The Utah Outliers are back

by Paul Taylor

The Utah Outliers are back for the 2017-2018 season! Players arrived August 26th for the team’s orientation meeting and have officially hit the ice for practice. With the season quickly approaching (first game is Sept 29th), the Outliers are looking to take another step forward after a very successful inaugural season.

Head Coach Paul Taylor and his assistants Austin Balko and Brent Gwidt have liked what they have seen thus far from the players in camp. Speed, puck movement and work ethic have been the focus early on during practice sessions.

The Outliers have six returners from last years’ squad including Jacob Wanstrom, Bogdan Khvatov, Dylan Massie, Brad McCloskey, Alex McCloskey and Vlad Buyanov.

“We have six returning guys, and they’re key returners,” said Taylor. “We expect each one of them to take the next step in their game this season and be more impactful players and stronger leaders. They’re all good players, but what I really like is they’re character people, too, doing the right things for the right reasons, doing things for the team, not just for themselves as individuals.”

The rest of the Outliers’ line-up is comprised of players from all around the globe. The team has players who hail from Canada, Czech Republic, Latvia, Russia, Sweden and various states throughout the USA.

“All the new players we brought in have their strengths, they all have good work ethic, skill, and they all share a common drive to reach their highest potential,” Taylor said. “They each bring a little something different, which is good for the whole of the team.”

Taylor said the team is ready to play a real game after two weeks of battling against each other in practice. “The guys have been busting their butts and bringing good intensity to practice, but I know they are anxious to start playing games and the coaching staff is excited to see what they can do collectively.”

The Outliers will get their first chance at competition this Friday, September 22, at 8:00 pm at the Salt Lake City Sports Complex (Steiner Ice Rink) as they take on the University of Utah ACHA Div 1 men’s hockey team.