Utah Grizzlies: Black Friday Winners

After Thanksgiving, the Eagles assigned forward Josh Dickinson to the Grizzlies, and he drew in with Tim McGauley and Matt Berry to start. A white-hot Joe Cannata got the start once again.

Josh Anderson took the game’s first penalty, a cross-checking call at 3:20, and the Grizzlies headed off to what would be the first of many special teams situations. The kill did decently, though at the tail end, Cannata had to make some big saves, including one that looked like it was absolutely going in. When Anderson returned to the ice, Allen had jumped to a 7-0 shot lead.

Berry rectified that, absolutely flying in, taking a pass from McGauley, and getting a very nice look on Jeremy Brodeur.

Allen looked far more organized than they did on Wednesday, and as a result, both teams had trouble setting up in the offensive zone, battling it out in the neutral zone as the period drew towards the half-way point. However, after giving up those initial seven shots, the Grizzlies did much better job getting in the way in their own end.

As is becoming gloriously regular, Caleb Herbert and Cole Ully raced into the offensive zone, passed the puck back and forth en-rout to the net, and Herbert buried and absolute beauty for his 15th goal of the year right around the eight minute mark.

J.T. Henke just missed getting his first as a Grizz, and Cannata made a big save on the other end. Ully set up Taylor Richart for the perfect point shot with just over two to go, but Utah was just unable to snatch possession of the ensuing rebound.

After 20, Utah led 1-0, and had cut down Allen’s shot lead to 13-10.

After a vigorous, but clean first period, the second got off to a cantankerous start. Cannata made a huge save, trapping a perilously loose puck with his legs, and Teigan Zahn and Jacob Doty dropped the gloves as a crowd gathered. At the one minute mark, Josh Thrower took a tripping penalty against Austin Carroll, and then took an unsportsmanlike penalty on top of that, so the Grizzlies headed to a four minute power play.

Utah wasn’t able to get anything going in the early stages, but at 4:46 Ully put the puck on Matt Berry’s stick, and it was off again and in the back of the net before Brodeur could do anything about it.

Spencer Asuchak took a slashing call during the play, so Utah headed right back to the advantage. They were unable to capitalize, but immediately after Allen returned to full strength, Joel Chouinard held up Herbert, leading to another Grizzlies power play.

No sooner had that penalty come to an end then Josh Atkinson took a call, and Austin Carroll made the Americans pay on the delayed penalty. Ully got his fourth assist of the game, while Marchment picked up his ninth point in ten games.

Atkinson finally made it to the box, and Richart made it 4-0 on an absolute bomb less than a minute later. Berry picked up the first assist, and Josh Dickinson got his first point on the secondary.

Less than a minute after Richart’s goal, David Makowski took a clipping call against Carroll in what was dangerously close to knee-on-knee hit. Fortunately, Carroll was back on the ice to start the advantage, but the Grizzlies couldn’t capitalize.

Ryan Walters took a hooking call at 16:01 and Ully nearly added a short-handed goal to his three assists before Utah killed off the rest of the penalty.

Richart and the defenders shut the period down after that, and headed into the locker room up 4-0, shots 24-22 in their favor.

The Grizzlies didn’t take their foot off the gas into the third period, as Herbert scored his second of the game on Ully’s fourth assist. Nolan De Jong got the second assist on Herbert’s 16th.

Zahn returned to the box for holding at 3:13, but Cannata made some big saves on one side, and Berry had a speedy look short-handed on the other.

Utah got their seventh power play of the night at 7:15 when Greg Chase took an unsportsmanlike penalty. Allen killed it off, and Utah killed off the following penalty to Carroll.

Cannata made more and more saves as the end of the game approached, but was there for every one, and the Grizzlies’ defense made sure that even more never even made it to him.

When the final buzzer sounded, Cannata had picked up his third straight shut-out, Grizzlies taking the game 5-0, and out-shooting Allen 39-35.

In three games, nothing has gotten past Cannata, except a sliding Kevin Davis early in the third period. His phenomenal performance earned him the first star of the game, while Ully, who can turn on a dime, stick handle in a phone box, and create space when there simply isn’t any, took second star with four assists. Herbert (he of the league leading 16 goals and 28 points) took third star with the game’s opening and closing goals.

