Utah Grizzlies 2018-2019 Season Recap
West Valley City, Utah - The 2018-2019 Utah Grizzlies season came to an end after they fell to the Idaho Steelheads in 5 games in the first round best of 7 series in the 2019 Kelly Cup Playoffs presented by SmileDirectClub.
It was an odd series as it was only the 3rd time that a best of 7 series featured 4 consecutive games that ended in overtime. Utah opened up the series by winning 7-1 on April 12th. That was followed by 4 OT games all won by the Steelheads.
The series most thrilling individual performance was Tim McGauley's hat trick in game 4. McGauley got the hat trick in the first 24:36 of the contest. The only other hat trick of the season came when Matt Berry scored 3 goals on November 21st vs Allen.
The season began with a milestone as head coach Tim Branham became the winningest head coach in Utah Grizzlies history on October 12th with a 4-2 win over Rapid City. Branham has a record of 215-162-54 in 6 seasons as Grizzlies coach and his teams have reached the playoffs 5 times.
November was a great month for the Grizzlies. Utah went 9-2-1-1 for the month and Caleb Herbert and Cole Ully were each named ECHL co-Players of the Month. Herbert had 10 goals and 11 assists for 21 points in 12 games for the month and Ully had 5 goals and 16 assists for 21 points in 11 games. November was also a great month for Matt Berry, who had 11 goals and 7 assists in 13 November games. Berry was called up to the AHL's San Diego Gulls on December 2nd and stayed there for the remainder of the season.
Goaltender Joe Cannata had a streak of 3 consecutive shutouts in November. He shut out the Indy Fuel on November 17th at Maverik Center. He also shut out the Allen Americans on November 21st and November 23rd to complete a string of 3 straight clean sheets. Cannata also shut out Allen on December 29th.
Kevin Carr had a solid season in goal for Utah. He had a record of 20-9-2-3 in the regular season and led the team with a .906 save percentage. Carr had a .935 save percentage in the playoffs with a 2.47 goals against average. Carr had 3 shutouts in the regular season. Utah as a team had 7 shutouts.
The defensive core was consistent all season. Captain Teigan Zahn and Taylor Richart were the only 2 players to appear in all 72 regular season games. They also played in all 5 playoff games. Zahn displayed great leadership all year and Richart had a solid season in his 3rd campaign with the team. Richart had 8 goals and 23 assists this season. Turner Ottenbreit led all blueliners with 11 goals this season. Kevin Davis had 20 assists in 27 games this season. He split time between Utah and the AHL's Colorado Eagles. Gage Ausmus scored an overtime game winning goal on February 15th vs Kansas City. Ausmus played in 70 games this season. Josh Anderson scored his first pro goal on January 29th at Tulsa in a 2-1 Utah win. Gabriel Verpaelst was acquired on March 2nd in a trade for Nolan De Jong, who went to Wichita in the deal. Joey Raats appeared in 38 games this year playing both as a defenseman and forward.
Ryan Walters had another solid year as he finished 2nd on the team with 17 goals and 31 assists for 48 points. Walters was injured and lost for the season on March 31st. JT Henke was claimed off waivers in mid-November and had a good year. Henke was named ECHL Rookie of the Month for December after scoring 2 goals in 4 consecutive games. JT finished the year with 15 goals and 17 assists.
Utah swept Idaho in a 3 game series on February 6th, 8th and 9th. Mitch Maxwell had a 2 goal game on February 9th to complete the sweep. The longest winning streak the Grizz had this season was a 5 game streak from January 2nd-11th.
Grizzlies fans came out in full force once again this season. An average of 5496 attended games this season, the 2nd best average since the Grizzlies joined the ECHL in the 2005-06 season. It was the 4th straight season the Grizzlies averaged more than 5 thousand fans per game.
Regular Season Totals
Overall record: 37-26-4-5
Home record: 22-12-1-1. Utah outscored opponents 117-95 at home.
Road record: 15-14-3-4. Utah outscored 123-114 on the road.
Goals per game: 3.22 (14th in league).
Goals against per game: 3.03 (8h).
Shots per game: 31.82 (15th).
Shots against per game: 29.60 (4th).
Power play: 20.3 % (Tied 3rd). Utah was in the top 7 on the power play the entire season.
Penalty Kill: 84.7 % (8th). Grizzlies were a top 10 penalty kill unit throughout the season.
Scoring By Period
First Period: Utah 65 Opponents 63.
Second Period: Utah 88 Opponents 74.
Third Period: Utah 72 Opponents 72.
Double Digit Goal Scorers
10 different Grizzlies players had double digit goal seasons for Tim Branham's crew.
Caleb Herbert (32), Ryan Walters (17), Jake Marchment (15), Austin Carroll (15), JT Henke (15), Tim McGauley (14), Cole Ully (14), Matt Berry (13), Mike Economos (11), Turner Ottenbreit (11).
