Utah Grizzlies On Hot Streak Thanks To New ‘Unscoreonable’ Goalie

Jan 3, 2020, 3:19 PM | Updated: 3:23 pm
Photo: Jess Fleming / Action Sports Photography...
Photo: Jess Fleming / Action Sports Photography

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Grizzlies are hot and playing extremely entertaining hockey right now.

Last weekend’s sweep of the Tulsa Oilers had everything fans look for – fast, physical hockey, a ton of skill on display, huge saves, overtime, shootouts, and fights…lots of fights.

“I felt like we’ve been playing really good hockey all year, but we’d find ways to lose,” Head Coach Tim Branham said. “Now we are finding ways to win.”

An important ingredient to finding ways to win is the addition of Martin Ouellette, a goalie the Grizzlies picked up in a trade with Atlanta. Ouellette is unbeaten with the Grizzlies, posting almost unbelievable numbers (8 wins, 1.48 G.A.A., and a .943 save percentage). To put this in hockey slang, he’s been “unscoreonable”.

These numbers also earned him ECHL Goaltender of the Month honors. The first Grizzly to win the monthly honors since Igor Bobkov and Aaron Dell won in 2014.

“Oullette’s stats have been nasty with us,” said Branham.

The Grizzlies also have the ECHL’s “Plus Performer” award winner with co-recipients Tim McGauley and Griffen Molino. This award is given to players with the best plus/minus rating (a plus is given when an even strength offensive goal is scored while the player is on the ice and a minus is given when the player is on the ice when an even-strength goal is scored against their team).

McGauley has a league leading +30 and has 37 points. Molino has a +27 and 27 points.

This Friday, Saturday and Sunday the Grizzlies take on the Rapid City Rush at the Maverik Center. The Rush and the Grizzlies have an almost identical record going into this weekend, with the Grizzlies leading by two points in the standings.

Coach Branham said, “The difference between teams in this league is so small, you know, it comes down to hot players or goaltenders.”

Right now, the Grizzlies seem to have it all clicking.

Utah Puck Report is hosted by hockey insider and former pro goalie, Jay Stevens. From interviews with NHL hall of famers to updates on Utahns in the NFL – you’ll find it all on this podcast. Subscribe wherever you find podcasts for on kslsports.com.

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