After three straight shutouts from Cannata, everyone is struggling for new words to describe him. “He’s an outstanding goaltender.” Tim Branham said after the game. “I said it all last year, he doesn’t belong at this level. He’s an unbelievable goaltender, an unbelievable person. He’s heating up, so what can you say about him? He’s cool, calm, collected, makes everything look easy, and we’ve just gotta keep going.”

After being a little quiet lately, the power play exploded again, going a lethal 3/7. When asked about the team’s success on the man-advantage, Branham explained, “We’ve got two talented units. On one of the units you’ve got a guy who’s over a goal a game, on the other unit you’ve got a guy who’s got seven points in two games. Those guys are talented, and they want to do well, and they can make plays. They know how to put the puck in the net. We went a little cold there, teams are going to start keying in on it and coming up with schemes to kill it, and we were able to break through tonight.”

Cannata himself was pretty low-key about the whole thing.

“I feel good. I think I’m seeing the puck, a lot of times there’s not too many second chances, so I think guys are doing a good job, whether it’s boxing out or blocking that second shot. Just enjoying being out there helping the guys win, hopefully we can continue tomorrow.”

As Cannata noted, the Utah defense once again had a very strong showing, and Taylor Richart was named defenseman of the game.

Utah and Allen meet for the third and final time in this home stand today (Saturday) when the Grizzlies look to complete the sweep, and the Americans undoubtedly will be looking to even the score.

 

 

Photo courtesy of Tim Broussard and staff

Utah Grizzlies: Cran-Berry Sauce

The day before Thanksgiving saw the first meeting of the season between Utah and the formerly mighty Allen Americans. J.T. Henke drew in for his first game in a Grizzlies uniform, while Brendan Harms and Ryan Misiak sat out, and Joe Cannata once again got the start.

The Grizzlies struck first, Matt Berry scoring his seventh of the season at 5:03 from Caleb Herbert.

Alexandre Ranger took a slashing call against Cannata after a whistle, and though the Grizzlies’ power play didn’t strike, Berry got his second of the game at 10:26, this time from Tim McGauley.

Not to be outdone by his line-mate, Herbert scored his 14th of the season at 11:58 from Berry and Cole Ully.

In the dying seconds of the first, Ryan Walters and McGauley got in on a two-on-one, and in a fast becoming familiar move, McGauley was hauled down. Allen got a tripping call, and the period came to an end.

In a period that was all Utah, offensively, the Grizzlies also did an excellent job cutting off passing lanes, getting in the way of shots, and generally keeping pucks away from Cannata, such that at the end of the first, shots were 7-3.

The power play to start the second was unable to muster a shot. Allen beat Cannata, but was unable to beat the crossbar with about three gone in the second. Herbert was hauled down at 8:06, and though the Grizzlies got a shot, the most notable moment of the advantage was Cannata and Jeremy Brodeur playing long distance ping pong with the puck.

Walters continues to be snake-bitten, getting his second point-blank look on Brodeur in the period. Going the other way, a sprawling defenseman was unable to break up the pass on a two-on-one, but Cannata turned the puck aside, and the Grizzlies whisked the rebound out of danger.

Berry picked up the team’s first hat trick of the year, when he buried a play from Ully. Herbert got the secondary assist as the hats rained down.

Following the goal first Teigan Zahn then Turner Ottenbreit took hooking calls, leading to almost a minute of five-on-three time, but Cannata and the Utah killers killed both penalties off.

Herbert went off the ice very gingerly with about five minutes left in the period, and went straight down the tunnel.

Shortly thereafter, there were a couple of big hits, and Jacob Doty tangled with Zahn. The only outcome was that Doty was assessed a two and a ten for unsportsmanlike conduct, and the Grizzlies went to the power play. They were unable to capitalize, though on the plus side, Herbert returned to the ice.

