Stop the Rush: The Steelheads are back on home ice after an 0-2-1 trip to Colorado, looking to get back on track against the Rapid City Rush in a three-game series this week at CenturyLink Arena. The Rush are in last place in the Mountain Division, winless in their last five games and a .500 team on the road. The Rush did win the only meeting of the season with the Steelheads, a 5-3 final at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center on November 2nd. The Steelheads are 6-5-2 all-time against the Rush.
Douse the Spark: While the Rush have struggled to win games this season, they do possess one of the ECHL’s top scoring lines, led by Lindsay Sparks. Sparks and his linemates, former Utah Grizzlies Josh MacDonald and Ryan Walters, have powered the Rapid City attack this season, with all three players averaging better than a point per game. Sparks has struggled a bit during the Rush’s five-game winless skid with just a goal and an assist with a minus-6 rating. Still the Steelheads know how important it is to control that line, with those players accounting for two goals and five assists in the last meeting between these teams, including a three-point night for Walters.
Cap is Back: The Steelheads were happy to get Jefferson Dahl back in the lineup in Colorado following a two-game absence. The Steelheads’ captain scored the team’s only goal on a first period breakaway on Friday night, also recording five shots on the night. Dahl followed that up with an even stronger performance on Saturday, scoring a 5-on-3 power play goal and adding two assists for his third three-point game of the season. Dahl is ninth in the league with 27 points and has been held off the score sheet in just five games this season.
Mucha Lucha: Anthony Luciani also notched a three-point night Saturday, his first of the season, as he climbs towards the top of the Steelheads’ score sheet. Luciani’s 20 points rank second on the team, and the first-year Steelhead now has three goals and six points in the past seven games.