After an eight-day rest following their longest homestand of the season, the Utah Grizzlies begin their longest road swing of the season tonight at Alaska, their only trip of the season to that state. They will play there tonight, Saturday and Monday, all games beginning at 9:15 p.m. MST.
Making the trip to Anchorage, Alaska, with them will be forwards Keith Johnson and Olivier Labelle, who were reassigned by the New York Islanders' chain from its AHL Bridgeport affiliate to Utah. Johnson, a rookie, had scored 22 points in 24 games with Utah and was the hottest scorer in the ECHL for a time prior to his call-up. Labelle was second-best on the Grizzlies in plus-minus at plus-8 before he was called up.
The Grizzlies' leading scorer, Trevor Smith, who had 25 points in 22 games, went the other direction, joining former Grizzlies Ryan Kinasewich, Scott Ford, Tyler Haskins and Micheal Haley on the Bridgeport roster Thursday. The team will also be without goaltender Mike Mole.
On Utah's seven-game road trip, it will play three at Victoria Jan. 3, 5 and 6 and at Idaho Jan. 9 before its next homestand (five games) begins Jan. 11 with Idaho.
Utah was 3-1 in its last four road games and scored 21 goals in its last three road wins.