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 Utah Grizzlies

Utah Grizzlies 2023-2024 Season Recap

April 17, 2024 - ECHL (ECHL)
Utah Grizzlies News Release


West Valley City, Utah - The Utah Grizzlies concluded their 2023-2024 season on April 13, 2024 at Idaho Central Arena. Utah went 31-36-5 on the season. The Grizzlies had their best year attendance wise since the 2002-03 season as they averaged 6,003 fans per game.

It was a year where Brandon Cutler scored 36 goals, which was the most by any Grizzlies player since the 2009-2010 season. Kyle Mayhew shined as a first-year pro as he was named to the league's All-Rookie team and he was named Second Team All-ECHL. Grizzlies captain Josh Wesley ended the season leading all league defenseman with 18 goals and 8 power play goals. Second Year pro Brett Stapley led the Grizzlies with 47 assists, 71 points and 17 multiple point games.

Alex Beaucage made an impact on the Grizzlies in the second half of the season as he came over from the AHL's Colorado Eagles. Beaucage had 2 goals and 3 assists on March 9th vs Rapid City and was named the league's player of the week for March 4-10, 2024.

Many forwards shined in their first full seasons as professionals. Cole Gallant finished third on the club with 35 assists. Mick Messner had 15 goals and 23 assists this season as he appeared in all 72 games. Nathan Burke finished the season tied for fourth on the club with 18 goals. Aaron Aragon had 10 goals in his first full ECHL season. Adam Berg gave a great effort every game. He started the season with the Cincinnati Cyclones before he was traded to the Grizzlies in mid-November 2023. Berg had 9 goals and 14 assists this season.

Dylan Fitze scored 21 goals and 20 assists in 55 games for the Grizzlies. Fitze scored 3 goals on February 23rd as Utah won 7-4 at Kansas City. It was the only Hat Trick by a Grizzlies player all season. Tyler Penner has been the ultimate ironman for the Grizzlies as he has appeared in every regular season and postseason game for the club since the start of the 2021-2022 season.

Every year the Grizzlies make some key additions late in the regular season as the college and juniors seasons come to an end. Luke Manning played some big minutes late in the regular season after starting the year at University of St. Thomas. Manning had 2 goals and 6 assists in 14 games with the Grizz. Forwards Evan Friesen, Max Neill and Blake Wells also signed late in the season after playing in either juniors or at the college level.

Forwards Kyle Betts and Ryan Sandelin spent the majority of the season in the American Hockey League but both players made key contributions to the Grizzlies early in the season. Jordan Martel scored 6 goals and 5 assists in 16 games before being traded to Wheeling. Speedy forward Dakota Raabe had 3 goals and 10 assists in 33 games with the club. Dean Yakura had 2 assists on February 4th at Tulsa. The 38 year-old Yakura was the oldest skater in Grizzlies history. Forwards Jeremiah Addison, J.C. Campagna, Cody Caron, Patriks Marcinkevics, Jared Power and Jordan Stallard also saw time for the Grizzlies in the 2023-24 season.

Defensively the law firm of Mayhew and Wesley were consistent forces who statistically were the best offensive defensive pairing in the league. Wesley led all defensemen with 18 goals. Mayhew led all league rookie defensemen in points with 57. Mayhew was third among all league rookies with 19 power play assists.

Bryan Yoon had a great rookie season for the Grizzlies as he led the club in plus/minus at +11. Yoon was loaned to the AHL's Hartford Wolf Pack, where he spent the entire second half of the season. Keoni Texeira brought years of experience to the blueline for the Grizz. Robbie Stucker and Quinn Wichers were both solid defensemen for Utah after being acquired in mid-season trades. Jacob Semik and Jordon Stone each were on the club from start to finish this season. Cory Thomas had 3 assists in 20 games early in the season. Gianni Fairbrother played in 8 games and had 1 goal and 2 assists. Fairbrother was with the AHL's Colorado Eagles for the majority of the season.

There were a few defensemen who gave the Grizzlies a boost late in the regular season. Connor Mayer had 1 goal and 2 assists in 5 games after completing a 5 year run at Colorado College. Liam Dennison played in 7 games towards the end of the season. Luc Salem appeared in 2 games after serving as team captain at St. Lawrence University.

There were 7 goaltenders used by the Grizzlies in the 2023-24 season. St. Louis Blues contracted goalie Will Cranley appeared in 27 games with Utah and had a record of 8-10-4. First-year pro Dante Giannuzzi led Utah with 13 wins and he had a 32 save shutout vs Tulsa on December 31, 2023. Salt Lake City native Garrett Metcalf was the league's Goaltender of the Week in the first week of the regular season as he earned a 35 save shutout on October 22, 2023 as Utah defeated Tulsa 1-0. Third-year pro Trent Miner had a 6-5 record and a team best .917 save percentage in 11 games with Utah. Miner was a standout performer for the AHL's Colorado Eagles this season as he had a 2.10 goals-against average and a .930 save percentage in 18 games. Arvid Hom had a .907 save percentage in 4 games. Holm has spent most of the season with the Eagles. Jarrett Fiske made his professional debut on March 22, 2024 but unfortunately sustained an injury in the first period and was out for the rest of the season.

