Utah Grizzlies Attendance Soars, Could It Be NHL Influence?

Mar 11, 2024, 11:56 AM | Updated: 12:36 pm

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Photo: Utah Grizzlies

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Grizzlies are facing the real possibility of not making the playoffs this season.

With 15 games left, the Grizz stand 12 points behind Wheeling and Indianapolis for the final playoff spot in their conference.  The good news is that 10 of their last 15 games are at home.

The bad news is they play the top two teams in their conference, Kansas City three times and Idaho five times.

Since the Christmas break, the Grizzlies have been playing some of their best hockey.

Head Coach Ryan Kinasewich spoke with KSL Sports, “We need to continue to keep the pace we have been on since Christmas and treat each and every game like a playoff game and have a sense of urgency night in and night out.”

Kinasewich talked about some of the challenges the team faced this season, “This year has been very tough with injuries. We lost two key defensive players early on to injury and both goalies who were slated to be with us all season are now gone. We’ve had a lot of guys step up and fill in admirably. Goaltenders Will Cranley and Dante Giannuzzi are finding their games and Aaron Aragon has been the unsung hero for us. He competes every night, kills penalties, and is usually our most physical player. He’s done a fantastic job since we brought him in. We plan on adding one more guy. We have been watching colleges closing out their seasons, and putting together a list with the Avs to target some guys we feel that will help us get into the playoff and hopefully go on another run.”

The Grizzlies have a “rubber match” game tonight against Rapid City. After not having an overtime game at home this season, both Friday and Saturday night’s games against the Rush went into OT with Rapid City winning Friday and the Grizzlies winning Saturday.

Utah Grizzlies Attendance Soars

Attendance is up for the Grizzlies.

Since January, the Grizzlies have had five games with over 8500 fans.

KSL Sports asked Grizzlies Vice President Jared Youngman if the recent spike in attendance could be because of the talk of the NHL coming to Utah.

“Yes, any additional publicity of hockey definitely helps out but I will say that the current ticket sales staff is doing amazing work bringing different groups out to Grizzlies games. This Saturday is military night, we also have fan appreciation night coming up so every home game left is going to be a great game I’ve got a saying, that everyone is a hockey fan they just don’t know it, yet. People have to come and watch a game and see it live a live game so much fun to see,” Youngman answered.

Grizzlies face off against Rapid City tonight and against Norfolk this Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Tickets are available at UtahGrizzlies.com.

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 Attendance Soars, Could It Be NHL Influence?