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First-place Utah Grizzlies back home for Friday and Saturday games

For the second-straight season, the Grizzlies enter the fifth week of ECHL play in first place in the Mountain Division with a record of 6-4.

Utah dropped three of four in Wichita and Tulsa last weekend in two buildings where the Thunder and Oilers are a combined 9-2 and have combined records of 13-4.

“I’m proud of the way we played. I think we learned, I think we got better as a team and I think the boys played really hard,” said head coach and General Manager Tim Branham on the trip. “We’re happy to be atop the division. We’re learning the way we want to play as we get into the season. Good things are happening.”

The Grizzlies return to Maverik Center where they are 4-0 on the season and have won eight-straight regular season home games. Utah is 9-0-0-1 in its last 10 regular season home games going back to March 12, 2015. Utah hasn’t lost a regular season home game in regulation since March 11.

Utah is home Friday and Saturday to host Allen at 7 p.m. each night. Fans that buy a regular priced ticket at the Maverik Center Box Office to either of those games will receive a voucher to return to watch a game for free on Friday, Nov. 18 or Saturday, Nov. 19, against Adirondack.

On Friday, all veterans and active military are invited to watch the game for free and can get tickets at the Maverik Center box office.

Saturday is Pooch on the Pond. Fans can bring their dog to the game and get a dog/dog owner combo ticket for $24 when purchasing in advance through the Grizzlies offices. Dog/dog owner combo tickets will be $26 when purchased the day of the game.

The Grizzlies have scored the first goal in all four home games thus far and have outshot the opposition, 55-26, in the first period of their home games.

Ryan Faragher again enters the week second in the ECHL in wins with a 5-2 record. He is 29-15-4 with Utah during the last two seasons and 39-23-7 with the Grizzlies overall the last three seasons.

Ducks prospect and forward Kenton Helgesen has two goals and four assists for six points in seven games this year and has been an even or better in all seven games played. Tim Daly has two goals and five assists for seven points in nine games and has been an even or better in seven of nine games. Both players have already surpassed their point totals from their rookie seasons.

The Grizzlies recorded two out of their three highest shot outputs on the season during their road trip with 37 shots on Wednesday and 43 on Saturday. The Grizzlies have recorded 33 or more shots in eight of 10 games and are sixth in the ECHL averaging 34.10 shots per game.

The Grizzlies have been without forward Jon Puskar for the last five games. He scored in Utah’s first five games to lead the team in scoring with four goals and three assists. Utah was without leading rookie scorer Shane Walsh during Sunday’s game and defenseman Eric Springer did not make the trip last week.

Forwards Brandon McNally and Austen Brassard remain with Anaheim’s AHL affiliate in San Diego after being called up Saturday. Goaltender Kevin Boyle was returned to the Grizzlies last Friday from San Diego by Anaheim. Defensemen Brian Cooper and Keaton Thompson were both assigned to Utah prior to the road trip, and both have since been recalled.