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PREVIEW: Game #36 – Steelheads vs. Walleye

Friday, January 11th
PREVIEW: Game #36 – Steelheads vs. Walleye

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (21-11-3) VS. TOLEDO WALLEYE (23-9-3)

FRIDAY, JAN. 11, 2019 | 7:10 P.M.CENTURYLINK ARENA | BOISE, IDRADIO: 1350AM KTIK | TV: CABLEONE CH. 72 | STREAM: ECHL TV

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads revisit their three-game weekend against the Toledo Walleye from CenturyLink Arena with Game 2 of their three-game weekend.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads won their first meeting in Boise against Toledo in franchise history while also bringing the team their first win of the season in three attempts head-to-head with two games remaining. The Steelheads can win the five-game season series outright with a pair of regulation wins this weekend. The Steelheads have taken the edge over the Toledo franchise with the win, improving to 3-2-0 record including their two games against the former Toledo Storm.

Last Game: The Steelheads opened the weekend with a 4-2 win over the Walleye on Wednesday night from CenturyLink Arena. Steelheads forward Steve McParland (14:00 1st) opened the scoring in his return to Boise to give the home side a 1-0 lead. Walleye defenseman Matt Register (4:17 2nd) answered back before Steelheads defenseman Keegan Kanzig (6:57 2nd) converted on a 2-on-1 rush to take back the lead at 2-1. The Walleye scored again, this time from forward T.J. Hensick (15:20 2nd) to knot the game once more, 3-2. McParland (0:46 3rd) pushed the Steelheads ahead, and Steelheads forward Robbie Payne (3:47 3rd) added one more to help secure the 4-2 win. Tomas Sholl (13-4-0) halted 29 of 31 shots in the win, while Pat Nagle (13-6-1) saved 29 of 33 shots in the loss.

Home & Back: The Steelheads have extended their positive run at home since the middle of November with Wednesday night’s results against the Walleye. Including their last home stand, the Steelheads have won eight of their last 10 games at CenturyLink Arena while also winning 10 of 12 games since November 16. The Steelheads have held opponents to two goals or less in eight of 10 games at home as well as five of their last seven overall contests, and they’ve posted four goals or more in six of their last seven games. The Steelheads have now won 16 of their last 20 games and are 12-4-1-1 at home this season.

Early Jump: The Steelheads have helped their cause early in games by jumping out to early lead, especially as of late. Since December 12, the Steelheads have scored the game’s opening goal in 10 of their last 11 games including three-straight contests, and in that time the Steelheads own a 9-2-0-0 record  in that situation. This season, the Steelheads scored the opening goal 19 times and own a 14-3-1-1 record with a .789 win percentage. Their mark falls above the league average (.735), and they’re one of nine teams with 14 wins or more when scoring first.

The Big Keegs: Steelheads defenseman Keegan Kanzig is having a career season with the Steelheads this year, posting his second goal of the year in his last four games. The tally sets a career-high in goals, broken by his lone goal on Mar. 11, 2017 with the Adirondack Thunder, and it expands his career-high point total to two points above his 5-point mark set in each of his last two seasons. The Alberta native can also break his career-high in assists with one in the team’s next 37 games. Kanzig has played every game this season and owns seven points (2g, 5a), and he’s on pace to double his output by season’s end.

Piercing Puncture: Steelheads forward Elgin Pearce has found an extra step in his game as of late with his third-straight game earning an assist. It’s the first three-game point streak of the season for Pearce but illustrates a larger trend in scoring. The Canadian has points in five of his last six games as well as seven of his last nine contests since December 14, posting eight points (2g, 6a) in that span. After just three points in the first quarter of the season, Pearce has ballooned his production to 12 points (3g, 9a) through 21 games this season.

Next To The Register: Walleye defenseman Matt Register added another point to his strong season on the blue line contributing to the team’s offensive efforts. His sixth goal of the season stretches his point total to 30 on the season, which continues to lead all ECHL defensemen in scoring now by two points over Wheeling’s Kevin Spinozzi. The Calgary native also leads ECHL defensemen in assists (24) and is on pace to come near his scoring total from the last two seasons (64 and 65 points). Through 35 games, the 29-year-old owns 30 points (6g, 24a).

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Utah Grizzlies 33 21 8 3 1 46 .697
Idaho Steelheads 35 21 11 1 2 45 .643
Tulsa Oilers 37 19 12 4 2 44 .595
Kansas City Mavericks 34 18 14 1 1 38 .559
Wichita Thunder 37 15 14 5 3 38 .514
Rapid City Rush 38 15 18 2 3 35 .461
Allen Americans 38 9 27 0 2 20 .263

Next Game: The Steelheads and Walleye finish their three-game weekend on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 7:10 p.m. from CenturyLink Arena. Tickets are available by calling 208-383-0080 or by going to idahosteelheads.com. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on 1350AM KITK and at 7:00 p.m. on CableOne Ch. 72 and ECHL TV.

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