Utah Grizzlies Off To Hot Start In ECHL Playoffs Against Steelheads

Apr 25, 2023, 10:15 AM | Updated: 10:18 am

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Grizzlies needed a final series sweep against the Tulsa Oilers to qualify for the 2023 ECHL playoffs.

The Idaho Steelheads on the other hand, set an ECHL record with regular season wins (58) and points (119). So, Utah going into Idaho for the first two games and coming back home up 2-0 in the series seems like a surprise to everyone.

Everyone except Grizzlies Head Coach Ryan Kinasewich.

“I knew we could be dangerous.” Kinasewich explained, “We got some key players back at the right time, some healthy and another from the AHL. We have also played lots of games with a must-win mentality, so it helped us with our focus and the details going into playoffs.”

Utah won game one in Idaho behind a 43-save shutout from goaltender Trent Miner and timely goals from Dakota Raabe and Kyle Betts. Jordan Martel sealed the win with an empty netter. Miner is frequently called up by both the AAA Colorado Eagles and spent time with the Grizzlies’ parent club, the Colorado Avalanche.

“Miner has been very solid, we weren’t initially sure if we’d have him,” Kinasewich said. “It’s always kind of up in the air as to where he will be.”

Game two was closer, but another dominating performance in goal by Miner who has a 1.0 G.A.A. and a .973 save percentage in the playoffs this season as well as a two-point night from Kyle Mayhew led the Grizz to a 3-2 win.

Now the series heads back to Utah for three games on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of this week. The Grizz can pull off a huge upset by winning two of three.

Utah Grizzlies Playoff Hockey

Playoff hockey is back at the Maverik Center and the hometown crowd is known to be loud and wild.

“It’s one thing to watch it on TV but to be in the building and see the intensity and passion is just electric. It’s the best time of the year,” Kinasewich bragged.

Grizzlies Vice President, Jared Youngman said, “Playoff hockey is unbelievable, the building becomes electric! Right now, Coach Kinasewich has the team playing at a different level. This series between Utah and Idaho has been great to watch.”

Utah Puck Report is a podcast all about Utah hockey, from interviews with NHL stars to which Grizzlies players are about to take the next step, Utah Puck Report has everything for a Utah hockey fan. Find it wherever you find podcasts or on KSLSports.com. The show is hosted by KSL Sports’ hockey insider, Jay Stevens.

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Utah Grizzlies Off To Hot Start In ECHL Playoffs Against Steelheads