Colorado to Utah Shuttle
12 different players played in games for both the AHL's Colorado Eagles and the Grizzlies this season. All 3 teams in the Colorado Avalanche organization made the playoffs. In addition to those 12 players, Matt Berry & Jake Marchment played for the AHL's San Diego Gulls and Austin Carroll played in 7 games for the AHL's Manitoba Moose. Nolan De Jong played for 3 different AHL teams this season. Ty Lewis had the most points in the AHL among those who also dressed for the Grizzlies. Lewis had 8 goals and 11 assists in 51 games for the Eagles. Lewis gave Utah a spark late in the regular season as he had 5 goals and 8 assists for 13 points in 7 games.
#2 Idaho Steelheads (41-25-6) vs. #3 Utah Grizzlies (37-26-9)
Game 1 - Utah won 7-1. Josh Dickinson 2 goals, 1 assist. Ty Lewis 3 assists. Taylor Richart +5, Teigan Zahn +4. Caleb Herbert 1 goal, 1 assist.
Game 2 - Idaho won 3-2 in Overtime. Mike Economos and Caleb Herbert scored for Utah. Kevin Carr saved 42 of 45. Each team was 1 for 6 on the power play.
Game 3 - Idaho won 3-2 in Overtime. Josh Dickinson and Tim McGauley scored for Utah. Kevin Carr saved 45 of 48. Idaho was 0 for 4 on power play, Utah was 0 for 5.
Game 4 - Idaho won 5-4 in Overtime. Tim McGauley 3 goals. Grayson Downing 1 goal. Idaho's Henrik Samuelsson 2 goals 1 assist. Brad McClure game winner in OT. Utah 2 for 5 on Power Play, Idaho was 0 for 5.
Game 5 - Idaho won 2-1 in Overtime. Joey Ratelle scored lone goal for Utah. Kevin Carr 44 of 46 saves.
Playoff Team Leaders
Goals - Tim McGauley (4)
Assists - Josh Dickinson (4)
Points - Dickinson (7)
Plus/Minus - Dickinson (+4)
Kevin Carr had a .935 save percentage and a 2.47 goals against average for the series.
Goals - Caleb Herbert - (32). Most by a Grizzlies player since Ryan Kinasewich scored 48 goals in 59 games in the 2009-2010 season.
Assists - Herbert ( 39).
Points - Herbert (71) - 4th best in the league.
Plus/Minus - Matt Berry (+12).
Penalty Minutes - Teigan Zahn (229)
Power Play points - Herbert (29) - Tied 2nd best in league.
Shooting Percentage (Minimum 5 games) - JT Henke and Ty Lewis (20.0 %).
Save percentage (Goaltender) - Kevin Carr (.906)
Shutouts - Joe Cannata (4)
Wins - Kevin Carr (20)
2 goal games for Utah this season.
Caleb Herbert and JT Henke - 5 times.
Matt Berry- 4 times. Ryan Walters - 3 times
Cole Ully, Jake Marchment and Mike Economos - 2 times
Tim McGauley, Austin Carroll, Julien Nantel, Eric Freschi, Joey Ratelle, Ty Lewis, Taylor Richart and Mitch Maxwell- 1 time. Playoffs - Josh Dickinson 1 two goal game. Tim McGauley 1 three goal game.
Matt Berry had the only hat trick of the season as he scored 3 goals vs Allen on November 21st.
JT Henke had 4 straight 2 goal games in December as he won league Rookie of the Month. He scored 2 goals on December 15th vs Rapid City, December 21st and 22nd at Idaho and December 29th vs Allen.
Overtime Game Winners for Utah This Season
5 overtime game winning goals for Utah this season. 4 of the 5 came at Maverik Center. The only one on the road was Herbert's GWG on November 4th at Wichita.
Caleb Herbert - Twice. At Wichita on Nov. 4. Vs Idaho on April 6th.
Jack Walker - January 5th vs Wichita. Gage Ausmus - February 15th vs Kansas City.
Josh Dickinson - March 2nd vs Maine.
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.
A total of 42 players appeared in at least 1 game for the Grizzlies this season. 42 skaters and 3 goaltenders.
Forwards: Caleb Herbert, Ryan Walters, Cole Ully, Jake Marchment, Austin Carroll, JT Henke, Josh Dickinson, Tim McGauley, Jack Walker, Matt Berry, Mike Economos, Eric Freschi, Ty Lewis, Mitch Maxwell, Julien Nantel, Josh Winquist, Travis Barron, Ryan Misiak, Will Smith, Joey Ratelle, Brendan Harms, Grayson Downing, Ryan Galt, Tanner Nagel, Stan Dzakhov, Joseph Mizzi, RT Rice.
Defenseman: Taylor Richart, Turner Ottenbreit, Kevin Davis, Nolan De Jong, Gage Ausmus, Teigan Zahn, Gabriel Verpaelst, Joey Raats, Josh Anderson, Matthew Pufahl, Sergei Boikov, Duggie Lagrone.
Goaltender: Kevin Carr, Joe Cannata, Alex Leclerc, Christian Frey.
Images from this story
Utah Grizzlies shake hands with the Idaho Steelheads to close the season
Utah Grizzlies celebrate a goal
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