With 14 seconds left, Josh Anderson and Josh Atkinson tangled beside Cannata’s net, but only Anderson was sent to the box to end the period. After 40, Utah outshot Allen 16-8, and had a commanding 4-0 lead.

Allen got their first offensive pressure of the game early in the third, and at  Ryan Walters took a very soft tripping call. Austin Carroll had a dandy jaunt into the offensive zone all by himself that culminated in a very glorious short-handed chance, and Utah killed it off.

Mike Gunn took a high-sticking call at 13:01, and goaded Carroll into matching roughing calls. Allen killed off their penalty, though the Grizzlies got a couple of looks. Cannata continued to be a rock in net, and Utah continued to be very sound defensively.

The game got a bit nasty after that, Doty taking a roughing call with exactly two minutes to go, followed by Gunn exactly a minute later. In the dying moments of the game, Dalton Thrower socked R.T. Rice in the face, and got thrown out with a ten minute penalty for attempt/deliberate injury, and the game ended in chaos.

Matt Berry was named the first star of the game with the hat trick and an assist, while Herbert got the second star, and Ully the third. Joe Cannata got his second shut out in a row, and Taylor Richart had one of his more obviously stand-out performances.

“It feels pretty special. I’ve never done that before,” said the first star after the game, “So it feels good, and it was just good for our team to get the win out there today,”

“Obviously that top line is pretty dynamic, speed, skill, goal scoring ability, they’re unbelievable when they’re playing.” Tim Branham said of his first line’s nine point performance. “Joe, he’s Joe Cannata. What can you say. He’s just an unbelievable goaltender. He had more shots than 18, that’s for sure, I think they missed a bunch. It was a good effort by the boys. I thought we did a lot of good things, and when we had breakdowns, Joe was there to back us up. All in all, it was a good effort.”

When asked specifically about the first star of the game, he said “Matt was buzzing. When we had him three years ago, he was probably our best player in playoffs. He can skate, he can score, when he plays with pace he’s tough to handle. And then you put him on a line with Herbert and Ully, and it’s just, those guys are special,” he added with a chuckle. “Those guys are special. They have good chemistry together, and we’re lucky to have them on our team.”

It was by no means a perfect game, but overall the team played a strong defensive game. “We got up early in that game, and at that point,  you’re trying to stay in it. Allen, Allen’s got potential, so we knew there was gonna be some kind of push, or at least physical play, so we had to be on our toes. There were some breakdowns. You’re not gonna play a perfect game, that’s true. Could we have done a few things differently? Yeah. But overall, I thought it was a good team effort. I mean, any time you get back-to-back shut outs in this league, at this level, it’s a good thing. I know we have Joe in net, which helps, but I thought we did a pretty good job.”

Berry’s thoughts on the defensive effort were similar. “The D zone is a five-man, or a six-man unit, so everyone has to come back and help out, and I think everyone is getting used to the system or getting more acclimated with it, so we’re all playing all the same way and playing together, and I think it’s showing there out on the ice.”

Regardless of the cause, whatever the Grizzlies are doing is certainly working for them, as they are now 10-2-3-0 on the year.

They will face Allen on Friday and Saturday, and all signs point to a very chippy weekend ahead.

 

Photo courtesy of Tim Broussard, Jess Flemming and staff.

Utah Grizzlies: Winning in Wichita

After the 5-4 OT loss in Kansas City, the Grizzlies went with the same lineup in Wichita, only starting Joe Cannata instead of Kevin Carr. Teigan Zahn wore the captain’s C for the first time this season, while Ryan Walters and Taylor Richart retained their As.

The game did not get off to an auspicious start, with the Thunder snapping a puck past Cannata just 3:42 into the period.

It had looked like the Grizzlies had scored, just under half-way through the period, but the net came loose before the puck passed the line. However, the Utah did get a power play. Though they didn’t capitalize, by the end of the advantage they had out-shot Wichita 11-3.

The rest of the period was fast-paced, but though the Grizzlies continued to out-shoot the Thunder 13-4, after 20 they still trailed 1-0.

Utah got an early power play in the second, and the most lethal weapon on the league’s most lethal power play struck once more, Caleb Herbert making it 1-1 from Jake Marchment and Cole Ully.

