Race with the Aces: The Steelheads return home from a five-game stretch on the road looking to open 2017 with a bang at CenturyLink Arena. The Steelheads will open a six-game home stand with three games against the Alaska Aces, their second series with the Aces this season. The Aces have two games in hand on the Steelheads and a two point lead in the standings, but the Steelheads can use a strong weekend against the Aces to leapfrog their longtime rival and move into third place in the Mountain Division. The Steelheads are 2-1-0 against the Aces this season.
Happy New Year!: Idaho is happy to open their 2017 calendar in downtown Boise, where they’ve had a lot of success this season. The Steelheads are 11-4-1 on home ice this season, tied for the fourth most points in the ECHL, and they’ve won six of their last eight at CenturyLink Arena. The Steelheads have outscored opponents by six goals over their last five contests at home.
Keep Komm and Carry On: Branden Komm got the Steelheads back on track after a tough Wednesday loss with a brilliant performance on Friday in Rapid City. Komm matched a career-high with 47 saves en route to his second career shutout, and first as a Steelhead, in a 3-0 win over the Rush. Komm is 4-1-0 over his last five starts and has surrendered more than two goals in a game just once since November 19th.
A Fine Line: One forward unit that Head Coach Neil Graham has largely kept together in recent weeks is that of Travis Ewanyk between Joe Basaraba and Kyle Jean. That trio has been getting the job done, with Ewanyk in the midst of a four-game points streak, as well as five goals and 12 points in his last eight games. Jean has a goal and six assists in his past eight games and Basaraba has two goals and four assists in that span.
Fear the Faust: Joe Faust is back in a Steelheads uniform after four games with AHL Texas, and he made an immediate impact over the weekend. Faust scored the tying goal on Saturday to force overtime, eventually improving Idaho to 5-7-1 in games in which they trail after two periods. Faust has three goals and six points in the last six games, and his nine goals rank second among ECHL defensemen.