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PREVIEW: Game #33 – Steelheads @ Oilers

Saturday, January 5th
PREVIEW: Game #33 – Steelheads @ Oilers

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (19-10-3) @ TULSA OILERS (17-11-6)

SATURDAY, JAN. 5, 2019 | 6:05 P.M. | BOK CENTER | TULSA, OKRADIO: 1350AM KTIK | STREAM: ECHL TV

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads open the 2019 calendar year with a return to the BOK Center for the first of two games against the Tulsa Oilers.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads have points in three of their previous five meetings with the Oilers, owning a 2-2-1 record midway through their 10-game season series. The Steelheads split their two previous games at the BOK Center on October 13-14 with a shootout win on the second game. The Steelheads own a

Last Game: The Steelheads came from behind twice for a 6-5 win over the Rapid City Rush on Monday night from Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. Rush forward Pierre-Luc Mercier (PP, 8:11 1st) and defenseman Chris Leibinger (PP, 19:25 1st) opened the game with a pair of goals to take a 2-0 lead. The Steelheads followed with three-unanswered goals from forward Alex Dahl (5:41 2nd) and defenemen Brady Norrish (7:07 2nd) as well as Keegan Kanzig (10:58 2nd), taking their first lead at 3-2. The Rush added back on thanks to forward Alec Baer (13:29 2nd) and Mercier (14:08 2nd; PP, 15:43 2nd) to take back the lead, 5-3. Steelheads forwards Reid Petryk (PP, 4:31 3rd) and Brad McClure (7:02 3rd) tied the game again, 5-5, and Petryk (PP, 10:26 3rd) helped to seal the win at 6-5. Colton Point stopped 13 of 18 shots, and Ryan Faragher (4-3-1) halted all 11 shots in relief for the win. Adam Carlson (10-7-4) saved 18 of 24 shots in the loss.

Going Streaking: The Steelheads extended their win streak to four games crossing through the holiday season and improved their road streak to four games as well. In their consecutive streak, the Steelheads have won by an average of 4.50 goals per game while scoring at a 34.57% rate (28-for-81) and being held to under 30 shots in all four games. On the road, the Steelheads have scored one less goal but also had a slightly wider total margin of victory (+20). Since November 16, the Steelheads have earned four win streaks of at least three games with only three losses, earning a 14-3-0-0 record. The win streak ties the longest of the season set from November 24 through December 7.

Slugfest: The Steelheads offense also extended its own streak of games with six or more goals scored to four-straight contests. As far back as online records go to the 2006-07 season, the Steelheads have never scored six or more goals in four-straight games, however the Steelheads did perform this four times in five games from Oct. 17, 2012 through Oct. 26, 2012 against Colorado (7-6 SOW, 6-1 W) and Ontario (7-2 W, 6-2 W) with three of those coming in consecutive games. In that time, the team’s goal-per-game average increased by nearly 0.50 goals, improving from 2.82 (22nd ECHL) to 3.34 (T-8th ECHL) while maintaining their goals-against rate at just over 2.50 goals per game.

Piecing Together: Steelheads forward Kyle Schempp has quietly put together a four-game point streak for the first time this season thanks to his assist on Monday night in Rapid City. Over that time, he has three-straight games with assists and four points (1g, 3a) while also providing a positive influence with a +5 rating in that time. The Saginaw, Mich., native is on-pace to set ECHL-highs in all scoring categories set in 2016-17 with the Missouri Mavericks. Schempp is one of five players on active point streaks with four of five coming with four games and one with seven games.

Back On Track: After a torrid run, the Tulsa Oilers have now picked back up their winning ways thanks to a 2-0 blanking of the Allen Americans last night. The Oilers have now won four-straight games, scoring three or more goals in three of four games while also holding opponents to just five goals in four games. The stretch comes following an 11-game losing skid, during which the Oilers held a 0-9-2-0 record going from December 1 through December 27 and played eight of those games on the road (including seven-straight contests). Both the Oilers and Steelheads have an opportunity to take first place from the Utah Grizzlies with a pair of wins this weekend.

Will Power: Consistency in net has been a large benefit for the Oilers, and goaltender Devin Williams has been at the forefront of that. Despite picking up seven of the team’s 11 losses during their December slide, the Saginaw, Mich., product has four-straight wins in consecutive appearances. He also has kept opponents to two goals or less in six of seven games since December 14 as well as three goals or less in 17 of 21 appearances this season. Williams has a career 25-18-9 record with the Oilers with a 2.47 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage with six shutouts through 59 games in two seasons.

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Utah Grizzlies 31 19 8 3 1 42 .677
Idaho Steelheads 32 19 10 1 2 41 .641
Tulsa Oilers 34 17 11 4 2 40 .588
Kansas City Mavericks 32 18 12 1 1 38 .594
Wichita Thunder 36 15 14 4 3 37 .514
Rapid City Rush 36 14 17 2 3 33 .458
Allen Americans 38 9 27 0 2 20 .263

Next Game: The Steelheads and Oilers close their two-game weekend on Sunday, Jan. 6 at 3:05 p.m. MT from BOK Center. Coverage begins at 2:45 p.m. MT on 1350-AM KTIK and ECHL TV.

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