2020-2021 Utah Grizzlies Season Review
West Valley City, Utah - The Utah Grizzlies 2020-2021 season came to an end on June 11, 2021 after losing in 3 games to the Allen Americans. While the season ended in the first round of the playoffs, there was many great memories and moments as the Grizzlies made the playoffs for the 13th time in 15 possible playoff seasons since joining the league before the 2005-06 season.
Matthew Boucher was named the 2020-2021 ECHL Rookie of the Year, the first player in team history to receive such an award. Boucher led the Grizzlies and all league rookies in goals (25), points (52) and shots on goal (209). Boucher tied with Trey Bradley for the most multiple point games on the club with 12.
Bradley and AJ White had an outstanding month of May, which was critical in the Grizz making the playoffs for the 12th time in the last 13 seasons where a postseason was held. Bradley led the club with 37 assists on the year. In May, Bradley had 16 points (2 goals, 14 assists). AJ White had 6 goals and 9 assists in May. White was tied for 3rd on the team with 40 points. White led the team with 5 game winning goals and 9 power play goals.
Cedric Pare also had 40 points this season (17 goals, 23 assists). Pare had 2 overtime game winners for Utah this season. He won the game in overtime on March 28 vs Tulsa. He also scored 2 goals, including the game winner on May 22 vs Allen. Pare was one of the best rookies in the league. Another first year pro, Charlie Gerard also had a solid campaign. Gerard had 20 goals in 49 games for Utah, including a 4 goal performance in the final game of the regular season vs Fort Wayne on June 5.
The Grizzlies run for the playoffs in the season's final month was jumpstarted by Travis Barron, who had a night to remember on May 4 vs Rapid City. Barron broke a franchise record and tied a league record by recording 3 shorthanded goals. Travis also added a power play goal to end up with 4 goals in the 5-3 win. Ty Lewis also scored a shorthanded goal in the game as Utah broke a franchise record and tied for a league single game record with 4 shorthanded goals. That started a streak where Utah won 10 of 11 games, including a 7 game winning streak from May 4 - 16. Utah went 12-2-1-1 vs Rapid City this season.
Goaltender Parker Gahagen had an outstanding season for Utah. In 17 games he went 10-4-1 with a .929 save percentage and a 2.04 goals against average. Gahagen was named the league Goaltender of the Month for May 2021. He also won the league's Goaltender of the Week award in back to back weeks on May 3-9 and May 10-16. He was the first Grizzlies goaltender in the ECHL era to win the award by himself 2 weeks ago.
The defensive unit was led by Ryan Lowney, who had 11 goals and 25 assists in 57 games for Utah. Lowney led the team with 17 power play points. 19 year old Hunter Skinner was a standout, scoring 17 points in 26 games. Skinner will begin a 3 year NHL Entry Level contract with the New York Rangers in the 2021-22 season. Miles Gendron was the number 1 star for Utah on February 6 vs Kansas City where he had 2 goals in the 2nd period. Luke Bafia was a solid addition in the 2nd half of the season. Alex Lepkowski and Garrett Johnston were solid all year. Wyatt McLeod played in 15 games towards the end of the season after spending the beginning of the season with the WHL's Saskatoon Blades.
There were 3 local players on the 2020-21 team. Goaltender Garrett Metcalf had an outstanding April for Utah, highlighted by winning the league's Goaltender of the Week award for April 19-25 after winning 2 road games in Allen. Metcalf was born and raised in Salt Lake City. Herriman, Utah native Mason Mannek appeared in 9 games at the end of the season, scoring 2 assists. Mannek played with the WHL's Portland Winterhawks for the past 4 seasons, including this year. Sandy native Jared Pike scored 3 goals for Utah this season, with his first goal coming on January 23 vs Rapid City.
It was a season of constant change as there were 52 players who appeared in at least 1 game for Utah this season. Cedric Pare led Utah with 67 games. There were 5 players who appeared in at least 60 games (Pare, Trey Bradley, AJ White, Jack Jenkins and Garrett Johnston).
While there were many challenges the Grizzlies and the entire league had to face this season, it was still a memorable season as the Grizzlies celebrated 25 seasons in a year like no other. For offseason updates, follow the Grizzlies on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. www.utahgrizzlies.com is the go to spot for tickets and updates on the upcoming 2021-22 season.
Grizzlies Players Winning League Awards in 2020-21
Diego Cuglietta - Player of the Week for weekend of December 11-13.
Matthew Boucher - Player of the Week for January 18-24.
Matthew Boucher - Player of the Week for March 22-28.
Matthew Boucher - Rookie of the Month for March 2021.
Garrett Metcalf - Goaltender of the Week for April 19-25.
Parker Gahagen - Goaltender of the Week for May 3-9.
