1. Home
  2. News
  3. Preview: The Christmas Rush

Preview: The Christmas Rush

Tuesday, December 19th
Preview: The Christmas Rush

After playing eleven of their last 13 games at CenturyLink Arena, the Steelheads are on the road for their final three games before the Christmas break. The team makes its second visit of the season to the Black Hills for a three-game set with the Rapid City Rush.

The Steelheads and Rush met last week in Boise, a 5-2 win for the Steelheads at CenturyLink Arena. The Steelheads have won all four meetings with the Rush this season, including a three-game sweep at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center back in mid-November.

The Steelheads are coming off a 5-3 loss to the Wichita Thunder on Saturday, but have won eight of their last eleven contests. Henrik Samuelsson has been a force for Idaho over the past week, netting two goals and racking up six points over his last three games. Five different Steelheads are enjoying point streaks of three games or more, including captain Jefferson Dahl.

Dahl returned last week from a five-game absence and picked up right where he left off. He scored in both games against Wichita, now with a three-game goal scoring streak stretching back to December 2nd.

The Rush have lost eight in a row after a 5-4 loss to the Utah Grizzlies on Saturday. They’ve been outscored 38-22 over that span, but have played only one of those eight games on home ice. The Rush are 6-8-0 at home this season.

Rapid City’s leading scorer, Dante Salituro, has remained hot during the losing streak. He’s had some company on the scoresheet of late, with Kenton Miller recording two goals and five points over the previous four games and Jimmy DeVito contributing two goals and five points in the past five. Peter Sivak is without a goal in his last eight games, despite six assists.

Pavel Jenys has caught fire with a four-game goal scoring streak, scoring five goals and adding an assist over that span.

The Rush are dealing with a roster challenge on the blue line, with only five natural defensemen currently on the roster. That includes former Steelhead Riley Weselowski, playing his tenth professional season. The Rush are without Matt Caito, currently in the AHL, as well as Ian Brady and Gustav Bouramman.

The Steelheads remain without Justin Parizek(San Jose) and Brady Brassart (Utica), both in the AHL on professional tryout agreements. Shane Hanna also remains with AHL Texas.

The Steelheads enter the weekend winners of six consecutive road games, and sit tied for second place in the Mountain Division and in the Western Conference. The Steelheads are five points back of first-place Colorado.

STEELHEAD TO WATCH

Tommy Thompson is another Steelhead enjoying a nice run after a lengthy absence, returning last week from a call-up to AHL Texas and rattling off points in three straight contests. Thompson earned assists last Wednesday and Friday against the Rush and Thunder, followed by his second goal of the season on Saturday night against Wichita. Thompson has two goals and seven points in nine games this season with Idaho, and he’s coming off a season-high seven shots on goal on Saturday night.

RUSH TO WATCH

Dante Salituro was the focal point of the Rush offense the last time Idaho visited the Black Hills, scoring four goals and adding an assist in three games. The rookie hasn’t slowed down, picking up three goals and seven points in his past eight games. Despite his continued impact, Salituro is currently without a goal in his last five games, his longest drought this season.KEY MATCHUP

The Steelheads’ speed was an obvious weapon when they met with Rapid City last week. The glowing example was the game’s second goal, when two of Idaho’s fastest skaters in Tommy Thompson and Steve McParland cut through the Rush team for a give-and-go McParland goal. The Steelheads’ vertical speed game is a challenge for many teams to keep pace with, and it was a greater challenge for a Rush team that is missing some stalwarts on defense in recent weeks. The Steelheads will again want to exploit the Rapid City inexperience on the blue line, and its lack of personnel, while the Rush will need to make neutral zone adjustments to slow the game down and clog up that attack.

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!