The power play got another look five minutes in, but Austin Carroll took a tripping penalty at 6:39, sending the teams to a brief four-on-four before the Grizzlies killed off the penalty.

Utah got another crack at the advantage, but were unable to draw ahead, and unfortunately after Tim McGauley was denied on the breakaway, Hayden Hodgson gave the Thunder the 2-1 lead.

Matt Berry went to the box less than a minute later, but the period ended with no change in score, Utah out-shooting Wichita 29-16.

Carroll scored at 6:05 of the third, tipping in a bomb from Richart, but Ralph Cuddemi once again gave the Thunder the lead a minute later.

Berry and Jared Wilson took matching roughing calls half-way through the third, and then Zahn took a slashing call. Nothing changed, and no sooner had Zahn stepped out of the box, than he dropped the gloves with Matt Schmalz.

Cuddemi took a hooking call with three to go, and McGauley made Wichita pay, tying the game from Walters and De Jong.

The remainder of regulation time solved nothing, Utah out-shooting the Thunder 41-24. You would have been forgiven for feeling anxiety going into extra time, considering the Grizzlies struggles thus far, but you would have been wrong in this game. John McFarland took a tripping call against Richart, and the power play remained white hot, when Herbert got his second of the night, once more from Ully and Marchment.

Honestly, what is there left to say about Herbert? He’s a scoring machine, and his two goals and ten shots of the game got him first star honors. Richart (initially credited with the tying goal that eventually was awarded to Carroll) was named second star, and appears to be rounding into form, playing what was perhaps his most obviously strong game so far. Jake Marchment appears to be settling in nicely, picking up two assists, and it would appear that McGauley is heating up.

 


 

In a rare morning game, the same two teams squared off once more on Wednesday in Wichita, Utah going with the same roster. The Grizzlies had clearly had their coffee, picking up the first couple of shots. in the opening minutes of the frame.

However, Ryan Walters took a hooking call, and the Thunder went to the power play. The kill remained strong though, and didn’t allow a shot.

Then the game got crazy. To start it all off, Caleb Herbert scored his eleventh for Utah, from Cole Ully and Kevin Davis.

Matt Schmalz answered right back, then Steven Iacobellis scored again for the Thunder. The lead did not last, however, and Tim McGauley tied it up once more.

All that action in less than two minutes!

Greg Chase took a high-sticking minor at 11:18, then tried to goad Ully into joining him in the box, to no avail. Chase also got a roughing call, and Utah got a four minute power play.

The best power play in the league came up empty, and Ralph Cuddemi made them regret it as he sniped one on Joe Cannata to give the Thunder the lead. Pierre-Cedric Labrie took a late tripping call on McGauley, but the period and the advantage came to an end together. Despite out-shooting Wichita 17-9, the Grizzlies remained behind 3-2.

Utah drew a power play at 3:44, but the power play continued to struggle, getting only one shot, and spending some time defending in their own zone. Cannata was up to the challenge though, and the Thunder returned to full strength.

Ryan Misiak and Travis Barron caused some chaos around the Wichita net about half-way through the frame, but neither put the puck past Stuart Skinner.

The Thunder got going in the Utah zone, but Jake Marchment’s line took back possession, and Marchment tied it up on a nice pass from Ryan Walters. Nolan De Jong got the secondary assist.

Barron took a high-sticking penalty with 1:37 to go, but when the period came to an end, the score was still 3-3, shots 29-18 for the Grizzlies.

1:23 into the third, Ully’s speed drew a tripping call. However, the unusual power play struggles of this game continued.

Another furious spate of action saw first Travis Brown making it 4-3 through a screen, then just 22 seconds later, De Jong scored his first of the season from Davis and Ryan Misiak, giving them both their second assists.

Ully took a cross-checking minor at 6:11, but on the next face-off, Iacobellis took a call, and the teams played four-on-four for 1:55.

Around the eight minute mark, the Grizzlies got some good offensive zone pressure, picking up four straight shots, unfortunately, the Captains tangled in front of the Utah net, and Teigan Zahn got an interference call for putting Dyson Stevenson into the net.

