Round 1 Preview

by Website Admin

The Utah Outliers will play the Provo Predators in Round 1 of the Mountain Division semi-finals. The two teams will play a best-of-five series with the winner advancing to the Mountain Division Final. 

The Outliers held a big winning advantage over the Predators during the regular season compiling an 8-1-1 record. The Predators were only able to beat the Outliers once in regulation out of the ten games played. 

Utah enters the playoff series with a regular season record of 36-13-2 which earned them 76 points. The team finished the regular season scoring 189 goals and allowing 139 against. Provo enters the series with a record of 28-19-1, scoring 162 goals and allowing 159.

Another big distinction between the two clubs is that the Predators enter the playoffs with the most penalty minutes in the Mountain Division (1250) while the Outliers are the second least penalized team with (802) penalty minutes. 

Special teams proved to be very similar between the two respective clubs. Provo's powerplay is 17.9%  and its penalty kill is 81.3%. The Outliers ended the regular season with a powerplay running at 17.8% and its penalty kill at 82.1%. 

Offensively, Provo does not have a single rostered player with over 40 points. The team is led offensively by forward Lucca Ori (38 pts), forward Ryan Roethke (36 pts), and defenseman Jackson Lucia (35 pts.) 

In net, the Predators are backstopped by their number one goalie, Michael Polston who has a record of 19-8-0 along with a 2.62 GAA and a .926 SV%. 

Utah's offense is comprised of three players with over 40 points and two of them above 50 points. The team is led by Garrett Joss (61 pts), Makar Klochkov (53 pts), and Daniil Chuparnov (44 pts). The club is also led by a group of talented defensemen with five of them reaching double digits in points. 

Between the pipes, the Outliers are well protected with Phil Rondina, Sam Straff, and Dryden DeMelo. Rondina enters the playoffs with the most NCDC playing experience and has compiled a record of 21-7-1, a GAA of 2.32, and a .926 SV%.

Team captain Jake Howard is looking forward to the Round 1 series and expects the games to be hard-fought and intense. 

"We're very excited heading into this playoff matchup against Provo. The Predators have a good young team that works hard and are tough to play against. Our guys are very excited to begin the playoff journey and reach our ultimate goal of winning a championship. I know we will be ready to go and I expect us to play our best hockey of the season."  - Jake Howard, captain

Assistant Captain, Garrett Joss is also eager for Round 1 of the playoffs to begin. 

"We are all pumped up and ready for Round 1 of the playoffs. We have all put in a lot of hard work this year and we have high expectations of ourselves. We definitely have it in us if we stick to our game plan and play our systems. It is going to take everyone to win and I wouldn't want to do it with any other group."  - Garrett Joss, Assistant Captain

The best-of-five series series schedule: 

Game 1 (Fri, March 29): Provo at Utah, 7 pm, Acord Ice Center 

Game 2 (Sat, March 30): Provo at Utah, 630 pm, Acord Ice Center

Game 3 (Wed, April 3): Utah at Provo, 630 pm, Peaks Ice Arena

Game 4 (Fri, April 5): Utah at Provo, 630 pm, Peaks Ice Arena

Game 5 (Sat, April 6): Provo at Utah, 630 pm, Acord Ice Center 

Note* - Games 4 & 5 are only if needed.

All playoff games will be live broadcast on