1. Home
  2. News
  3. Preview: Home Finale

Preview: Home Finale

Thursday, March 29th
Preview: Home Finale

The Idaho Steelheads will play their final two home games of the regular season this weekend when they welcome the Utah Grizzlies to CenturyLink Arena. With five games left in the regular season, the Steelheads are riding a five-game winning streak, their longest regular season winning streak in the last three seasons. The Grizzlies are six points out of a playoff spot and running out of time, winners in just three of their last ten.

The Steelheads will have had six days between games when they hit the ice on Friday, already secured in a playoff spot with home-ice advantage in the first round. The Steelheads will be looking to pad the stats the rest of the way, still with an opportunity to top 90 points for the tenth time in the ECHL era.

Brady Brassart enters the series as the ECHL’s reigning Player of the Week, coming off five points in two games against the Rapid City Rush last week. Linemate Steve McParland has the chance to reach a significant benchmark during Idaho’s final home stand, one goal shy of his 30th for the year. Only ten Steelheads have hit the 30-goal mark in the ECHL era, with Mark Derlago doing so twice.

Tomas Sholl continues to roll between the pipes for the Steelheads, winning six straight starts and remaining undefeated in regulation through his first 15 ECHL appearances. Sholl has a 0.83 goals-against average as a Steelhead.

The Grizzlies snapped a seven-game winless streak on Saturday night with a 3-2 win over the Eagles. The Grizzles did earn points with four of those losses coming in overtime, keeping them within reach of a playoff spot. The Grizzlies trail fourth-place Allen by six points and must hop over Tulsa as well to reach the post-season.

Utah’s slump in the standings matches a drought for their captain. Ryan Walters leads the Grizzlies with 60 points in 58 games, ranked 13th in the league, but he’s without a goal in his last nine contests. Michael Pelech has also been largely kept in check, with a goal and an assist in his last six contests after having earned four goals and eight points in a five-game points streak.

Austin Ortega was among the hottest offensive players in the league with 45 points in 29 games after joining the Grizzlies in early January from AHL San Diego. That boost is no longer available to the Grizzlies, with Ortega back with the Gulls for the last two weeks.

Defenseman Taylor Richart has generated plenty from the back end for the Grizzlies, his 17 goals leading all ECHL defensemen and his 40 points tied for eleventh, though he also carries a minus-10 rating.

Between the pipes, Joel Rumpel had a tremendous start with the Grizzlies after being traded over from the Wichita Thunder in early February, winning seven of his first nine appearances to thrust Utah back into the playoff picture. Rumpel has struggled recently, however, winless in his last six appearances with a record of 0-3-3 and a 4.27 goals-against average in that span.

STEELHEAD TO WATCH

Cole Ully is heating up for the Steelheads, scoring two goals on Saturday night against the Rush and netting three in his last two games. Ully has four goals and nine points in his last 11 contests and hasn’t gone more than two games without at least a point since joining the Steelheads in late December. Ully is heating up as the Idaho Steelheads get ready for playoff time, Ully headed for post-season play for the first time in his professional career.

GRIZZLY TO WATCH

The Utah Grizzlies made some big trades prior to the trade deadline, among them a deal that sent All-Star defenseman Cliff Watson and the rights to forward Ryan Olsen to the Colorado Eagles. Jake Marchment was one of the pieces that came back in the deal, and he’s been a perfect addition for the Grizzlies. After netting eight goals and 31 points in 49 games for the Eagles, Marchments has tallied seven goals and 14 points in 17 games for Utah. After a six-game points streak that ended on March 4th, Marchment has two goals and four points in his last eight outings.KEY MATCHUP

There aren’t many statistical implications for this weekend’s series for Idaho, but four points will mean the world to the Grizzlies who need to make up ground on the rest of the playoff pack and also will need some help from around the league. During the week, players and coaches have talked about the importance of cementing good habits and perfecting systems against a Grizzlies team that will very much be playing in playoff desperation mode. While the Steelheads don’t need the points to secure their destiny into mid-April, they have emphasized the importance of playing their same consistent brand to wrap up the regular-season schedule.

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!