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Utah Grizzlies: road trip wraps up with Colorado, Stockton this week

By Adrian Denny

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, Feb. 10 2014 6:35 p.m. MST

Utah Grizzlies Igor Bobkov at the hockey season opener against the Idaho Steelheads at the Maverik Center Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, in West Valley City.

Tom Smart, Deseret News

Enlarge photo»

The Grizzlies, at 4-1-0-1 through six games on their current season-long nine-game road trip, head to Colorado just three points behind the Eagles for third place in the Western Conference and fifth place overall in the ECHL. They play at Colorado on Wednesday and Friday and against Stockton on Saturday.

The Grizzlies are now a league-best 15-3-2-3 since Christmas and have collected standings points in 20 of their last 23 games.

Grizzlies goaltenders Aaron Dell (2.07) and Igor Bobkov (2.10) rank third and fifth in the ECHL, respectively, in goals-against-average. Bobkov ranks fourth with a .923 save percentage with Dell just behind with a .921 save percentage.

Bobkov is unbeaten in eight-straight starts with a 6-0-1-1 record dating back to Nov. 30. He leads the ECHL during that stretch with a 1.44 goals-against-average and a .946 save percentage.

The Grizzlies rank third in the ECHL allowing just 2.55 goals per game. Utah is sixth in the ECHL allowing just 27.36 shots per game.

Five Grizzlies averaged at least a point a game in the Grizzlies three contests Friday and Saturday in Las Vegas and Sunday in Ontario as the team collected five of a possible six standings points. Phil Mangan had two goals and four assists, while David Vallorani had two goals and three assists. Vinny Scarsella had four assists, Jamie MacQueen had one goal and three assists, and Mathieu Aubin had one goal and two assists.

Utah has scored a power-play goal in a season-high seven-straight games, including going three-for-six on Saturday. Utah’s previous high was a power-play goal in four-straight games, the first four games of the year.

With Michael Pelech scoring Utah’s seventh shorthanded goal of the year Saturday, the Grizzlies are now fifth in the league with seven shorthanded goals. Pelech leads Utah with two shorthanded goals. Brent Gwidt, with one goal and three assists, has factored in on four of the Grizzlies seven shorthanded goals.

The Grizzlies are currently halfway through a 13 day trip away from Utah that has taken them to Boise, Las Vegas, Ontario and now continues to Colorado and Stockton this week. The stretch equals their longest without returning to Utah since 14 days away dating back to 2009.

The Grizzlies return home Monday, Feb. 17, with a 1:35 p.m. start for Maverik Monday on President’s Day. Fans can get six tickets for $30 with a receipt from Maverik.

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