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Utah Grizzlies: Utah officially introduces 2015-2016 schedule

Utah's Connor Hardowa passes the puck as the Utah Grizzlies and the Idaho Steelheads play Friday, Oct. 17, 2014, on the ice at the Maverik Center in West Valley City.
Utah's Connor Hardowa passes the puck as the Utah Grizzlies and the Idaho Steelheads play Friday, Oct. 17, 2014, on the ice at the Maverik Center in West Valley City.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

The Utah Grizzlies officially introduced their schedule Thursday for the 2015-2016 season.

The Grizzlies open the season Friday, Oct. 16, at Colorado.

The team’s home opener is Friday, Oct. 23, when the Allen Americans make their first trip to Maverik Center.

Twenty-six of the team’s 36 regular season home games will take place on Friday or Saturday.

Utah will see 12 other teams during its 11th ECHL season, the most since it joined the ECHL in 2005-2006. The schedule is Utah’s most diverse since 2001-2002 when it played 13 opponents in the AHL, and it features its third most opponents since 1998-99 when Utah played 14 teams in the IHL.

Eight different teams will come to Maverik Center for the first time, including the Rapid City Rush, Tulsa Oilers, Wichita Thunder and Allen Americans. Gwinnett will visit Utah for the second time, and Idaho, Colorado and Alaska will make their usual visits. The balanced schedule sees the Grizzlies play three home games in October, six in November, five in December, six in January, six in February, eight in March and two in April.

The Grizzlies make their first ECHL trips to Rapid City, Allen, Tulsa, Wichita, Toledo, Quad City, Indy and Kalamazoo in 2015-2016. Utah last visited Kalamazoo on Jan. 2, 2000, in the IHL when the team was known as the Michigan K-Wings. The Grizzlies last played in Indy on March 21, 1998, in the IHL against the Ice in the same Coliseum the current Fuel occupy on the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

The Grizzlies once again host 1:30 p.m. holiday matinees on Monday, Jan. 18, against Wichita for Martin Luther King Day and on Monday, Feb. 15, for President’s Day against Rapid City.

The 2015-2016 promotional schedule will be released at a later date.

Forty-five of Utah’s 72 games will be played within the Pacific Division against Idaho, Colorado, Rapid City and Alaska. Thirty-three of Utah’s 36 home games will be played within the Western Conference.