Monday Munchies: Sam Windle

During the 2017-18 season, we chatted with a handful of Grizzlies, including Ryan Walters, Travis Howe, Taylor Richart, and coaches Tim Branham and Ryan Kinasewich about their favourite foods, recipes, and more. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be publishing one every Monday, so get out your pots and pans, and enjoy!

So what’s your favourite kind of food?
I think my favourite food is probably Mexican food.

Why is it your favourite?
I like spicy food, so anytime I can mix that in, and you can get a lot of different options out of it, whether its burritos, nachos, tacos, anything of that sort.

What’s your favourite recipe?
My mom’s chicken wild rice soup.

Why is it your favourite?
I think I like it just cause she used to start it in the morning in a crock pot and then it’s always there. I could eat it from probably 5:30 to 10:30 and then the next day have leftovers the whole day.

Do you like to cook? And are you good at it?
I like to cook a little bit. It’s not my favourite thing. I’d rather have someone else cook for me. I’m ok at it. Nothing special.

What do you like best about the recipes you provided?
I just grew up with it. With my family, a lot of times we’d eat as a family every night, kind of have the same seven meals your whole life, so I enjoy them.

Who on the team is the best cook?
We’ve got a couple of healthy guys that cook pretty well. I’d have to say Travis Howe is the best cook. I go over to his house for meals every once in a while. He enjoys it.

Who would you say is the worst cook on the team?
Well, I room with Mitch Jones, and it’s gotta be him. He only knows how to cook hamburger helper or throw a pizza in the oven.

A couple of guys have thrown you under the bus and said you. Do you have have an answer for them?
Oh, I don’t think I’m the worst cook, I just might be the most unhealthy.

They also said you weren’t necessarily the worst cook, you just cook the same things all the time.
Yeah. Yeah, I got a couple meals on my repertoire!


Wild Rice Soup

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 cans cream of potato soup
  • 1 pound velveeta cheese in chunks
  • 1.5-2 cups cooked wild rice
  • Optional: 10 strips crisp bacon, crumbled for garnish

Saute onion in butter until tender. Add water, milk and potato soup. Increase heat to medium, stirring occasionally. When mixture is hot, add cheese. When mixture is creamy, add the cooked wild rice.

Garnish with crumbled bacon.

To cook wild rice: Wash 1/2 cup wild rice thoroughly. Add to 1.5 cups boiling water, salted to taste. Return to boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered 50-60 minutes or just until kernels puff open. Uncover, fluff with fork. Simmer 5 more minutes. Drain any excess liquid. makes 1.5-2 cups.

Meat Loaf

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup finely crushed saltines
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • Dash of pepper
  • 1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

In a large bowl, beat eggs. Add milk, saltines, onion, salt, sage and pepper. Add beef and mix well. Shape into an 8-1/2-in. x 4-1/2-in. loaf or an ungreased shallow baking pan. Combine remaining ingredients; spread 3/4 cup over meat loaf. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-65 minutes or until no pink remains; drain. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with remaining sauce.

Yields 6-8 servings


If you try these recipes, or any of the others, take a picture and share it with us on social media (Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram)!


Previous posts:
Ryan Walters
Rob Mann
Mitch Jones

Monday Munchies: Mitch Jones

During the 2017-18 season, we chatted with a handful of Grizzlies, including Ryan Walters, Travis Howe, Taylor Richart, and coaches Tim Branham and Ryan Kinasewich about their favourite foods, recipes, and more. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be publishing one every Monday, so get out your pots and pans, and enjoy!

What’s your favourite cuisine?
I’m just gonna have to say American, the standard steak and potatoes and all that good stuff.

Do you have a favourite recipe?
I do. It’s tater tot casserole. It’s something my mom has made for a long time.

So I assume that your mom makes it best?
Oh yeah. Absolutely, my mom or grandma, that’s for sure!

Do you like to cook?
I do. Especially if there’s a grill, I’m all about cooking.

Are you good at it?
I would say so. Sometimes not so good at other things, but when it comes to cooking something on the grill, or smoking something, I’m pretty good at it.