With just 1:55 to go, Marchment got his second of the game, and that’s how it ended.

Utah out-shot Wichita (known for giving up a lot of shots) 40-23, and picked up their second win against the Thunder.

Unlike in Sunday’s game, the power play really struggled, going 0/6, an giving up a couple of good looks to the penalty killers. However, it gave the Grizzlies an opportunity to get it done at even strength, which they certainly did. It was also great to see the secondary scoring come alive, as every line contributed at least one goal, and multiple players not named Caleb Herbert had multi-point games.

Misiak had one of his best games of the year, picking up two assists, and third star honors, Marchment, of course, had the two goals, including the game winner, which got him first star, while De Jong had a goal and an assist, Walters had two assists, as did Kevin Davis.

Then, of course, there is Herbert, who just hasn’t cooled down. He now has 18 points in ten games, and has only been held off the scoreboard once, in Utah’s lone regulation loss this season. He leads the league now in both goals (11) and points.

Whatever struggles the Grizzlies have had in keeping the puck out of their own net have been more then compensated for by their offense.

Utah plays Wichita once more on Friday before returning home.

 

Photo courtesy of Tim Broussard and staff.

 

Utah Grizzlies: Road Trip Woes

Friday night’s game was, in a word, disjointed.

Ryan Misiak was placed on reserve as the Grizzlies, Jake Marchment made his Grizzlies debut after returning to the team from San Diego, and Joe Cannata got the start against the Indy Fuel.

Teigan Zahn and Anthony Collins dropped the gloves just four minutes in, then the Fuel took a penalty less than a minute later. Utah was unable to make anything of it before Matt Berry took a slashing call, and sent the teams to some four-on-four time.

Indy prevented the Grizzlies from getting any kind of flow going, laying down hits any time a Utah player got any kind of speed going, and just generally looking like the more efficient team. It paid off for them at 14:07 when Robert Powers opened the scoring.

Austin Carroll did answer in the dying seconds of the first with his first of the year from Cole Ully and Nolan De Jong, but that was the only goal the Grizzlies would muster.

The second period did not begin well, the Fuel making it 2-1 just 42 seconds in. Utah got a power play chance about a minute later, but it almost ended in disaster as both Ully and Caleb Herbert got hit, leading to a three-on-one short-handed. Fortunately, Cannata turned that aside.

Things didn’t get better after that either, as Berry was given Utah’s first face-off violation penalty of the season at 3:30.

The Grizzlies took another questionable penalty at 5:36, and though initially they did a good job killing it off, Herbert even getting a couple of beautiful chances short-handed, a weird bounce made it 3-1.

The third didn’t see a lot of action in the early stages, and though Indy’s Connor Moynihan took a high-sticking call shortly past the half-way mark, Utah couldn’t capitalize.

Branham pulled Cannata with well over two minutes to go, and things looked promising when Herbert drew a penalty, but there would be no comeback. Matt Rupert scored his second of the game into the empty net, and the Grizzlies suffered their first loss of the season.

It was an uncharacteristic game from top to bottom, and while we did see flashes of the performances we’ve come to expect, it was easily the team’s worst outing of the season.


 

There was a bit of a switch up in the roster for Saturday’s game, with Misiak drawing back in, and Brendan Harms taking a seat while Kevin Carr got the start against the Kansas City Mavericks.

Herbert got right back to his scoring ways, making it 1-0 at 3:49 from Kevin Davis and Travis Barron. Ully drew a penalty on the very next shift, but though Taylor Richart got a couple of big shots off, the Mavs killed it off.

Misiak took a holding call at 8:21, but Utah killed it off thanks to a couple of quick saves from Carr. The remainder of the period was fairly uneventful until C.J. Eick’s speed scooted him in past the Utah defensemen, and he tied it up with 1:15 to go.

The Mavericks sped up after that, but the period came to an end with the 1-1 tie, Kansas City out-shooting the Grizzlies 11-7.

The opening moments of the second were a little sloppy from Utah, with the result that Kansas City got the first three shots, and Carr came up big several times.

