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PREVIEW: Game #24 – Steelheads vs. Grizzlies

Saturday, December 8th
PREVIEW: Game #24 – Steelheads vs. Grizzlies

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (12-8-3) VS. UTAH GRIZZLIES (13-4-4)

SATURDAY, DEC. 8, 2018 | 7:10 PMCENTURYLINK ARENA | BOISE, IDRADIO: 1350AM KTIK | TV: CABLEONE CH. 72 | STREAM: ECHL TV

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads close their two-game weekend against the Utah Grizzlies from CenturyLink Arena.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads have now won two-straight games against the Grizzlies and own the lone win by more than a one-goal margin, posting a 3-2-0-0 record at the one-third mark of the season series. The Grizzlies suffered their first game without a point in the series but still hold the point total in the head-to-head set. This is game two of four over the next three weeks, and the Steelheads boast a 95-44-24 record against the Grizzlies all-time.

Last Night: The Steelheads closed out the Grizzlies in a 4-2 win from CenturyLink Arena. Grizzlies forward Ryan Misiak (0:19 1st) opened the scoring early to take a 1-0 lead before Steelheads defenseman Colton Saucerman (7:49 1st) knotted up the game, 1-1, on a one-time shot from the right side. The Steelheads earned their first lead at 2-1 thanks to forward Elgin Pearce (13:15), but Grizzlies forward Ryan Walters (14:15 2nd) evened the game, 2-2, one minute later. Steelheads forward Kyle Schempp (7:01 3rd) deflected a shot off his back to net the go-ahead goal at 3-2, and Steelheads forward Steve McParland (EN, 18:38 3rd) sealed the win at 4-2 with an empty net goal. Tomas Sholl (7-3-0) stopped 31 of 33 shots in the win, and Kevin Carr (6-1-1) halted 28 of 31 shots in the loss.

Hot, Hot, Hot: The Steelheads extended their win streak to four games with last night’s win, their longest of the season. During that span, the Steelheads have scored four goals or more in three of those four games with 17 goals in that span (4.25 goals per game) and have kept opponents to two goals or less in all four games. In addition, the Steelheads have also won five-straight games at home since November 16, averaging only 1.40 goals against per game and outscoring opponents 16-7. The streak stretches a strong run with points in nine of their last 10 games (7-1-1-0 record) since November 10.

Pi-Kay Pi-Kay: The Steelheads defense has worked magic on the penalty kill over the last few weeks, posting another perfect night on Friday. The team now has halted opposing power plays in 13-straight attempts over their last four games as well as in eight of nine games, stopping 32-of-33 (97.0%) power plays since November 14. That production has vaulted them into the top-10 in penalty kill percentage on the season, now owning a 86.0% conversion rate on the season and rising from 23rd in the ECHL to 7th in the league.

A Clean Bill: For the second time this season, the Steelheads and Grizzlies shared a low penalized game, and it comes for their second-straight meeting. The combined six penalty minutes is the lowest for a Steelheads game this season, breaking the 10-minute effort between the Steelheads and Grizzlies on October 27, the same game that the Steelheads only allowed six penalty minutes for the first time. It’s also the third time this season that the Steelheads allowed fewer than 10 penalty minutes, joining their six-minute effort on November 7 against Tulsa (3-2 W). The Steelheads are 3-0-0-0 in those games.

Streak Me: Three different Steelheads players are on a four-game point streak after last night’s results with two on the same line. Forwards Kale Kessy (1+4=5) and A.J. White (2+3=5) have worked in tandem to produce their scoring run, and defenseman Colton Saucerman (2+3=5) joins them with his own positive stretch. In the run, Kessy has a four-game assist streak, which is the longest for the Steelheads this season. Seven different players have earned four-game point streaks, including forward Reid Petryk, who entered the weekend on his own run (2+3=5).

Ully-tide Cheer: Grizzlies forward Cole Ully picked up another point in last night’s loss, extending his strong individual play despite a turbulent run by his team. The former Steelhead has points in 12 of his last 13 games, packing in 22 points (5g, 17a) in that span and moving his league-leading assist total to 22 helpers. In addition, the assist last night moves him into a share for the team lead in points against the Steelheads this season, moving up to seven points (3+4=7) along with forward Caleb Herbert (4+3=7). Ully now has points in 16 of his first 19 games this season with Utah.

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Tulsa Oilers 22 13 5 2 2 30 .682
Utah Grizzlies 21 13 4 3 1 30 .714
Kansas City Mavericks 20 13 5 1 1 28 .700
Idaho Steelheads 23 12 8 1 2 27 .587
Rapid City Rush 25 11 9 2 3 27 .540
Wichita Thunder 22 9 9 3 1 22 .500
Allen Americans 25 6 17 0 2 14 .280

Next Game: The Steelheads host the Kansas City Mavericks for the first time this season at CenturyLink Arena on Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 7:10 p.m. Tickets are available by calling 208-383-0080 or going to IdahoSteelheads.com. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. MT on 1350-AM KTIK and ECHL TV as well as at 7:00 p.m. on CableOne Channel 72.

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