Kyle Mayhew Named to ECHL All-Rookie Team

Utah Grizzlies defenseman Kyle Mayhew was named to the ECHL All-Rookie team for the 2023-24 season as determined in a vote of ECHL coaches, broadcasters, media relations directors and media, who were asked to select a goaltender, two defensemen and three forwards.

Mayhew led all league rookies with 56 points this season (15 goals, 41 assists). He is tied for second among all league defenseman in goals. Mayhew is third among all league rookies with 19 power play assists and is tied for second with 23 power play points.

Mayhew becomes the fourth player in the Grizzlies ECHL era to be named to the All-Rookie Team, joining Benjamin Tardif and Luke Martin, who both made it in the 2021-22 season as well as Matthew Boucher, who made it in the 2020-21 season. Boucher also won the 2020-21 Rookie of the Year award.

2023-24 ECHL All-Rookie Team

G - Matt Vernon, Jacksonville Icemen (37 gp, 25-8-4, 2.48 GAA, .916 save pct.)

D - Kyle Mayhew, Utah Grizzlies (69 gp, 15g, 41a, 56 pts.)

D - Jonny Tychonick, Newfoundland Growlers (51 gp, 6g, 37a, 38 pts.)

F - Max Andreev, Kansas City Mavericks (61 gp, 19g, 53a, 72 pts.)

F - Cade Borchardt, Kansas City Mavericks (69 gp, 24g, 50a, 74 pts.)

F - Austin Magera, South Carolina Stingrays (68 gp, 29g, 45a, 74 pts.)

Kyle Mayhew Named Second Team All-ECHL

Kyle Mayhew made it on the All-ECHL Second Team.

Grizzlies Players Named to the All-ECHL Teams

F - Ryan Kinasewich - 2005-06 (Second Team).

F - Ryan Kinasewich - 2009-10 (First Team).

D - Nick Tuzzolino - 2012-13 (Second Team).

F - Caleb Herbert - 2018-19 (First Team).

F - Tim McGauley - 2019-20 (Second Team).

D - Charle-Edouard D'Astous - 2021-22 (First Team).

D - Kyle Mayhew - 2023-24 (Second Team)

2023-24 All-ECHL Second Team

G - Matt Vernon, Jacksonville Icemen (36 gp, 27-8-1, 2.00 GAA, .931 save pct.)

D - Kyle Mayhew, Utah Grizzlies (69 gp, 15g, 41a, 56 pts.)

D - Matt Register, Idaho Steelheads (69 gp, 10g, 51a, 61 pts.)

F - Erik Bradford, Kalamazoo Wings (68 gp, 36g, 57a, 93 pts.)

F - Jack Dugan, Fort Wayne Komets (65 gp, 25g, 55a, 80 pts.)

F - Austin Magera, South Carolina Stingrays (68 gp, 29g, 45a, 74 pts.)

Brandon Cutler Joins Grizzlies 30 Goal Club

Brandon Cutler scored his 30th goal of the season on March 18th vs Norfolk. Cutler is the first Grizzly to reach 30- plus goals since Caleb Herbert tallied 32 goals for the 2018-19 club. Current Grizzlies Head Coach Ryan Kinasewich is the only player to have multiple 30 plus goal seasons in team history.

Grizzlies Single Season Goals Leaders

Ryan Kinasewich - 48 (2009-10).

Kinasewich - 39 (2005-06).

Kip Miller - 38 (1997-98).

Mark Lawrence - 36 (1997-98).

Brett Lievers - 36 (1995-96).

John Purves - 36 (1999-2000).

Brandon Cutler - 36 (2023-24).

Caleb Herbert - 32 (2018-19).

Tom May- 31 (2008-09).

Sean Tallaire - 31 (1999-2000).

Brad Lauer - 31 (1998-99).

Paul McIlveen - 30 (2011-12).

AJ Perry - 30 (2009-10).

Utah Had Success at Home

The Grizzlies went 21-12-3 at home this season. They outscored opponents 121 to 115 at Maverik Center this season. 45 of Utah's 66 standings points have come at home. Utah's penalty kill was 8th in the league at home (90 for 110, 81.8 %). Utah went 11-0 at home when leading after 1 period and 14-1 when leading after 2 periods. The Grizz were 8-1-3 at home in one goal games. Utah was 17-1-2 at home when scoring first.

