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PREVIEW: Game #19 – Steelheads @ Rush

Friday, November 23rd
PREVIEW: Game #19 – Steelheads @ Rush

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (8-7-3) @ RAPID CITY RUSH (7-7-3)

FRIDAY, NOV. 23, 2018 | 7:05 PMRUSHMORE PLAZA CIVIC CENTER | RAPID CITY, SDRADIO: 1350AM KTIK | STREAM: ECHL TV

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads continue their six-game stretch against the Rapid City Rush on Black Friday from Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads now have points in four-straight games and wins in three-straight contests against the Rush while reaching the fifth game of their 17-game season schedule. The Steelheads now have wins in 14 of their last 17 games against the Rush and boast a 14-2-1 record over the last two seasons. Overall, the Steelheads own a 29-10-3 record against the Rush.

Last Game: The Steelheads earned their first shutout of the season in a 3-0 win over the Rush on Wednesday night at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. Steelheads forward Brad McClure (19:29 1st) notched his first goal of the night on a rebound to take a 1-0 lead late in the period. A deflection by Steelheads forward Kale Kessy (PP, 7:31 2nd) doubled the lead to 2-0, and McClure (0:40 3rd) pushed in the second of two insurance goals to keep their lead and finish the night at 3-0. Tomas Sholl (3-2-0) earned a 23-save shutout, and Adam Carlson (4-3-3) stopped 28 of 31 shots in the loss.

Quarter One: The Steelheads completed the first quarter of the 2018-19 season on Wednesday night in strong fashion. While the team has floated around .500 for the first 18 games, they also have stayed closely competitive by starting the year with 14 of 18 games with a one-goal differential and reaching post-regulation in seven of those games, which is second-most in the ECHL behind Rapid City (eight). In addition, the team was best when playing on Sundays through Thursdays (4-1-0-1) as well as scoring three or more goals (6-1-1-0). The Steelheads started the season with nine of 11 games on the road, but since then the team is 4-1-1-1.

A Sholl Thing: The Steelheads notched their first shutout of the season on Wednesday night led by the fifth shutout from goaltender Tomas Sholl in a Steelheads uniform. In just 16 games, the Hermosa Beach, Calif., native is averaging one shutout for every 3.20 games played and accounts for five of the eight shutouts for the Steelheads over the last two seasons. He now shares second all-time in Steelheads ECHL history in shutouts along with Jack Campbell (‘14-’16) and Josh Robinson (‘12-’14). With the Steelheads, Sholl owns a 12-2-1 record with a 1.48 goals-against average and a .945 save percentage.

Going Streaking: The Steelheads’ three-game win streak has showcased the strength and resilience of the team stretching from an elongated home stand following a long road swing to start the season. In their recent run, the Steelheads haven’t scored more than three goals in a game but have allowed three total goals to move back over .500. A 58-shot game on Saturday brings up the team’s shot-per-game average (39.00) despite shooting fewer than 32 shots in two of three games, however the team has conceded the two fewest shot totals of the season in this run, only averaging 24.67 shots per game. The Steelheads also have a five-game point streak (3-0-1-1) currently active, their longest of the season.

Sure McClure: Steelheads forward Brad McClure has a strong showing on Wednesday, scooping up two goals and points with all three tallies for the team. The night breaks an 18-instance tie for the most points in a night, and it’s the second time this season that McClure has earned a multi-goal night (Oct. 30 @ Indy, 5-3 W). In his first professional season, the Stratford, Ont., product sits tied for second among ECHL rookies in goals and tied for eighth in scoring as well as a share of the lead for most game-winning goals (3) across the ECHL. McClure shares the team lead in goals (9) and sits second in scoring (15) through just 18 games.

Off The Rails: The Rapid City Rush incurred their first shutout loss of the season and slip down to a .500 record for the first time since November 1. The Rush have now lost five of their last seven games despite picking up points in three of those contests, going 2-4-1-0 during that span. The Rush are currently averaging just under two goals per game (1.86) in that same span and have been shutout on the power play in five-straight games (21 attempts) and six of their last seven contests (2-for-25, 8.0%). This is the second of six-straight games at home for the Rush before going on a season-long eight-game road trip from December 4 through December 15.

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Utah Grizzlies 15 10 2 3 0 23 .767
Tulsa Oilers 15 9 2 2 2 22 .733
Kansas City Mavericks 13 10 2 1 0 21 .808
Idaho Steelheads 18 8 7 1 2 19 .528
Rapid City Rush 1 7 6 2 1 17 .531
Wichita Thunder 14 5 5 3 1 14 .500
Allen Americans 16 4 10 0 2 10 .294

Next Game: The Steelheads and Rush finish their six-game stretch on Saturday, Nov. 24 at 7:05 p.m. from Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. MT on 1350-AM KTIK and ECHL TV.

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