Parker Gahagen - Goaltender of the Week for May 10-16.
Trey Bradley - Player of the Week for May 17-23.
Parker Gahagen - Goaltender of the Month for May 2021.
Matthew Boucher - All-Rookie Team for the 2020-21 season.
2020-2021 Utah Grizzlies Regular Season Totals (league rankings)
Overall record: 35-26-5-6
Home record: 21-9-3-3. Utah has outscored opponents 122 to 102 at home.
Road record: 14-17-2-3
Win percentage: .563 (4th in Western Conference).
Streak: Won 1
Standings Points: 81
Last 10: 5-5.
Goals per game: 2.88 (Tied 10th). Goals for: 207
Goals against per game: 3.04 (10th). Goals against: 219
Shots per game: 32.40 (4th).
Shots against per game: 29.10 (3rd).
Power Play: 16.8 % - 47 for 280 (8th).
Penalty Kill: 84.2 % - 218 for 259 (5th)
Penalty Minutes: 1037 (14.40 per game).
Shorthanded Goals: 12 (Tied for 2nd) - Travis Barron had 5 shorthanded goals.
Shorthanded Goals Allowed: 10 (Tied 10th)
Players Used: 52.
Record When Scoring First: 22-9-2-1
First Goal Win Loss
Utah Grizzlies 22 12
Opposition 13 25
Team Leaders (2020-21 season)
Goals: Matthew Boucher (25)
Assists: Trey Bradley (37)
Points: Boucher (52)
Plus/Minus: Matt Abt (+8)
PIM: Teigan Zahn/Hayden Hodgson (86)
Games Played: Cedric Pare (67)
Power Play Points: Ryan Lowney (17)
Power Play Goals: AJ White (9)
Power Play Assists: Lowney/Ty Lewis (11)
Shots on Goal: Boucher (209)
Shooting Percentage: AJ White (14.2 %) - Minimum 45 shots.
Game Winning Goals: White (5)
Wins: Parker Gahagen (10)
Save %: Gahagen (.929) - Minimum 8 games
Goals Against Average: Gahagen (2.04). - Minimum 8 games
Scoring 1st 2nd 3rd OT SO TOTAL
Shots 1st 2nd 3rd OT TOTAL
Utah Grizzlies 57 83 60 4 3 207
Utah Grizzlies 761 796 729 44 2330
Opposition 70 77 61 5 6 219
Opposition 653 766 624 46 2089
52 Players Appeared in a Game for Utah This Season
Forwards (26): Travis Barron, Tommy Besinger, Matthew Boucher, Trey Bradley, Pat Cannone, Diego Cuglietta, Josh Dickinson, Brayden Gelsinger, Charlie Gerard, Nick Henry, Hayden Hodgson, Matt Hoover, Christian Horn, Jack Jenkins, Ty Lewis, Mason Mannek, Mitch Maxwell, Michael McNicholas, Sasha Mutala, Cedric Pare, Jared Pike, Braylon Shmyr, Yuri Terao, Joe Wegwerth, AJ White, Riley Woods.
Defenseman (19): Matt Abt, Luke Bafia, Kevin Davis, Brandon Fehd, Cole Fraser, Miles Gendron, Edwin Hookenson, Tanner Jago, Garrett Johnston, Ryker Killins, Alex Lepkowski, Ryan Lowney, Wyatt McLeod, Kris Mylleri, Adam Parsells, Michael Prapavessis, Ian Scheid, Hunter Skinner, Teigan Zahn,
Goaltenders (7): Brad Barone, Evan Buitenhuis, Kevin Carr, Parker Gahagen, Trevor Gorsuch, Peyton Jones, Garrett Metcalf.
Head Coach - Tim Branham. Coach Branham is the winningest head coach in Utah Grizzlies history with 284 victories over 8 seasons. It's the 6th time the Grizzlies have reached the playoffs in Coach Branham's tenure.
Assistant Coach - Ryan Kinasewich. The all-time Grizzlies leader in goals (156), assists (200) and points (356). It's Ryan's 4th season as Grizzlies assistant.
Equipment Manager - Matthew Schwegmann. 2nd season with Utah. Was with Peoria in the SPHL in the 2019 and the year prior was with the ECHL's Jacksonville Icemen.
Athletic Trainer - Collin Lee. 1st year with Utah.
7 Grizzlies Had a Double Digit Goal Seasons
Matthew Boucher (25), Charlie Gerard (20), Cedric Pare (17), AJ White (15), Ryan Lowney (11) Pat Cannone and Trey Bradley (10) each had a double digit goal season.
Grizzlies Record was Outstanding When Leading After 1st and 2nd
Utah was 13-4-0-1 when leading after 1 period and 22-4-1-1 when leading after 2.