Grizzlies Ironmen: Players Who Have Appeared in Every Game

There were 3 players who appeared in all 72 games for the Grizzlies this season. They are forwards Brandon Cutler, Mick Messner and Tyler Penner. For Penner it's the third consecutive season where he has appeared in every game. The last time the Grizzlies had 3 or more players appear in every game in a season was the 2005-06 season when Garett Cameron, Brad Herauf and Chad Starling each played in all 72 games.

Grizzlies Team Notes

Utah went 21-12-3 at home this season. The Grizzlies averaged 6,003 fans per game this season. It was the largest average attendance in the Grizzlies ECHL era. It's the best attendance for the Grizzlies in a season since the AHL's Utah Grizzlies averaged 6,353 fans per game in the 2002-03 season. There were 6 home games with a crowd larger than 8,500. In the last 24 home games this season the Grizzlies averaged 6,762 fans per game. Utah was 23-5-4 when scoring first this season. Utah had a 16-2 record when leading after 1 period and 18-2-1 when leading after 2. Utah has outscored opponents 50 to 37 in the third periods over the last 36 games (2nd half of the season). The Grizzlies were 10-14-1 over their last 25 road games.

Great Crowds at Maverik Center

With a big crowd of 9,007 on Fan Appreciation Night at Maverik Center on April 6th the Grizzlies completed what turned out to be a memorable season with many big home crowds. The Grizzlies averaged 6,003 fans per game, which is the biggest average attendance since the Grizzlies joined the ECHL at the start of the 2005-06 season. It's the largest average attendance in team history since the 2002-03 campaign where the AHL's Grizzlies averaged 6,353 fans per game. The Grizzlies had 7 games with crowds larger than 8200 and 11 games of more than 7500. Since December 9, 2023, the Grizzlies averaged 6,762 fans per game (24 games).

Military Night Miracle at Maverik Center

On March 16th the Utah Grizzlies overcame a 4-1 deficit late in regulation as they scored 3 goals in 68 seconds to tie the game. Kyle Mayhew scored a 5 on 3 power play goal 17:03 in. 48 seconds later Dylan Fitze scored a 5 on 4 power play goal to make it a one goal game. Just 20 seconds later it was Grizzlies captain Josh Wesley who scored on a one-timer from the slot to tie the game 18:11 in. Wesley scored the overtime game winner on a power play 1:30 in. An outstanding crowd of 8562 saw the game on Military Night presented by Mountainland Supply Company. Josh Wesley scored 2 goals and 1 assist on the night. Kyle Mayhew had 1 goal and 2 assists. Cole Gallant had 1 goal and 1 assist. Brett Stapley had 3 assists, including the main assist on the overtime game winner.

Grizzlies Head Coaching Wins

With the March 17th win over Norfolk, Grizzlies Head Coach Ryan Kinasewich passed Don Hay for fourth place all-time for wins in team history.

Tim Branham - 284

Butch Goring - 178

Kevin Colley - 157

Ryan Kinasewich - 108

Don Hay - 104

Jason Christie - 90

Bob Bourne - 83

Pat Conacher - 23

Kyle Mayhew Represented Grizzlies at All-Star Classic

Grizzlies defenseman Kyle Mayhew scored 1 goal in the 2024 All-Star Classic where team ECHL defeated the Savannah Ghost Pirates 18-11 on January 15th.

Sunday Shutouts at Maverik Center

Utah goaltenders have 2 shutouts this season. Both times came against Tulsa on Sunday games at Maverik Center. Both shutouts were 1-0 games. Garrett Metcalf got a 35 save shutout on October 22nd vs Tulsa. Dante Giannuzzi saved all 32 shots in a 1-0 victory on December 31, 2023. Both players got their first professional shutouts. Utah is 5-0 at home vs Tulsa this season.

2023-2024 Utah Grizzlies Regular Season Totals (league rankings)

Overall record: 31-36-5

Home record: 21-12-3

Road record: 10-24-2

Win percentage: .465

Standings Points: 67

Last 10: 2-6-2

Goals per game: 3.15 (14th) Goals for: 227

Goals against per game: 3.67 (24th) Goals Against: 264

Shots per game: 31.68 (11th)

Shots against per game: 33.56 (22nd)

Power Play: 47 for 235 - 20.0 % (15th)

Penalty Kill: 166 for 223 - 74.4 % (27th)

Penalty Minutes: 750. 10.42 per game.

Shorthanded Goals: 5.

Shorthanded Goals Allowed: 9.

Record When Scoring First: 23-5-4.

Opposition Scores First: 8-31-1.

Record in One Goal Games: 12-9-5.

