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PREVIEW: Game #44 – Steelheads @ Americans

Wednesday, January 30th
PREVIEW: Game #44 – Steelheads @ Americans

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (27-13-3) @ ALLEN AMERICANS (14-28-5)

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 30, 2019 | 6:05 P.M.ALLEN EVENT CENTER | ALLEN, TXRADIO: 93.1FM KTIK | STREAM: ECHL TV

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads open a three-game weekend set against the Allen Americans from Allen Event Center in game four of their nine-game road trip.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads took two of three games against the Americans two weeks ago, but the Americans did earn four of six points as well with a pair of overtime losses. The Steelheads and Americans split their season series last year with five wins each, and the Steelheads own a 12-6-3 record against the Americans in the franchise series.

Last Game: The Steelheads came back and earned a 5-4 win over the Wichita Thunder on Sunday evening from Intrust Bank Arena. Thunder forward P.C. Labrie (0:27 1st) scored early but Steelheads forward Spencer Naas (5:40 1st), Thunder defenseman Keoni Texeira (PP, 10:53 1st) and Steelheads forward Steve McParland (16:54 1st) answered in a see-saw period tied at 2-2. Steelheads defenseman Brady Norrish (10:18 2nd) scored the lone goal for the Steelheads but trailed 4-3 thanks to Wichita forward Jakob Stukel (9:28 2nd) and defenseman Travis Brown (PP, 16:55 2nd) heading into the third period. McParland (0:31 3rd) and Steelheads forward Brad McClure (PP, 3:07 3rd) pushed the Steelheads ahead, 5-4, and the team held on for the win. Ryan Faragher (6-3-1) halted all 10 shots in relief in the win, and Colton Point stopped 10 of 14 shots. Ty Rimmer (0-1-0) saved 29 of 32 shots in relief in the loss, and Dylan Wells turned aside 15 of 17 shots.

Road Tripping: The Steelheads head into the second week of their three-week, nine game road trip following a win on Sunday afternoon. So far, the Steelheads have scored five goals or more in both wins while averaging 4.67 goals per game while only allowing 28.67 shots per game and shooting 36.67 attempts per game. The Steelheads own a 7-5-0 against teams remaining on the road trip. Dating back to January 18, the Steelheads have won four of their last five games, and four of those contests have resulted in a one-goal differential, increasing their record to 13-7-1-2 after wins in three of those four results.

Sure McClure: Steelheads forward Brad McClure posted another goal in Sunday’s win, extending his recent scoring run and team-best scoring season. The Schreiber, Ont., native now has goals in four-straight games, which is the second time this season he’s expanded a goal stretch to that mark since December 22-31. In that time, he’s also scored two of the team’s three game-winning goals and jumped to the top of the team in power play points (13). He sits three goals away from breaking into the top-10 in Steelheads ECHL rookie goals scored in a single-season and leads the team in goals (18) while sharing the lead in points (36).

Mr. Consistency: Steelheads goaltender Ryan Faragher has been consistent in net over the last month and a half despite not gaining a large sample size. Since December 12, the Fort Frances, Ont., native has wins in five of his last six games including in three-straight contests while only conceding 10 goals in those five games and holding opponents away from scoring in three of five games. In two of his last three games, his perfect performance in relief (21 saves) has helped the Steelheads close wins in those contests. Faragher is 5-1-0 with a 2.11 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage with one shutout.

Chugging Along: Despite their current positioning in the Mountain Division, the Allen Americans have strung together points to claw their way back into the postseason conversation. Last week, the Americans dropped their seven-game point streak but have earned points in eight of nine games since January 11, recording a 5-1-3-0 record while earning points in five of six games against top divisional opponents. Eight of those total games also came away from Allen Event Center, and that six-game point streak is tied for fourth-best in the ECHL this season. Overall, the Americans have climbed from 18 points out of fourth place to 12 points out. However, the Kansas City Mavericks own six games in-hand over the Americans.

Dante’s Inferno: Americans forward Dante Salituro is humming offensively heading into this series as the most productive player as of late. Since January 13, the Willowdale, Ont., native is on a seven-game point streak, producing 11 points (3g, 8a) in that span with three multi-point games and two power play goals coming in the same game (Jan. 13 @ Wichita). This is his fourth point streak of the season with the previous two resulting in a four-game span and a maximum of six points. Salituro is three assists from tying his ECHL-high assist mark (25) set last season with Rapid City in 12 fewer games, tallying 32 points (10g, 22a) in 41 games while leading the team in assists and sharing second in scoring.

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Idaho Steelheads 43 27 13 1 2 57 .663
Tulsa Oilers 46 25 15 4 2 56 .609
Utah Grizzlies 42 25 13 3 1 54 .643
Kansas City Mavericks 41 21 17 2 1 45 .549
Wichita Thunder 44 18 18 5 3 44 .500
Rapid City Rush 47 17 23 4 3 41 .436
Allen Americans 47 14 28 3 2 33 .351

Next Game: The Steelheads and Americans continue their three-game weekend on Friday, Feb. 1 at 6:05 p.m. from Allen Events Center. Coverage begins at 5:45 p.m. on 1350AM KITK and ECHL TV.

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