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PREVIEW: Game #39 – Steelheads vs. Americans

Friday, January 18th
PREVIEW: Game #39 – Steelheads vs. Americans

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (23-12-3) VS. ALLEN AMERICANS (13-27-2)

FRIDAY, JAN. 1618 2019 | 7:10 P.M.CENTURYLINK ARENA | BOISE, IDRADIO: 1350AM KTIK | TV: CABLEONE CH. 72 | STREAM: ECHL TV

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads continue their weekend set against the Allen Americans from CenturyLink Arena on Jayden DeLuca Foundation Jersey Auction Weekend.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads dropped their first game of six against the Americans this season, and all six games will be played in a three-week span. Last season, the Steelheads played the Americans 10 times with six of those games at home, splitting their series with a 5-3-1-1 record before meeting in the Mountain Division Semifinals, featuring a reverse sweep by the Steelheads. Since their franchise series began, the Steelheads own a 10-6-3 record over the Americans.

Last Game: The Steelheads slipped 3-2 to the Americans on Wednesday night from CenturyLink Arena. Americans forward Adam Miller (PP, 1:18 1st) opened the scoring early to jump ahead before Steelheads forward Kale Kessy (5:18 1st) answered back to tie the game, 1-1. The two sides also went to and fro in the second period with Americans defenseman Joel Chouinard (8:30 2nd) and Kessy (13:05 2nd) each scoring to remain tied, 2-2. Americans forward Zach Pochiro (PP, 8:21 3rd) sealed the 3-2 win. C.J. Motte (11-11-2) halted 28 of 30 shots in the win, while Tomas Sholl (14-5-0) saved 27 of 30 shots in the loss.

Shoot Your Shot: For the second time this season, Steelheads forward Kale Kessy was involved in a penalty shot in the third period during Wednesday’s loss. Both attempts this season, including his penalty shot on December 1 against Jacksonville, were unsuccessful, however the Steelheads have not seen a penalty shot goal either for or against in four total attempts this season. In fact, out of 27 attempts across the ECHL, only nine (33.3%) have been successful. The Steelheads scored on their lone penalty shot last season on Apr. 6, 2018 against Allen (Max French) and have not conceded a penalty shot goal since Nov. 11, 2016 against Adirondack (Brian Ward over Alex Komm).

Threes: Despite getting the loss on Wednesday, the Steelheads have been consistently keeping opponents away from high scoring tallies. For the sixth-straight game, the Steelheads have denied opponents of scoring more than three goals in a contest and extend their recent run in this category to nine of their last 10 games, averaging 2.60 goals against per game, which is in contrast to 4.80 goals scored per game. Overall, when the Steelheads keep opponents to three goals or less, the team owns a 19-7-0-2, however specifically with three goals allowed the Steelheads are 3-5-0-2.

Double Double: For the 13th time this season, the Steelheads have had a player record a multi-goal game stretching across six different players. Kale Kessy’s two-goal performance was his second of the season and first since December 28 against Rapid City, and he’s the fourth player to record multiple big scoring nights led by forward Reid Petryk (four times). Four of the six skaters sit in the top-5 on the roster in scoring, and Kessy now sits one goal away from double-digits, owning nine goals and 24 points through 27 games. He’s four goals and three assists (seven points) away from reaching career-highs in all major scoring categories.

King Of The Castle: Steelheads defenseman Jeff King lately has been earning additional production up front with assists over the home stand. So far, the St. Clair, Mich., native has points in all four games during this homestand, posting six assists over the last four games thanks to an assist in Wednesday’s loss. The second-year pro is having a career season, blowing away his career-high in assists and overtaking his career-high point total in 20 fewer games while sitting one goal away from setting a new career-high in that category. Through 35 games, King owns 21 points (3g, 18a) with a plus-17 rating, sitting second on the team in assists and points.

‘Murica: The Allen Americans are on their best run of their season despite their standings position in the Western Conference. Their win on Wednesday is their fourth-straight as well as sixth during their last eight games, owning a 6-2-0-0 record in that stretch while taking down three different playoff teams: Idaho (once), Utah (once) and Kansas City (once). Their lone two losses came against the Tulsa Oilers since December 30, and in those contests they were held to just one goal. Their win on Wednesday was their first being held south of four goals during this stretch. Previous to this run, the Americans only won back-to-back games once (October 26-27).

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Tulsa Oilers 40 22 12 4 2 50 .625
Idaho Steelheads 38 23 12 1 2 49 .645
Utah Grizzlies 36 22 10 3 1 48 .667
Kansas City Mavericks 36 19 15 1 1 40 .556
Wichita Thunder 40 15 17 5 3 38 .475
Rapid City Rush 41 15 21 2 3 35 .427
Allen Americans 42 13 27 0 2 28 .333

Next Game: The Steelheads and Americans finish their weekend set on Saturday, Jan. 19 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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