The Utah Grizzlies have proved they can win on the road. Now they have to start doing it at home, too.
The Grizzlies begin a three-game homestand tonight at 7 p.m. at the E Center In West Valley City against the Fresno Falcons, who are also in town for games Friday and Sunday (4 p.m. start).
The Grizzlies will likely have a new player for tonight's game. They traded future considerations to Bakersfield for forward Evan Kotsopoulos on Tuesday. Kotsopoulos, 23, played 50 games for the Condors, with five goals, 14 assists and 107 penalty minutes.
Utah has lost four of its last five home games but won eight straight on the road before losing 4-3 in a shootout Sunday at Fresno. Utah's home record is 13-12-0-4, but it is 18-10-0-1 when traveling.
It stands third in the ECHL West. Fresno is 30-15-4-5, second in the ECHL Pacific, and its 69 standings points are two more than Utah has. If the playoffs were to start now, the two would face each other in the first round.
Utah rookie Rob Sirianni, who missed 22 straight games with an injury through Feb. 16, has come back better than before. He has a five-game scoring streak of four goals and five assists and has four multiple-point games in a row.
The Grizzlies also have been bolstered by the return of defenseman Jeff Dwyer last week from the AHL Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Once one of the league's poorest teams on special teams, the Grizz are 15th of 25 in power-play scoring now with a power-play goal in each of the last four games and scored on six of their last 24 opportunities, and they have killed off their last 18 short-handed situations.