3rd Games a Charm Win
Utah was 15-2-0-1 in the 3rd game of a series this season.
Grizzlies Enjoyed Maverik Center Surroundings
Utah outscored opponents 122 to 102 at home this season. The Grizz went 21-9-3-3 at Maverik Center, earning 48 standings points in 36 home games.
Many 1 Goal Games
35 of the 72 games were 1 goal contests. This season the Grizzlies played in 18 games past regulation. Utah was 18-6-11 in 1 goal games.
Multiple Point games
12 - Matthew Boucher, Trey Bradley
10 - AJ White
7 - Cedric Pare, Charlie Gerard
6- Ryan Lowney, Ty Lewis
5 - Riley Woods, Matt Hoover.
4- Pat Cannone, Hunter Skinner, Travis Barron.
3 - Miles Gendron
2 - Diego Cuglietta, Nick Henry, Joe Wegwerth, Mitch Maxwell, Hayden Hodgson, Alex Lepkowski.
1 - Jack Jenkins, Braylon Shmyr, Ian Scheid, Matt Abt, Ryker Killins, Josh Dickinson, Brayden Gelsinger, Brandon Fehd, Wyatt McLeod, Sasha Mutala.
4 Goal Games
Travis Barron - May 4, 2021 vs Rapid City
Charlie Gerard - June 5, 2021 vs Fort Wayne.
3 goal games
Matthew Boucher - March 24, 2021 vs Tulsa
Nick Henry - February 21t, 2021 vs Rapid City.
2 goal games
Joe Wegweth - December 31 vs RC.
Ian Scheid - December 31 vs RC
Trey Bradley - January 22 at RC.
Hunter Skinner - January 31 vs Allen.
Riley Woods - February 5 at KC
Miles Gendron - February 6 at KC.
Matthew Boucher - February 14 vs Wichita.
Ryan Lowney - February 20 vs RC.
Cedric Pare - March 13 vs Allen.
Charlie Gerard - March 19 at RC.
Gerard - April 14 vs Kansas City.
Boucher - May 8 vs RC.
AJ White - May 14 at Tulsa.
Ty Lewis - May 21 vs Allen.
Cedric Pare - May 22 vs Allen.
Sasha Mutala - May 23 vs Allen.
Grizzlies Goaltending Shutouts
Parker Gahagen - May 5, 2021 vs Rapid City.
Peyton Jones - May 23, 2021 vs Allen.
Gahagen - June 5, 2021 vs Fort Wayne
Players Who Have Appeared in AHL Games This Season
Riley Woods, Miles Gendron, Charlie Gerard, Nick Henry, Ian Scheid, Matt Abt, Ty Lewis, Parker Gahagen, Peyton Jones, Josh Dickinson, Travis Barron. Hunter Skinner, Kevin Davis, Sasha Mutala.
Gahagen Makes Grizzlies History
Gahagen is the first Utah goaltender in the ECHL era to have single-handedly won the league Goaltender of the Week honors in back-to-back weeks. Utah has won back-to-back goaltender of the week honors 2 other times but in both cases it was a different goaltender for each of the 2 weeks. In the 2013-14 season Aaron Dell, currently with the NHL's New Jersey Devils, won the award and the following week, Igor Bobkov won it.
Jan. 20-26, 2014 - AaronâDell, Utah
Jan. 27-Feb. 2, 2014 - Igor Bobkov, Utah
In the 2010-11 season the same scenario played out.
Dec. 27-Jan. 2 J.P. Lamoureux, Utah
Jan. 3-9, 2011 Andrew Engelage, Utah
Andrew Engelage and Igor Bobkov won the league's Goalie weekly award 4 different times. Ryan Faragher has won it 3 times.
Save That Puck Matthew Schwegmann, It's His First as a Pro
There were 11 different instances this season where a player scored his first professional goal. In 3 different cases players scored their first 2 pro goals, with all of them coming against Allen. Hunter Skinner scored 2 goals vs Allen on January 31. Wyatt McLeod also scored 2 goals vs Allen on May 19. 4 days later Sasha Mutala also scored his first 2 professional goals vs Allen on May 23. Current Allen defenseman Kris Myllari scored his first pro goal in the 2nd period of the January 30 game while playing for Utah.
Matthew Boucher, Cedric Pare, Charlie Gerard, Matt Hoover, Ian Scheid, Jared Pike, Brayden Gelsinger, Hunter Skinner, Wyatt McLeod, Sasha Mutala and Kris Myllari each scored their first pro goals.
There was a line brawl on February 28th at Wheeling with 9.1 seconds left that also involved a goalie fight between Utah's Kevin Carr and Wheeling's Francois Brassard.
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