senior year. He scored 38 points (14G, 20A) for the Newfoundland Growlers last season. Let’s hope he adds some more fire power to this 2021 Grizzlies team.
The Grizzlies signed Pat Canone who has played in 497 AHL games over an eight year span from 2011-2018. Pat also has 3 games of NHL experience with the Minnesota Wild in the 2016-17 season. Cannone spent the past two seasons with the Schwenningen Wild Wings in Germany. In his seven full seasons in the AHL, Cannone has 280 points (106 G, 174 A).
Most recently, the Grizzlies signed Parker Gahagen who played with three different clubs last season. He spent most of the time with the ECHL’s Newfoundland Growlers, where he had a 10-4 record with a .939 save percentage and a 1.81 goals against average. Parker also played with the SPHL’s Evansville Thunderbolts and two games with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies.
Utah Grizzlies rookie and Sandy Native Jared Pike celebrates his 25th birthday today. We look forward to his debut at the Maverick Center skating for his hometown team as well. Pike was awarded the 2020 Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award. This award is given annually to the NCAA Division 1 player who exemplifies the qualities of sportsmanship, competitiveness, intelligence and work ethic. He played with the American International College Yellow Jackets last season.
Where to find the action
As always, Grizzly tickets are on sale at utahgrizzlies.com or by calling (801) 988-8000. Their games are available to watch on Flohockey.TV and listen on Mixlr.com. Moving forward be sure to follow the Grizzlies on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as well as the ECHL website for more updates. You can also read our articles and listen to our upcoming Grizzlies podcast episodes on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Featured image courtesy Utah Grizzlies