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PREVIEW: Game #8 - Steelheads @ Fuel

Tuesday, October 30th
PREVIEW: Game #8 - Steelheads @ Fuel

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (3-3-1) @ INDY FUEL (3-2-0)

TUESDAY, OCT. 30, 2018 | 5:05 PM | INDIANA FARMERS COLISEUM | INDIANAPOLIS, INRADIO: 1350AM KTIK | STREAM: ECHL TV

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads head toward the midway point of their six-game road trip with a meeting against the Indy Fuel from Indiana Farmers Coliseum.

Head-To-Head: This is the first meeting in franchise history between the Steelheads and Fuel and is their lone meeting during the 2018-19 season. The previous professional hockey team in Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Ice, played in the International Hockey League (IHL) and Central Hockey League from 1988 through 2004, winning two championships (one in each league - 1990 Turner Cup & 2000 Ray Morin Cup).

Last Game: The Steelheads went back and forth in a 3-2 overtime win over the Utah Grizzlies on Saturday night at Maverik Center. Steelheads forward Joe Pendenza (PP, 1:10 2nd) opened the scoring after a scoreless first period before Grizzlies forward Tim McGauley (PP, 9:29 2nd) leveled the game, 1-1. The Steelheads scored again thanks to forward Steve McParland (4:14 3rd), but Grizzlies forward Caleb Herbert (5:41 3rd) tied teh game, 2-2, to force overtime. In the extra period, Steelheads forward Brad McClure (2:29 OT) secured the 3-2 win. Steelheads goaltender Philippe Desrosiers stopped 33 of 35 shtos in the win, while Grizzlies netminder Joe Cannata halted 26 of 29 shots in the overtime loss.

Tooth & Nail: The Steelheads continue to increase their league-leading run of consecutive one-goal games to seven games thanks to their overtime meeting on Saturday night. The team is approaching nearly one quarter (22.6%) of their games in this situation from last season (31), during which the team went 16-7-5-3. The Steelheads still have never trailed by more than two goals and haven’t lead more than by one goal. The Steelheads are now 3-0-0-0 when scoring three goals or more this season.

Heart Attack Hockey: The Steelheads reached overtime games in all three weekends so far in the 2018-19 season, reaching four games with post-regulation play. So far, the Steelheads stand at 3-1 with a perfect record (2-0) during games ending in overtime (both against Utah). Last season, the Steelheads played 17 games of post-regulation play, recording a 9-8 record overall along with a 2-5 record in overtime, meaning the Steelheads have reached their overtime win total in five fewer games than the previous year.

Disciplined: Contrary to past iterations of the franchise, the Steelheads have spent, on average, considerable less time in the penalty box compared to last season. The Steelheads are averaging 11.71 penalty minutes per game and 4.43 minor penalties for game, placing them with the seventh-fewest minutes on average this season. This means the team is on pace for just 843 penalty minutes this season and is only conceding between three and five power plays per game. Last year, the Steelheads finished with the sixth-most minutes, totaling 1,240 minutes (17.22 minutes per game).

Rookie Rise: Rookie scoring and veteran scoring has been relatively balanced toward the top of the Steelheads roster through the first three weekends of the season. First-year players Brad McClure (4+2=6), Spencer Naas (2+3=5)and Brady Norrish (2+3=5) sit in the top-five in scoring on the team with McClure sharing the team lead in goals and sitting second in plus/minus rating (+5). The three have accounted for 16 of the team’s 49 points (30.6%) through seven games along with eight of the team’s 20 goals (40.0%). 

Geared Up: The Indy Fuel are coming off their best season in their franchise’s history that now heads into year five. Last season, the Fuel qualified for the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the first time in team history despite falling 4-0 to the Toledo Walleye in the Central Division Semifinals, finishing the year with 78 points and a fourth place divisional finish. The team returns only two of its top-five leading scorers from last season but enjoy the return of goaltender Matt Tomkins, who boasted a 11-9-2 record with a 3.47 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage last season.

Top Guns: The Indy Fuel have been lead early in the season by their top line combination, which includes the leading scorer and two brothers. Forwards Ryan Rupert (2+4=6) and Matt Rupert (2+3=5) sit second and third on the team in scoring, respectively, and only trail linemate Josh Shalla (2+6=8) through tied in goals scored. The combination has 21 of the team’s 50 points, which is close to half (42.0%) of the team’s total production through five games this season as well as over half of the team’s power play point production (8-of-15, 53.3%) despite only having a combined one power play goal.

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Utah Grizzlies 6 4 0 2 0 10 .833
Tulsa Oilers 5 4 0 0 1 9 .900
Kansas City Mavericks 5 3 1 1 0 7 .700
Idaho Steelheads 7 3 3 0 1 7 .500
Allen Americans 8 3 4 0 1 7 .438
Wichita Thunder 5 3 1 1 0 7 .700
Rapid City Rush 7 2 3 1 1 6 .429

Next Game: The Steelheads open a three-game weekend and first of two meetings with the Toledo Walleye on Friday, Nov. 2 at 5:15 p.m. MT. Coverage begins at 4:55 p.m. MT on 1350-AM KTIK and ECHL TV.

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Utah Grizzlies
Idaho Steelheads
Friday, October 18th
Utah Grizzlies @ Idaho Steelheads
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM MDT
Idaho Central Arena
Utah Grizzlies
UTA Utah Grizzlies
at
Idaho Steelheads
IDH Idaho Steelheads
Idaho Central Arena
Toledo Walleye
Idaho Steelheads
Wednesday, October 23rd
Toledo Walleye @ Idaho Steelheads
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM MDT
Idaho Central Arena
Toledo Walleye
TOL Toledo Walleye
at
Idaho Steelheads
IDH Idaho Steelheads
Idaho Central Arena
Toledo Walleye
Idaho Steelheads
Friday, October 25th
Toledo Walleye @ Idaho Steelheads
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM MDT
Idaho Central Arena
Toledo Walleye
TOL Toledo Walleye
at
Idaho Steelheads
IDH Idaho Steelheads
Idaho Central Arena

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