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PREVIEW: Game #42 – Steelheads @ Thunder

Saturday, January 26th
PREVIEW: Game #42 – Steelheads @ Thunder

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (26-12-3) VS. WICHITA THUNDER (17-17-8)

SATURDAY, JAN. 26, 2019 | 6:05 P.M.INTRUST BANK ARENA | WICHITA, KSRADIO: 1350AM KTIK | STREAM: ECHL TV

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads head back to the Midwest to renew their series with the Wichita Thunder from Intrust Bank Arena.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads make their second and final trip to Kansas following a 3-2 shootout loss on opening night. Following this weekend, the Steelheads and Thunder will have played half of their six-game season series with the final three coming in March at CenturyLink Arena. The Steelheads hold a 3-2-2 record in their short franchise series with the Thunder since the 2015-16 season.

Last Game: The Steelheads began their nine-game road trip with a 7-4 win over the Utah Grizzlies on Monday afternoon from Maverik Center. Forward Steve McParland (5:50 1st) notched the game’s first goal before Grizzlies forwards Caleb Herbert (PP, 7:13 1st) and Austin Carroll (PP, 12:31 1st) to take their lone lead of the day, 2-1. Defenseman Jeff King (13:25 1st) cleaned up a rebound to tie the game, 2-2, before the Steelheads scored three-unanswered in the second period. Forward Spencer Naas (4:54 2nd), defenseman Clint Lewis (8:23 2nd) and defenseman Nolan Gluchowski (9:15 2nd) all cashed in to spread the lead open to 5-2. The Grizzlies scored two more goals thanks to forward Joey Raats (16:38 2nd) and Herbert (PP, 19:15 2nd) to draw within one, 5-4, before the end of the second period, however McParland (5:58 3rd) and forward Brad McClure (EN, 17:31 3rd) helped seal off the 7-4 win. Ryan Faragher (5-3-1) turned aside 33 of 37 shots in the win, while Joe Cannata (11-8-3) saved 18 of 24 shots in the loss.

Road Tripping: The Steelheads opened up their nine-game road trip with a win on Monday in Utah. The Steelheads are in the midst of their longest road trip of the season, spanning nine games over three weeks with meetings against Utah (four), Wichita (two) and Allen (three). During their trip, they’ll finish their road schedule against the Thunder, conclude their six-game season series with the Americans, and play their first pair of sets against the Grizzlies that are not two-game weekends. The Steelheads own a 7-5-1 combined record against these three teams this season.

Saturday Night’s Alright: The Steelheads open the weekend on one of their strongest days of the week. Saturday games have been in the team’s wheelhouse, owning a 10-4-1 record on this specific day, which leads all days with a minimum of three games played. The Steelheads have won six-straight games on a Saturday with their last loss on December 8 against Utah (5-1 L) as well as three-straight road Saturday games dating back to November 24 in Rapid City (6-0 W). This is only the second Saturday game to open a weekend set with their only other result coming on January 5 in Tulsa (4-2 W).

For Sure McClure: Steelheads forward Brad McClure picked up a three-point game on Monday afternoon, scoring an empty net goal and adding two assists. The three-point game was his third of the season, joining his first instance on November 21 in Rapid City (2g, 1a) and most recent on December 31 in Rapid City (1g, 2a). Since returning from AHL Texas, the Stratford, Ont., native has points in two of three games with for points (2g, 2a) and adds to his season-long run in his rookie season. With his game on Monday, McClure leads the team in goals (16), points (24) and power play assists (9) while sharing the team lead in game-winning goals (4).

Rocky Start: The Thunder have had a rocky month of January, starting with the continuation of their eight-game slide but a small rebound with a pair of wins last weekend. In the month, the Thunder have been able to hold opponents to 30 shots or less in four of their eight January games including three-straight contests. However, it’s been shot conversions that have hampered their month’s record, conceding goals on 14.57% of opponents attempts (36 goals) compared to their own rate of 11.56% conversions (26 goals). The Thunder own a 2-5-1 record in January and will close the month with two games against the Steelheads.

Eh, Steve: Thunder forward Steven Iacobellis returned to the Thunder from a brief AHL stint during the All-Star break but hasn’t missed a step this season in leading the Thunder in production. Recently, the Port Coquitlam, B.C. native has points in two-straight games and eight of his last nine contests since December 31 despite their losing skid, dropping 13 points (5g, 8a) with three multi-point games and a pair of three-point outings. In his second season, Iacobellis has rifled to one of the best individual seasons in the ECHL so far, boasting the third-best assist (30) and point (46) totals while also sitting second in power play points (20) with 16 of those coming as assists.

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Idaho Steelheads 41 26 12 1 2 55 .671
Tulsa Oilers 43 23 14 4 2 52 .605
Utah Grizzlies 40 24 12 3 1 52 .650
Wichita Thunder 42 17 17 5 3 42 .500
Kansas City Mavericks 39 19 17 2 1 41 .526
Rapid City Rush 44 16 22 3 3 38 .432
Allen Americans 45 14 27 2 2 32 .356

Next Game: The Steelheads finish the road portion of their season set with the Thunder on Sunday, Jan. 27 at 3:05 p.m. from Intrust Bank Arena. Coverage begins at 2:45 p.m. on 1350AM KITK and ECHL TV.

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Utah Grizzlies
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Wednesday, February 28th
Utah Grizzlies @ Idaho Steelheads
Puck Drops:
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Friday, March 1st
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Saturday, March 2nd
Utah Grizzlies @ Idaho Steelheads
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM MST
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