So you gave us a chicken casserole as a recipe, what do you like about that one?
I just think it’s pretty good. The combination between the soup, the rice, and the chicken, and crackers on top make it pretty tasty.

Who on the team, or among your roommates is the best cook?
I would have to say probably Windle. He makes a pretty good hamburger helper lasagna.

And what about the worst?
Definitely Travis Howe.

Delicious Chicken Casserole via All

If you try this recipe, or any of the others, take a picture and share it with us on social media (Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram)!


Previous posts:
Ryan Walters
Rob Mann

Utah Grizzlies: Shots in Vay-n

With Sean Maguire making his first start in a Grizzlies’ uniform, the Grizzlies came out buzzing in Rapid City. Unfortunately, C.J. Eick took an early penalty. The penalty kill went to work, and the Rush’s power play suffered the fate of many early advantages.

Rapid City still struck first, however, as Peter Sivak continued his hot streak, converting on an absolutely gorgeous drop pass at 6:15.

The Grizzlies responded well, Taylor Richart got a pair of big shots, and the Rush took a boarding call. Kyle Thomas made it 1-1 on the power play from Ryan Walters and Austin Ortega.

Utah kept pressuring after the power play goal, Richart getting off a couple more big shots around the half-way mark, and then Thomas and Geoff Fortman went off for matching roughing calls. Very shortly afterward, Dante Salituro took an unsportsmanlike conduct, sending Utah to a four-on-three advantage for 1:20.

The Grizzlies set up well, and Richart, who’d been stellar all game, shot a rocket from the point to give Utah the 2-1 lead 14:14 into the period. For some reason the goal was eventually credited to Ortega, who didn’t touch the puck.

Navin continued to be snake bitten, getting a really nice look around the net, but Higby took a high-sticking call, and Utah headed to the kill again. On the bright side, the kill looked at least as good as the power play did, and after 20, Utah led 2-1, shots 15-6 in their favor.

Ortega got into a fight against Salituro at 4:03, getting an extra two for instigating, and thought the Grizzlies killed it off, Sivak immediately tied it up.

Alex Kromm and Sam Windle took matching roughing minors at 6:39, but the four-on-four expired with no alteration in score.

Howe got a really nice scoring chance with 9:27 to go in the second, as Utah continued to out-shoot the Rush.

Rapid City pressured through to the end of the period, but the second buzzer saw shots 21-10 for Utah, and a 2-2 tie game. The second period wasn’t as crisp and strong from either team.

The Grizzlies came out flying in the third, and after some delay on a face-off, Jones wired the puck and it ended up past Vay to give Utah back the lead. Walters was credited with his fifteenth of the year, Jones getting the primary.

Maguire pounced on a loose puck on the next shift to keep the game 3-2, as Utah had some trouble in their own end.

They pushed back after the media time-out, out-shooting Rapid City 11-5 through the first half of the period. Unfortunately, after a strong shift from Howe and company in the offensive zone, the puck went the other way, and they were unable to hold off the tying goal.

Ortega and Puskar almost put together the winning goal, as Ortega perfectly tipped a nice shot from Puskar, but Vay, who’d been having himself another really strong night, smothered it.

On the other end, Maguire shot the door after the Grizzlies lost the puck in their own zone.

The Grizzlies went to the power play at 14:24, but it was not one of their stronger outings of the night, and they failed to capitalize.

At the end of 60, the score remained 3-3, and for a league-leading 14th time, Utah went to OT, Utah out-shooting Rapid City 47-18.

Vay absolutely robbed Erik Higby about two minutes into OT, and shortly thereafter, Sivak capped off his hat trick. The Grizzlies were furious, as Rapid City had too many men on the ice. Although the extra players did not affect the play, it added an extra layer of frustration to the end of the game.

Utah put a season high 49 shots on Vay, who once again was stellar. Last game, the offense suffered for a tighter defensive game, while in this game, the offense looked good, while the defense got a little bit lax. Hopefully, the Grizzlies can find the right balance tonight.


Photo courtesy of Tim Broussard/Jess Fleming, and staff

Utah Grizzlies: The Best Is Yet To Come

Coming off a 6-3 win, Utah looked to build off their performance, and end the year on a high note. With the exception of Charley Graaskamp drawing in for Zach Saar, and Angus Redmond getting the start, the lineup remained unchanged.