Games Decided Past Regulation: 6-0-5

Team Leaders

Goals: Brandon Cutler (36)

Assists: Brett Stapley (47)

Points: Stapley (71)

Plus/Minus: Bryan Yoon (+11)

PIM: Cutler (77)

Power Play Points: Kyle Mayew (23)

Power Play Goals: Brandon Cutler (10)

Power Play Assists: Mayhew (19)

Shots on Goal: Cutler (272) - 2nd in the league.

Shooting Percentage: Brett Stapley (13.3 %) - Minimum 60 shots.

Game Winning Goals: Cutler (5)

Wins: Dante Giannuzzi (13)

Save %: Trent Miner (.917)

Goals Against Average: Miner (2.75)

Shutouts: Giannuzzi/Garrett Metcalf (1)

Multiple Point Games

17 - Brett Stapley

16 - Brandon Cutler

13 - Cole Gallant

9 - Dylan Fitze

8 - Nathan Burke, Kyle Mayhew, Mick Messner.

7 - Josh Wesley.

4 - Alex Beaucage, Adam Berg

3 - Aaron Aragon, Dakota Raabe, Bryan Yoon.

2- Kyle Betts, Luke Manning, Jordan Martel, Tyler Penner, Jacob Semik.

1 - Jeremiah Addison, J.C. Campagna, Gianni Fairbrother, Ryan Sandelin, Robbie Stucker, Keoni Texeira, Quinn Wichers, Dean Yakura.

Grizzlies Winning Weekly/Monthly Awards (2023-2024 season)

Garrett Metcalf - Goaltender of the Week (October 19-22, 2023). Metcalf was named Warrior Hockey ECHL Goaltender of the Week after earning his first pro career regular season shutout and the first shutout in the league this season. Metcalf saved all 35 shots in a 1-0 win on October 22nd. He had 1 shutout at Mercyhurst College in the 2018-19 season. Metcalf also had a 39 save shutout vs Idaho in the Grizzlies 6-0 preseason win on October 13, 2023. In 34 career games with Utah, he has a record of 16-12-2 with a .906 save percentage and a 3.05 Goals Against Average.

Alex Beaucage - Player of the Week (March 4-10, 2024). Beaucage scored two goals and added four assists for six points in two games against Rapid City that week. The 22-year-old had an assist in a 3-2 overtime loss on March 8th before notching five points (2g-3a), including the overtime game-winning goal, in a 5-4 victory on March 9th.

Kyle Mayhew - 2023-24 ECHL All-Rookie Team. 2023-24 All-ECHL Second Team.

Utah Grizzlies 2023-2024 Roster (51 Players)

Forwards (25): Jeremiah Addison, Aaron Aragon, Alex Beaucage, Adam Berg, Kyle Betts, Nathan Burke, J.C. Campagna, Cody Caron, Brandon Cutler, Dylan Fitze, Evan Friesen, Cole Gallant, Luke Manning, Patriks Marcinkevics, Jordan Martel, Mick Messner, Max Neill, Tyler Penner, Jared Power, Dakota Raabe, Ryan Sandelin, Jordan Stallard, Brett Stapley, Blake Wells, Dean Yakura.

Defenseman (19): Cody Corbett, Liam Dennison, Gianni Fairbrother, Kade Jensen, Anders Johnson, Connor Mayer, Kyle Mayhew, Sam Rossini, Luc Salem, Zane Schartz, Jacob Semik, Jordon Stone, Robbie Stucker, Keoni Texeira, Cory Thomas, Michael Underwood, Josh Wesley, Quinn Wichers, Bryan Yoon.

Goaltenders (7): Will Cranley, Vincent Duplessis, Jarrett Fiske, Dante Giannuzzi, Arvid Holm, Garrett Metcalf, Trent Miner.

Players who also appeared in games in the AHL: Alex Beaucage, Kyle Betts, Gianni Fairbrother, Arvid Holm, Ryan Sandelin, Keoni Texeira, Josh Wesley, Bryan Yoon.

Staff for 2023-2024 Season

Head Coach/GM: Ryan Kinasewich finished his third season as Grizzlies Head Coach/General Manager.

Assistant Coach: Christian Horn

Equipment Manager: Jaxson Hibbard.

Athletic Trainer: Collin Lee

Broadcaster: Tyson Whiting

Grizzlies CEO: Kevin Bruder.

Grizzlies CFO: Jill Roberts.

Vice President: Jared Youngman.

Vice President of Corporate Partnerships/CMO: Brian Prutch.

Controller: Whitney Lyman.

Ticket Staff: Connor Birt, Sophia Cunningham, Blaise Daugherty, Cam Levy, Patrick McCarthy, Cole Musick, Beck Ritzel, Teeghan Turner.

Director of Game Operations: Noah Hill.

Marketing and Communications Manager: Tanner Walker.

Director of Photography: Rob Church.

Photography Coordinator: Tim Broussard.

Social Media Coordinator: Kayla Fernandez.


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