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PREVIEW: Game #45 – Steelheads @ Americans

Friday, February 1st
PREVIEW: Game #45 – Steelheads @ Americans

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (27-14-3) @ ALLEN AMERICANS (15-28-5)

FRIDAY, FEB. 1, 2019 | 6:05 P.M.ALLEN EVENT CENTER | ALLEN, TXRADIO: 93.1FM KTIK | STREAM: ECHL TV

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads continue their three-game weekend against the Allen Americans from Allen Event Center.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads and Americans have split the first four games of their six-game series, however the Americans have the edge with both losses coming in overtime. This is the second week of three that these two teams meet this season. Last year, the Steelheads also split their season set with the Americans and own a 12-7-3 regular season record head-to-head in the franchise series.

Last Game: The Steelheads fell short of a comeback bid in a 4-2 loss to the Americans on Friday night from Allen Event Center. Steelheads defenseman Jeff King (0:45 1st) opened the scoring on the first shot of the game to take an early 1-0 lead. The Americans scored three-straight goals through all three periods starting with one from forward Adam Miller (5:50 1st) followed by goals from forwards Alexandre Ranger (1:22 2nd) and Spencer Asuchak (PP, 13:02 3rd) to bounce ahead, 3-1. Steelheads forward A.J. White (PP, 16:25 3rd) started the comeback bid with a late tally to draw within one, 3-2. However, Asuchak (EN, 18:30 3rd) sealed the 4-2 win with a late goal. C.J. Motte (13-12-5) halted 26 of 28 shots in the win, while Tomas Sholl (15-7-0) turned aside 19 of 22 shots in the loss.

Road Tripping: The Steelheads are at the midway game of their season-long nine-game, three-week road trip and in the middle of their three-game weekend in Allen. So far, the Steelheads have split their four results with an up-and-down pattern, but they’ve conceded four goals in three of their four games with only one win in that scenario. The Steelheads own a 11-10-1 record on the road this season and now own a 7-6-0 record against teams remaining on the road trip. The Steelheads have split their last six games on the road following three-straight wins in Rapid City to end the 2018 calendar year.

Jan, Jan, Jan: The Steelheads concluded their fourth of seven months in the regular season with a solid follow-up to a strong December. In January, the Steelheads owned a 8-4-0 record in 12 games with 16 points, which averages wins in two of every three games and only sits two points behind their record in December (9-2-0-0, 18 points). In their last two months, the Steelheads are 17-6-0 and have created separation in the top-three of the Mountain Division standings now with four-straight games atop the division. The Steelheads will play 12 games of the 28 total days in February with those contests split down the middle at home and on the road.

Limiting Errors: For the second time in three games, the Steelheads only allowed four penalty minutes and two opposing power plays for a relatively clean style in contrast to their season standing for penalty minutes. The Steelheads had the same minutes and penalty kill attempts on Saturday in Wichita as well as December 7 against the Utah Grizzlies in Idaho, however the Steelheads own a 1-2-0 record in that scenario. Over the season, the Steelheads have had six games with only two power play attempts allowed, going perfect in four of those six games and owning a 10-for-12 (83.3%) conversion rate in those scenarios.

Aye-Jay: Steelheads captain A.J. White is having a career season and on-pace to blow away previous season numbers. With his two-point night on Wednesday, the Dearborn, Mich., native broke a career-high in points while not only boosting his career-best assist total but also tied his career-high goal total with his power play tally in the third period. He is on-pace with a 70-game season to reach 57 points (16g, 41a), which nearly doubles his assist total from last season (24 assists) and is more points than his first two ECHL seasons combined (54 points). Currently, White owns 36 points (10g, 26a) while leading the Steelheads in assists and sharing second place in scoring while sitting third in rating (+15).

Uphill Climb: As the Allen Americans press for a late push into the postseason, they’ll have the benefit of playing most of their remaining games at home. Of the 24 games remaining in their schedule, they’ll play 19 games (79.2%) at Allen Event Center, meaning only five games will be played away from home with two in their next 11 games away from Texas. The Americans have earned points in eight of their last nine games, owning a 5-1-3 record since January 11 and are within 10 points of a playoff spot. However, with seven more games played than the Kansas City Mavericks, the potential gap increases to 24 points, which means the Americans would have to win every game remaining if the Mavericks go 12-12-0 in their final 24 games with wins in all seven games in-hand.

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Idaho Steelheads 44 27 14 1 2 57 .648
Tulsa Oilers 47 25 16 4 2 56 .596
Utah Grizzlies 43 26 13 3 1 56 .651
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 48 15 28 3 2 35 .365

Next Game: The Steelheads and Americans close their season series on Saturday, Feb. 2 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
Utah Grizzlies
UTA Utah Grizzlies
at
Idaho Steelheads
IDH Idaho Steelheads
Idaho Central Arena
Utah Grizzlies
Idaho Steelheads
Friday, March 1st
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
Utah Grizzlies
Idaho Steelheads
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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