The first period started with a bang, literally, as Jon Puskar and Justin Parizek dropped the gloves just 21 seconds in. Puskar got the take-down, and both players were sent to the box to cool their heels.

Once again, Idaho had good possession, getting five shots to Utah’s one, and then striking first at 3:08 once again from Jefferson Dahl.

With Puskar in the box, Graaskamp centred the first line, to some effect, and Greger Hanson rang iron. Unfortunately, Idaho came the other way on the next shift and made it 2-0 at 6:49.

Utah got a couple shots thereafter, but half of them went into the crest on Ryan Faragher’s jersey, and he had clear sight-lines on them all.

Michael Pelech took a charging minor at 10:15, and Kyle Thomas played hero on the penalty kill, blocking a hard shot and going down. He got up slowly, and immediately blocked another shot before making it off the ice.

It paid off, as the Grizzlies went the other way, Taylor Richart got off a big shot, and Graaskamp banged the rebound past Faragher from the doorstep.

Graaskamp took a tripping call with five minutes left in the first, but Utah got to the intermission still 2-1, despite being out-shot 15-11.

The second got off to a good start, as Puskar drew a penalty just 53 seconds into the period, as Dodero was a little too enthusiastic in his crosschecking in front of the Idaho net.

Unfortunately, it went down-hill from there. Jefferson Dahl hit Ryan Olsen hard along the boards at 1:33 and Olsen was very slow to get up. He got himself in trouble on the way back to the bench, jawing at Dahl, and was sent to the box, negating the power play. As soon as he left the box, he took a surprisingly ill-judged roughing call on Dahl again, and went straight back to the box. Steven McParland scored at 5:24, and Olsen found himself benched for the remainder of the game.

Idaho iced the puck a couple of times after their goal, but with 9:27 to go, Utah had spent a lot of time fighting off Idaho possession in their own zone. All three lines had a few good shifts, but then Pelech took a tripping call. Idaho promptly capitalized once more, and Redmond’s night was over.

Baldwin got his stick between Thomas’ legs, tripping him up, and when no call was forthcoming, the 5385 fans in attendance were riotous in their disapproval. Utah drew a power play at 14:42, and then drew another one at 15:13, giving them a 90 second five-on-three. The Grizzlies got some looks, but the Idaho kill closed ranks, and a golden opportunity was squandered.

Though Utah did not capitalize on the power play, the final two minutes of the second were much better, getting some great chances around Faragher, including a breakaway from Puskar. After 40, shots were 26-22, and the score 4-1 after some uncharacteristically ill-advised penalties led directly to goals.

Down 4-1, faced with the task of putting four past Faragher, things looked grim. But of course, it’s the Grizzlies, and when they’re rolling, it’s not wise to count them out before a game (or a season) is over.

Utah came out flying to start the third, and never really looked back. Mitch Jones continued his outstanding play, throwing a huge shot through traffic, and Ryan Walters tipped it home to cut the lead in half 3:30 into the third.

Cody Corbett took a hooking call on the next shift, and Utah made Idaho pay. With 23 seconds left in the advantage, Thomas dished to Pelech behind the net, Pelech tossed it to Puskar in the slot, and he made no mistake. And so it was 4-3 with over thirteen minutes to go, an amped up crowd, and a buzzing team.

Graaskamp electrified the fans, tying the game at 9:29, for his first career two goal game on with a phenomenal effort and assist by Chris Leibinger.

Carr was terrific in relief, making a couple of big saves to keep the game tied.

Thomas looked like he’d scored the game winner with 5:35 to go, but the refs called off the goal on supposed goaltender interference. Though that drew some ire from the Grizzlies, they kept their foot on the accelerator, and their eyes on the finish line.

Puskar and Chatham got matching penalties, Puskar for cross-checking, Chatham for embellishment at 16:15, and then Pelech and Corbett immediately followed them on the next shift getting matching roughs 12 seconds later. Lost in all that was a crazy dipsy-doodle from Leibinger to keep the puck alive.

