1. Home
  2. News
  3. Preview: Fight on Final Frontier

Preview: Fight on Final Frontier

Tuesday, January 24th
Preview: Fight on Final Frontier

After taking four points down in the warm weather of Tulsa, Oklahoma over the weekend, the Steelheads take to the frozen tundra in Anchorage for a three-game set with the Alaska Aces. The Steelheads and Aces have already met six times this season, but Wednesday will mark Idaho’s first contest this year at Sullivan Arena. The Steelheads enter the week’s action tied for first place in the Mountain Division with two games in hand on the Allen Americans, while the fourth-place Aces are just six points back with three games in hand on Idaho.

The Steelheads have earned points in ten of their last 11 games (8-1-2) after taking back-to-back games against the Oilers, finding different ways to win on Saturday and Sunday. The Steelheads’ special teams took over in the series opener, grabbing three power play goals and a short-handed goal in a 5-2 win. The next day Idaho had to grind out the win, a 2-1 victory behind 46 saves by Branden Komm.

Komm was named the runner-up for the ECHL’s Goaltender of the Week last week after stopping a combined 84 of 87 shots against Tulsa. Komm is 7-1-1 in his last nine games with a 2.31 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage.

Anthony Luciani carries the longest active points streak in the ECHL at 11 games, also the longest of his ECHL career. Luciani’s goal on Sunday gave him seven goals and 15 points during his streak, as well as goals in four of his last five outings. Luciani excelled ona  line with Joe Basaraba and Travis Ewanyk, with Basaraba scoring eight goals in his last 12 contests and Ewanyk grabbing a goal and an assist over the weekend.

Jefferson Dahl’s game-winner on Sunday snapped a six-game goal scoring drought. Linemate Will Merchant has 12 points in his last 10 games.

The Aces return home to face Idaho after splitting a pair of games in Utah, falling 6-3 on Saturday at Maverik Center. The Aces surrendered five consecutive goals against the Grizzlies, with Tim Coffman’s goal with 1:11 left in regulation helping soften the score sheet for Alaska.

Peter Sivak remains the Aces offensive leader, the ECHL’s first player this season to reach the 30-goal plateau and second in the league with 54 points in 38 games. Sivak is in the midst of a six game points streak (6-3-9). Linemate Stephen Perfetto has been even better of late, with points in nine of his last ten games totaling ten goals and 17 points.

The Aces dealt away forward Justin Breton to the Kalamazoo Wings earlier this month, bringing back former St. Louis Blues draft pick Tyler Shattock. Shattock is without a point in his first two games with Alaska.

Goaltender Kevin Carr has started four of Alaska’s five games since the Aces and Steelheads last met, going 2-1-0.

Alaska is 5-5-0 over the last ten games and has won just ten of 18 home games this season, going 10-6-2 at Sullivan Arena.

STEELHEAD TO WATCH

Anthony Luciani is on one of the best offensive runs of his career, but the Steelheads still needed a shutdown defensive effort on Sunday to take two points out of Tulsa. Corbin Baldwin was again front and center in those efforts, one of Idaho’s best shot-blockers and a top penalty-killer for a unit that has killed 31 of the last 35 penalties against. Head Coach Neil Graham will do his best to use his top shutdown defender against Peter Sivak and Stephen Perfetto in an interesting match-up game. Baldwin’s long reach will also be a factor in the defensive zone on Sullivan Arena’s Olympic ice sheet, a rink Baldwin called home when he played for the Aces in 2014-15.

ACE TO WATCHThe last time the Steelheads and Aces met, the Aces pulled out an overtime win after overcoming a late two-goal deficit. Helping to drive that effort was defenseman Steven Tarasuk, who set up Tim Wallace’s tying goal in the closing seconds and then potted the overtime winner. The Aces’ blue line doesn’t isn’t offensively overpowering, but Tarasuk is a regular threat with 23 points in 36 games .KEY MATCHUP

The Steelheads remember well what transpired the last time they faced the Aces. The Steelheads have won four of the six meetings this season with Alaska, but the Aces’ two victories were the product of third period surges in which Steelheads turnovers came back to bite them. On Sunday the Steelheads proved they are capable of closing out tight games in third periods, particularly when under heavy fire. Idaho has been a strong third period team this season, boasting a 16-1-3 record when leading after 40 minutes. Still, Sunday’s situational defensive hockey was evidence that the Steelheads know the formula for closing the deal against a fast Aces team on big ice that will fire a lot of pucks on goal late in games.

Latest News

More News
STEELHEADS SEASON COMES TO A CLOSE IN OVERTIME LOSS
STEELHEADS SEASON COMES TO A CLOSE IN OVERTIME LOSS
STEELHEADS FACE ELIMINATION TOMORROW AFTER GAME FOUR LOSS
STEELHEADS FACE ELIMINATION TOMORROW AFTER GAME FOUR LOSS
THIRD PERIOD RALLY COMES UP SHORT AS MAVERICKS TAKE 2-1 SERIES LEAD
THIRD PERIOD RALLY COMES UP SHORT AS MAVERICKS TAKE 2-1 SERIES LEAD

Get Hockey Updates

Sign up for our email newsletter to be the first to know about news and upcoming games!