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PREVIEW: Game #30 – Steelheads @ Rush

Friday, December 28th
PREVIEW: Game #30 – Steelheads @ Rush

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (16-10-3) VS. RAPID CITY RUSH (14-13-5)

FRIDAY, DEC. 28, 2018 | 7:05 PMRUSHMORE PLAZA CIVIC CENTER | RAPID CITY, SDRADIO: 1350AM KTIK | STREAM: ECHL TV

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads open a three-game weekend against the Rapid City Rush from Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads have won four of their six meetings with the Rush with points in five of six, boasting a 4-1-1 record with two shutout wins in their last trip to Rapid City, S.D. The set of games will stretch the series past the midway point of their 17-game schedule. The Steelheads have won 15 of 19 games against the Rush in the last two seasons, owning a 30-11-3 record in the franchise series.

Last Game: The Steelheads powered ahead to a 7-3 win over the Utah Grizzlies on Saturday night from CenturyLink Arena. Steelheads forwards Kyle Schempp (3:03 1st) and Tony Calderone (5:06 1st; PP, 7:53 1st) opened with three-unanswered goals to jump out to a 3-0 lead. The Grizzlies came back with three more goals coming from forwards J.T. Henke (14:50 1st), Ryan Walters (PP, 8:48 2nd) and Henke (PP, 9:03 2nd) again to tie the game, 3-3. Steelheads forwards Robbie Payne (SH, 13:22 2nd) and Brad McClure (PP, 17:14 2nd) used special teams to take back the lead, 5-3. The Steelheads added two more from forwards Kale Kessy (4:09 3rd) and Alex Dahl (8:36 3rd) to seal the 7-3 win. Tomas Sholl (9-4-0) halted 33 of 36 shots in the win, while Kevin Carr (8-2-1) saved 14 of 21 shots in the loss.

Home Cooking: The Steelheads finished their nine-game home stand and four weeks at CenturyLink Arena with a win, improving to a 7-2-0-0 record with their sole losses coming against Utah (both 5-1 results). The Steelheads did not lose a series at home during that time and have at least split a home series in six of their first seven weekends at home to close the 2018 calendar year. Because of their strong run, the Steelheads have forced their way to second place in the Mountain Division, and their three-straight games at that point is the longest they’ve held a top-2 spot this season. The Steelheads are 11-4-1-1 record at CenturyLink Arena.

Quality, Not Quantity: For the second-straight game, the Steelheads recorded a season-low 21 shots against the Utah Grizzlies with a very different result from their previous game. The Steelheads converted on 33.3% of their attempts on Saturday night, and despite a lower average shot total in their last four games (23.75) the team has made the most of their chances. The Steelheads have converted on 14.74% of their attempts over their last four games even though they have been held to fewer than 30 shots, and that total rises above their season conversion rate (9.1%). The Steelheads also averaged 3.50 goals per game in that span.

Going Streaking: The Steelheads have another two players currently on point streaks heading into this weekend. Forward Alex Dahl is on his first point streak (2+1=3) of the season, extending his run thanks to a goal in Saturday’s win, and defenseman Nolan Gluchowski moved his point streak to four games (0+5=5) with his assist on Saturday. The Steelheads have had six different players earn a combined seven point streaks with five of the seven streaks extending to four games or more [Gluchowski, Petryk (twice), Saucerman, White]. The Steelheads had 12 different point streaks in the first quarter (18 games) but only three lasted four games or more.

Over And Out: The Rapid City Rush have made it a habit of being close in games and, often resulting in overtime results. The Rush reached post-regulation play four more times since their last meeting with the Steelheads on November 24, earning a 2-2 record in those contests. With those results, the Rush own a 3-2 record in overtime and 4-3 record in shootouts, owning the most wins in post-regulation play in the most attempts. The Rush lead the ECHL with 12 of their 32 games (37.5%) reaching at least overtime, however their 7-5 record stands midway up the league at 14th of 27 teams.

Totally Rad: Rush forward Andrew Radjenovic has heated up since the last time the Rush and Steelheads met toward the end of November. In that time, the Hamilton, Ont., native earned a six-game point streak and tallied points in nine of his 13 games played, posting 15 points (7g, 8a) during that time and slinging himself ahead to a large lead atop the team which stands at 11 points. Radjenovic is the only skater with over 20 points on the team this season and leads the team in all major scoring categories, boasting 29 points (15g, 14a) in 32 games played. He also has four points (2g, 2a) against the Steelheads in six games.

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Utah Grizzlies 27 16 7 3 1 36 .667
Idaho Steelheads 29 16 10 1 2 35 .603
Kansas City Mavericks 27 16 9 1 1 34 .630
Wichita Thunder 31 14 11 3 3 34 .548
Rapid City Rush 32 14 13 2 3 33 .516
Tulsa Oilers 30 13 11 4 2 32 .533
Allen Americans 33 7 24 0 2 16 .242

Next Game: The Steelheads and Rush continue their weekend series on Saturday, Dec. 29 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 as well as at 7:00 p.m. on CableOne Channel 72.

Upcoming Home Games

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