Carr and Jones made some big saves and blocks as the game entered the last two minutes of the period, and the Grizzlies fought their way through a strong Idaho push.

At the buzzer, Brendan Harms took on Corbin Baldwin, despite giving up a good five inches, and forty pounds, and though Baldwin decidedly got the best of it, it was a spirited finish to an excellent period.

OT saw both teams getting good chances, including a rocket from Richart on a ridiculous play from Hanson. Leibinger also had a big chance, and Carr and the defense answered on the other end of the ice. At the end of overtime, there was no change in score, and Utah went to the shoot-out.

With the spectre of three shoot-out losses, and zero shoot-out goals looming large over the Maverik Center, Graaskamp put up another first, scoring his first career shoot-out goal, and the Grizzlies’ first of the year. Carr let in one Idaho goal, and Faragher stoned Puskar. With the game once again on his stick, the Captain delivered, capping off an incredible comeback, and giving the Grizzlies their first shoot-out win of the season in the last game of the year.

“Well, I didn’t like the fact that we gave up 15 shots in the first period.” Tim Branham said of the game. “You knew they were going to come out hard, but you’ve gotta be ready for them. We put ourselves in a hole, getting down early, and then taking a couple of dumb penalties. We haven’t had too many discipline issues this year, and so it wasn’t good to see that. So we put ourselves in a deep hole there going into the third period, but I mean, this group has come back so many times in the third period. We just did it again, and found a way, and it feels good. We needed it. Obviously, that’s a tough opponent there, we gained three points on them in the standings, and we just got to keep it going.”

He also reiterated how much Thomas’ return means to the Grizzlies’ depth, and how good their record is with him in the lineup (it’s 10-4-2-1), and pointed out again that the Grizzlies are still missing what had been their top pairing in Cliff Watson and James Melindy.

After being benched for four straight games, Graaskamp came out swinging, picking up two goals, and one in the shoot out, en rout to being named the first star of the game. Branham was nothing but complementary about his performance, and also shed some light on why he hasn’t been a more consistent member of the lineup.

“He was a veteran player tonight, right from Puskar getting in that fight early, it got Charley into the game early, and some confidence. He’s a good player. He’s a project for me, he’s a young kid coming out of major juniors. He’s got a lot of talent, and a lot of skill and I’m really itching to see how he is at the end of the year, and how he develops. You look at his points, and it’s like ‘how is a guy like that not in the lineup consistently?’ and, well, it’s the play without the puck, and tonight he was a veteran player. He was all over the ice, obviously scoring goals, tenacious, finishing checks, playing a game like that should only build his confidence. It’s great to see.”

“He’s just an awesome kid, obviously from Wisconsin,” he added with a grin, “But no. Honestly, he’s just an awesome kid, and I’m so glad to see he’s doing well.”

He’s not the only one doing well. It seems that after an anemic start, and a few false spikes, the Grizzlies’ goal-scoring is on a real upward trajectory, as they have scoring four or more in five of the last seven. Moreover, looking to the new year, if the records in three of the last four years are any kind of precedent, the Grizzlies’ post-Christmas record should be much improved.

Last year in the first 25 games, Utah went 9-14-1-1 before going 29-15-4-1. This year, though they have fewer wins, Utah has picked up more points, going 7-11-5-2, and the up-swing may already be underway, as they’ve gone 4-1-1-0 in the last five games.

Regardless of what the rest of this season holds, this game was an exciting cap to 2017, and we can look forward to 2018 with anticipation.



Photo courtesy of Tim Broussard/Jess Fleming and staff

Utah Grizzlies: A Tale of Two Ryans

On the heels of a Cliff Watson call-up, a Jon Puskar suspension, and the absence of Brendan Harms (probably a result of the big hit he took in Colorado), the lineup saw yet another minor change. Ryans Misiak and Olsen skated with Brad Navin, while Zach Saar drew in on the third line with Erik Higby and C.J. Eick. Rob Mann returned to the lineup for the first time since November 10th, and Travis Howe was the tenth forward.

Ryan Walters and Taylor Richart wore the As, and Kevin Carr once again got the start.

