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Hockey: Grizzlies open first training camp under Branham

Published October 6, 2013 5:41 pm

Hockey • Utah prepares for Oct. 18 regular-season opener.
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West Valley City • The Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL open their first training camp under new coach and general manager Tim Branham on Monday.

Practices begin at 10 a.m. and are open to the public.

One of Branham's first tasks will be determining his starting goaltender. Three players, all with impressive credentials, are in the running.

Brian Meisner won seven of his eight regular-season starts last spring after signing with the Grizzlies out of college. Igor Bobkov was a third-round pick in the 2009 NHL Draft who spent last season with Anaheim's AHL affiliate in Norfolk. Aaron Dell was the Central League's top goalie in 2012-13, when he helped the Allen (Texas) Americans win the league title.

Along with Meisner, four players return to Utah from a year ago, including forward T.J. Battani, forward Brent Gwidt, forward Berkley Scott and defenseman Martin Lee.

Battani finished with three goals, two assists and 95 penalty-minutes after joining the team late last season.

Gwidt had a goal and two assists in eight games after graduating from Nebraska-Omaha.

Scott scored 12 goals in 30 games for the Grizzlies. Lee played 21 games after being acquired in a February trade with San Francisco.

Other players to watch?

Forward Kenton Miller finished with 30 goals and 21 assists in 53 games last season with Missouri of the Central Hockey League and six with Chicago of the American Hockey League

Forward David Vallorani played for Branham at Reading (Pa.) as a rookie last year. He scored 17 goals and had 42 assists in 68 games.

Defenseman Channing Boe has played 124 games over the last two seasons with the ECHL's Las Vegas Wranglers. He helped them reach the Kelly Cup finals two years ago.

The Grizzlies open the regular season Oct. 18 at home against the Idaho Steelheads.




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