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PREVIEW: Game #16 – Steelheads vs. Rush

Friday, November 16th
PREVIEW: Game #16 – Steelheads vs. Rush

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (5-7-3) VS. RAPID CITY RUSH (7-5-2)

FRIDAY, NOV. 16, 2018 | 7:10 PM | CENTURYLINK ARENA | BOISE, IDRADIO: 1350AM KTIK | TV: CABLEONE CH. 72 | STREAM: ECHL TV

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads play the second of three games at home against the Rapid City Rush from CenturyLink Arena.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads earned one point in their opening meeting with the Rush and head into game two of their six-game stretch while dropping their four-game win streak head-to-head and a five-game streak at home. The Steelheads and Rush will meet 17 times this season following a 11-2-0-0 record for the Steelheads last season. The Steelheads own a 26-10-13 record against the Rush since their first ECHL meeting.

Last Game: The Steelheads picked up a point but fell 3-2 in a shootout to the Rush on Wednesday night at CenturyLink Arena. The Steelheads scored two goals in the opening period starting with forward Spencer Naas (12:56 1st) on an open shot in the slot followed by a similar goal from forward Kyle Schempp (19:52 1st) to take a 2-0 lead. Rush forward Mason McCarty (6:46 2nd) pushed the road side within one, 2-1, and forward Pierre-Luc Mercier (SH, 11:36 3rd) leveled the score, 2-2, to head to overtime. In the shootout, McCarty (1st) and Mercier (2nd) put the game out of reach in a 3-2 win. Adam Carlson (4-2-2) stopped 41 of 43 shots in the win, while Colton Point (1-0-1) halted 29 of 31 shots in the shootout loss.

Home Cooking: The Steelheads have pieced together points throughout their home stand which heads into their final two games beginning tonight. Through four games, the Steelheads have dropped three of four games, however they’ve grabbed points in three of those four contests as well, earning a 1-1-1-1 record thus far. The Steelheads have played in all one-goal games throughout the last two weeks, increasing their season total to 12 of their first 15 games with a one-goal differential.

Post-Regulation: The Steelheads went to their second-straight post-regulation game, coming away with two of a possible four points overall. It was the team’s first shootout result in exactly one month (Oct. 14 @ TUL) but flipped to the opposite result. Both shootout losses came in 3-2 decisions. The Steelheads are now 3-3 in post-regulation games including 1-2 in shootouts. Last year, the Steelheads went 2-5 in overtime and 7-2 in shootouts.

Flipped Script: The Steelheads have excelled at turning their early struggles around during the home stand, and that continued on Wednesday night. The Steelheads have scored the opening goal in three of their last four games and led through the first and second periods in all three of those same games. In that time, they’ve outscored their opponents 7-4 in the first period after trailing 13-4 in that same frame during their opening 11 contests. However, the Steelheads have slipped in the second and third periods in that same span, trailing in goals at 8-5 in both frames combined and an extra two goals in overtime and a shootout.

Naas A Problem: Steelheads forward Spencer Naas remains the hottest player in points during the home stand, sitting as the lone player with points in all four games with four points (2g, 2a). That streak ties the longest point-scoring streak this season, sharing the mark with forward Brad McClure (3+2=5) and Brady Norrish (2+3=5). With the goal, Naas becomes the third player to reach double-digit points this season and sits second on the team in goals (6). Through 27 professional games, Naas owns 16 points (9g, 7a) and now has more goals than assists for two-straight seasons.

Recent Road Magic: After Wednesday’s result, the Rapid City Rush lengthen their stretch of road success, all coming in post-regulation play. The Rush have won four-straight games on the road with all four in November, and they’ve teetered between overtime and shootout results with two games in each situation. Three of the four games have been a 3-2 decision and the team is now 4-1-0-0 in one-goal games in November. The Rush have played seven of their last eight games in overtime or a shootout when they’ve been separated by one goal.

Back In The Swing: Rush forward Pierre-Luc Mercier earned a big night for the Rush not only in getting a multi-point game but also ending a tough stretch. The Quebec native started the season with points in six of his first eight games but was held to a five-game pointless stretch starting on November 2 before Wednesday night’s game. It was his fourth multi-point game of the season and first since October 27 (seven games), and it leapt him atop the Rush scoring lead with 11 points (4g, 7a) through 14 games.

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Kansas City Mavericks 11 9 1 1 0 19 .864
Utah Grizzlies 12 8 1 3 0 19 .792
Tulsa Oilers 11 6 1 2 2 16 .727
Rapid City Rush 14 7 5 1 1 16 .571
Idaho Steelheads 15 5 7 1 2 13 .433
Wichita Thunder 11 4 4 3 0 11 .500
Allen Americans 14 3 9 0 2 8 .286

Next Game: The Steelheads continue their home stand against the Rush on Friday, Nov. 16 at 7:10pm from CenturyLink Arena. Tickets are available by calling 383-0080 or going to www.IdahoSteelheads.com. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. MT on 1350-AM KTIK and ECHL TV as well as 7:00 p.m. on CableOne Channel 72.

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