The Olsen line got the first shot of the game, but the Grizzlies took the first penalty when Michael Pelech went off for slashing at 3:07. The penalty kill remained strong, even getting an up-ice rush or two of their own.

Idaho took an answering penalty just a few moments before the kill expired, and Utah went to the man advantage. It took the Grizzlies a while to set up in the offensive zone, and they ultimately came up empty.

As Idaho returned to full strength, the Grizzlies survived the first of several mad scrambles that occurred in front of the Utah net.

Goals off the face-off continue to be an ongoing problem for Utah, as Olsen got thrown out of the circle, Misiak lost the draw, and Shane Hanna scored on a nice shot at 11:03. The Olsen line, which had, up until that point, been having a strong night, followed up the bad face-off shift with a number of strong ones in the minutes that followed.

Good hustle from Eick drew a power play at 13:32 but though the Grizzlies maintained possession for a large majority of the five-on-four, with the exception of a chance from Walters in the blue paint that rang iron, and a lovely pass from Hanson to Misiak in the slot, they were largely unable to get the puck out of the perimeter.

With about three minutes to go, Idaho a two-on-one on a bad bounce, but shortly thereafter Navin laid a hit at the Idaho bench which forced a turnover, and Misiak hit a flying Olsen with the perfect cross-seam pass. Olsen’s fourth tied the game with 2:46 to go.

Richart got taken down with 35 seconds left in the period, and Utah went into the first intermission tied 1-1, shots 11-10.

The early power play went the way of so many others, even with Philippe Desrosiers missing his stick for a substantial stretch on one shift. Navin had a couple of good attempts, and Saar got off a good shot, but Idaho returned to full strength with no change in score.

Idaho came back three on two, and while Leibinger and Richart hand their hands full with the other two Steelheads, a wide open Hanna scored his second of the game and third of the year at 3:09.

Walters was hit up high with 14:35 left in the frame, but though he went down, and took a moment to get up, but he skated off, and didn’t miss a shift. No penalty was awarded on the play.

An Idaho turnover directly onto Olsen’s stick nearly sprang 13 on the breakaway, but the puck bounced, and Utah somehow ended up with a power play a moment later. Windle and Mitch Moroz jawed at each-other for a moment, and the Grizlies went to work. With the exception of the first 30 seconds or so, it was once again a strong possession power play, and Olsen got off a big shot, but it was blocked in front of Desrosiers, and Utah was not credited with a single shot.

There was another scramble around the Grizzlies net, and then the second line carried the puck up the ice, and Olsen got another grade A scoring chance.

Higby took a hooking minor half-way through the frame, but Idaho was similarly unable to muster any shots.

The two teams exchanged offensive zone time in the final couple of minutes of the game, Utah looking a little sloppy in their own zone, and Carr making an uncharacteristically bad play with the puck. However, luck went the Grizzlies’ way for a change, and a turnover by Alexander Dahl saw the puck go straight to the stick of Walters. He made no mistake, slinging the puck past Desrosiers for his fifth of the season, and third in as many games, with 1:26 left in the period.

The teams traded zone time to start the third again, while Branham alternated almost exclusively between the first and second lines, but Walters ran into Desrosiers driving hard to the net, and took a penalty. Pelech made one of those defensive plays that make him so valuable to the team, and Utah once again got lucky in yet another scramble around the net.

The Grizzlies had a couple of egregious turnovers in the defensive zone with just a bit over twelve minutes left, but Idaho was unable to sort themselves out enough to take advantage of them. Meanwhile, the Misiak-Olsen-Navin line continued to turn in a really strong performance, eventually putting up ten of the Grizzlies’ 23 shots.

Idaho’s Austin Fyten was assessed a ten minute unsportsmanlike conduct during a time out with 4:46 left to go. Idaho pressured in the final minutes of the game, but with 5.4 seconds left in the period, they iced the puck, and the Grizzlies took their timeout to get organized.

Olsen won the draw, and Hanson got off a shot, but at the end of 60, they were still deadlocked at two.

