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Utah Grizzlies: after a 3-0 home stand, Grizzlies hit the road for three games

By Adrian Denny

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, March 24 2014 4:51 p.m. MDT

Utah's Derick Martin shoots at the Utah Grizzlies 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 Utah Grizzlies head to Colorado this week for games Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. All games have 7 p.m. start times. They enter the week with a game and a half lead on the Eagles in the standings. Utah also leads Idaho by two games.

The Grizzlies enter their second-straight week sitting in third place in the Western Conference with a 33-21-3-5 overall record. Their next win ties them for the most wins in a season since 2009-2010, and they still have nine games remaining on the year.

The Grizzlies stretch of the league’s best record since Christmas has now hit 38 games, spanning over half the season. Utah is 26-7-2-3 since Dec. 27.

The Grizzlies went 3-0 last week at Maverik Center outscoring the opposition, 10-4. They scored the first goal in every game and never trailed during the course of the week. Four goals Saturday in the second period was the most goals scored in a period by the Grizzlies this year.

Danick Paquette (seven goals, three assists) and David Vallorani (four goals, six assists) have tied Utah season-highs with each having a seven-game scoring streak entering the week. They have scored in all March contests thus far as the Grizzlies are currently 6-1 in March. Michael Pelech and Jamie MacQueen each had seven game scoring streaks earlier this season.

Allowing four goals in three games this past week gave Igor Bobkov 13 wins in his last 15 starts as he improved to 16-6-2-2 and moved to third in the ECHL in goals-against-average at a 2.07 GAA.

Aaron Dell, at 15-6-2-2 with Utah this year, has rejoined the team from the Calgary Flames AHL affiliate in Abbotsford after earning his first AHL win Saturday by stopping 37 of 38 shots in a 5-1 win against Montreal’s AHL affiliate in Hamilton. Dell is fifth in the ECHL with a 2.10 goals-against-average this season. In the AHL, he is 1-2 with a 2.29 goals-against-average and a .920 save percentage.

Prior to the weekend action, head coach and General Manager Tim Branham signed forward Will Frederick from Clarkson University and forward Johnny Searfoss from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Both players made their pro debuts this past weekend.

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