The Grizzlies drew a power play, and after a little blip that saw the Mavericks in the offensive zone, Carroll extended his scoring streak to two games on assists from Herbert and Ully.

In an absolute scrum, the Mavericks made it 3-2, Teigan Zahn and Jordan Klimek dropped the gloves, before Kansas City scored again on a clean shot.

However, Richart picked the perfect moment to score his first of the year, tying it up once more at 8:17. Herbert picked up his third point of the game, while Berry got the second assist.

Utah got another look on the power play half-way through the period, but were unable to draw ahead on the advantage. Both teams got away with what probably should have been penalties before Berry was sent to the box for tripping with almost exactly two minutes left in the frame.

Ryan Walters took a high-sticking call with 30 seconds left, but the Berry penalty and the period came to an end together with no change in score, Mavs out-shooting Utah 25-18.

Utah began the third with 1:30 remaining on Walters’ penalty, which they killed off fairly comfortably.

Jake Marchment scored his first goal of the season at 3:51 to give Utah the 4-3 lead from Tim McGauley and Turner Ottenbreiti, but because that’s just the way the game went, the Mavericks tied it up again at 7:27. That’s how things remained for the rest of regulation, and because Herbert took a hooking call as time expired, the Grizzlies began OT on the kill.

Utah killed off the penalty in what was definitely their best OT showing so far, but it wasn’t enough, and Mark Cooper got the game winner.

It was a much better outing than the game against Indy, but though earning a point is certainly better than nothing, the Grizzlies inability to get it done in overtime is frustrating.

Herbert got the third star of the game with a goal and two assists, and Berry deserves an honorable mention with five shots and an assist. Carroll also continues to look good, all of which will hopefully continue and culminate in a win in Wichita.

 

Image courtesy of Tim Broussard, Jess Fleming and staff.

Monday Munchies: Taylor Richart

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 kind of food?
My favourite kind of food is probably pasta, which is good cause I eat it every pre-game meal. In the summer I don’t eat it a lot just because I’m not skating as much, and it’s carbs, obviously, so I have to cut it back in the summer, but definitely some type of pasta dish.

What’s your favourite recipe, and who makes it best?
I’d have to say my favourite recipe is a lasagne recipe, and my mom makes it best. Usually my dad does the cooking, but my mom makes the best lasagna.

Do you like to cook?
Yes, I enjoy cooking. Usually I cook almost every meal at home, rarely will I go out to dinner. Usually me and Brad are always whipping something up in the kitchen. Yeah, I enjoy it. I’m pretty healthy, so I like knowing what’s going into my food.

What do you like best about the recipe you provided?
I think just knowing that it’s home cooked, and that my mom puts time and effort into it, and then you get to see the result. I think it makes her happy that we think that she has the best lasagna, so just knowing that it’s home cooked and she enjoys it as well.

Who on the team, or among your roommates would you say is the best cook?
Me and Brad are up there, but I’d have to say Howie, Chef Howie. He’s a good cook. He’s been doing cooking for a while. I think that was one of his jobs as well, so he can whip up some good meals.

Who do you think is the worst cook?
The worst? I’d probably have to say…I don’t really know, but I’d have to say Sam Windle, probably cause he’s always cooking fish sticks and little hamburger helper meals like that. So I’d have to throw him under the bus!

Creamy Lasagne

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 14.5-ounce can tomatoes, cut up
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 8-ounce package Philadelphia brand cream cheese, cubed
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 8 ounces lasagne noodles, cooked, drained
  • 2 6-ounce packages 100% Natural Kraft Low Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese Slices
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) Kraft Grated Parmesan Cheese

Brown meat in large skillet: drain. Add onions, cook until tender. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, water, garlic and seasonings. Cover: simmer 30 minutes.

Combine cream cheese and milk in saucepan: stir over low heat until smooth.

In 13×9-inch baking pan, layer half of noodles, meat mixture, cream cheese mixture, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese: repeat layers. Bake at 350, 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving

Makes 6-8 servings

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
Mitch Jones
Sam Windle
Charley Graaskamp
Brad Navin