Utah played their league-leading 10th OT in a very controlled and conservative manner, getting only one shot to Idaho’s three, but carrying the puck for the vast majority of the time. In the end, OT wasn’t enough to break the tie either, and the game went to the shoot-out. It ended in all to familiar fashion. Carr let in a single goal on a crazy fake-out, and none of the Grizzlies answered.

“Tonight, I didn’t think we got the chances like we normally have.”Tim Branham said when asked about the team’s 23-shot performance. “Normally we create a lot more chances than that. But I still think you’re right. Structurally, we’re playing fine. Some guys, I think we had a few guys that maybe could have done a little bit more, but I thought for the most part we played some pretty good hockey. Would have been nice to have gotten two points against a depleted lineup there in Idaho, but I thought their goalie made some good saves, we hit the crossbar on a wide open net again. That’s been the story of our season so far, not scoring enough goals. I thought today was an anomaly though, we didn’t generate the chances like we normally do, but yet we still were in the game, and had power plays we could have scored on, and hit a crossbar on the power play on a wide open net. It is what it is. We’ve got to keep on playing the same way. We can’t deviate from the way that we’re playing, we’ve just got to try that much harder.”

One player who did do a little bit more was Ryan Olsen. The jump that has been missing from his game of late was back with a vengeance, and it wasn’t just him. After not making the trip to Colorado, Navin looked really sold. He was making plays look easy that he wouldn’t even have tried a few weeks back, while Ryan Misiak, who was on a four point roll before last weekend, led the team with four shots, as well as being instrumental in the first goal.

“I thought he did good tonight. I thought he stepped up.” Branham said of Olsen’s game. “Obviously scoring a goal early gets his confidence going. He’s very effective when he’s skating, and putting pucks on net, cause he’s very fast at this level, a big body, and he’s very good on draws. So when he sticks to what he’s good at, he’s very effective.”

Speaking of effective players, Chris Leibinger is neither flashy, nor a particularly prolific point producer, but he turns in a quietly consistent performance night in and night out. In fact, barring two middling games when he first arrived, he’s been terrific for the team. Likewise, Mitch Jones tends to fly under the radar, unnoticeable in the way good defencemen often are, before grabbing your attention with a great defensive play, or wicked shot.


When asked about the power play, which carried and possessed the puck well, but generated almost no shots, Branham said, “Against a PK unit like Idaho, they’re very aggressive, so passing it along the perimeter is good to settle them down, but then at some point, you’ve got to funnel pucks to the net, and I think we missed a couple opportunities to do that. I think that if we can kind of hone in on those small little opportunities—we worked on it a lot, showed a lot of video on it, we had quite a few plays in mind—it was jut one thing here, one thing there that messed it up. But we did a good job of gaining the zone, we did a job of possessing it, now it’s a matter of making sure we take that shot with traffic, and do a better job on those rebounds, of getting to those loose pucks so we get that puck back and we shoot. I thought you were right, we did possess the puck well we’ve just gotta do a better job of funneling the puck to the net.”

Kevin Carr was a little shaky at times, and it was nice to see the Grizzlies working hard to help him out around the net, when he’s been the one doing the rescuing on most nights this season. He was excellent in the shoot out, allowing only that one crazy fake-out goal. If anyone on this team deserves some wins, it’s him.

Speaking of wins (or a distressing lack thereof), last year at this time the Grizzlies were in the middle of a nine game losing streak, with an abysmal 7-13-1-1 record on December 4th. They then proceeded on their more-or-less annual post-Christmas tear, which saw them go 29-16-3-1 after that stretch. Meanwhile, this year’s team is 6-9-5-2, with standings points in 13 of 22 games. Highly frustrating, to be sure, but certainly better than it could be.

“They’re doing ok. Tonight was frustrating, because I thought we deserved better for the way we’ve been playing lately, but we’re collecting points. These are going to be huge later on down the road. We’re collecting points, we’re not getting losses, we’re collecting those points. We’ve got a lot of games within our division coming up still. This group is never out of it, my teams are never out of it. We’ve gotta fix a couple things, and we’ll be just fine.”

Utah plays the second of six games against Idaho tonight (Wednesday) at the Mav before heading out to Idaho for the weekend.


Image courtesy of Tim Broussard, Jess Fleming and staff