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PREVIEW: Game #43 – Steelheads @ Thunder

Sunday, January 27th
PREVIEW: Game #43 – Steelheads @ Thunder

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (26-13-3) VS. WICHITA THUNDER (18-17-8)

SUNDAY, JAN. 27, 2019 | 3:05 P.M.INTRUST BANK ARENA | WICHITA, KSRADIO: 1350AM KTIK | STREAM: ECHL TV

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads close the road portion of their season series with the Wichita Thunder from Intrust Bank Arena.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads have dropped both games so far in their six-game season series by a 3-2 scoreline at Intrust Bank Arena. The Thunder have won four of their six games against the Steelheads during their franchise series, and they can earn at least a share of the season series with a win today. The Steelheads own a 3-3-2 record against the Thunder and are 2-3-1 at Intrust Bank Arena.

Last Night: The Steelheads fought back late but fell 3-2 to the Thunder on Saturday night from Intrust Bank Arena. Thunder defenseman Travis Brown (0:14 1st) opened the scoring early to jump out ahead 1-0 before Steelheads forward Elgin Pearce (16:00 1st) leveled the scoreline, 1-1. The two sides went back and forth again with Thunder forward Ryan Van Stralen (1:17 2nd) and Steelheads forward Brad McClure (3:45 2nd) trading goals before Thunder forward Lane Bauer (7:52 2nd) edged back ahead, 3-2, which would hold through the rest of the game. Dylan Wells (8-3-2) saved 34 of 36 shots in the win, while Tomas Sholl (15-6-0) halted 22 of 25 shots in the loss.

Road Tripping: The Steelheads are in the first full weekend of their nine-game road trip, splitting their first two games starting on Monday afternoon in Utah. This is the longest road trip of the season for the Steelheads, 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 7-6-1 combined record against these three teams this season.

Squeaky Clean: For just the second time this season, the Steelheads only conceded two power plays on our penalties in a relatively clean game. The last time the Steelheads allowed two penalties came on December 7 against the Utah Grizzlies, coincidentally also the opening tally of the game allowed within the first 20 seconds of the game (Ryan Misiak, 0:19 1st) but coming in a 4-2 win. Combined 10 penalty minutes is the lowest since the six combined minutes also on December 7. The Steelheads have now played five games with only two penalty kills.

Shempolition Man: Steelheads forward Kyle Schempp has kept a steady stream of production over the last two weeks with another assist last night. With the helper, the Saginaw, Mich., native is on a four-game assist streak, his second of the season, with one assist in each game. A point this afternoon would push Schempp into a share of his longest point streak of the year standing at five games (December 22 through January 5) when he earned five points (1g, 4a). He owns 21 points (7g, 14a) through 40 games this season, officially setting a new ECHL-high in assists and points over his 2016-17 campaign with the Kansas City Mavericks in four fewer games.

Rumbling Along: Following their early month skid, the Thunder have won three-straight games heading into their final game of the month. It’s the third winning streak of the season with the previous streak coming before their recent eight-game skid, and it’s two games fewer than their longest streak of the year at five games from December 1-9. So far, the Thunder are averaging 4.33 goals per game, which is the best of their previous streaks, despite averaging 27.00 shots per game. Additionally, it’s only the third time this year that they’ve had back-to-back home wins with the second instance leading to a six-game home win streak from November 27 through December 29.

Into The Well: Thunder goaltender Dylan Wells has picked up the mantle in the back half of his rookie season with an impressive run continued in last night’s win. The St. Catharines, Ont., native has now won eight consecutive games since late November, suffering his last loss on November 21 against Tulsa (5-2 L). In that time, he has held opponents to two goals or less in even of eight contests after doing so only once in his opening six contests while also facing 30 or more shots in six of eight games. Wells started the season with a 0-3-2 record and now leads the Thunder in goals-against average (2.78) and save percentage (.915).

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Idaho Steelheads 42 26 13 1 2 55 .655
Tulsa Oilers 44 24 14 4 2 54 .614
Utah Grizzlies 41 24 13 3 1 52 .634
Wichita Thunder 43 18 17 5 3 44 .512
Kansas City Mavericks 40 19 17 2 1 43 .538
Rapid City Rush 45 17 22 3 3 40 .444
Allen Americans 46 14 28 2 2 32 .348

Next Game: The Steelheads open a three-game weekend with the Allen Americans on Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 6:05 p.m. from Allen Events Center. Coverage begins at 5:45 p.m. on 1350AM KITK and ECHL TV.

Upcoming Home Games

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

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