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PREVIEW: Game #48 – Steelheads @ Grizzlies

Friday, February 8th
PREVIEW: Game #48 – Steelheads @ Grizzlies

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (29-15-3) @ UTAH GRIZZLIES (28-13-4-1)

FRIDAY, FEB. 8, 2019 | 7:05 P.M.MAVERIK CENTER | WEST VALLEY CITY, UTRADIO: 93.1FM KTIK | STREAM: ECHL TV

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads play the midway game of their three-game series against the Utah Grizzlies from Maverik Center.

Head-To-Head: With just five games remaining in the 15-game season series, the Steelheads and Grizzlies once again are split down the middle in the season series at five wins each with two of the five Steelheads wins coming in overtime. In the final five games, four of those games will come at Maverik Center and six of the final seven total games. The Steelheads own a 97-47-24 record in the ECHL franchise series.

Last Game: The Steelheads slipped 4-1 to the Grizzlies on Wednesday night from Maverik Center. Grizzlies forward Julien Nantel (2:09 1st) opened the scoring early to take a 1-0 lead followed by the lone answer from the Steelheads thanks to forward Kyle Schempp (16:45 1st) to tie the game, 1-1. The Grizzlies edged ahead on the second goal from Nantel (PP, 13:41 2nd) and ensured the game with goals from forward Mike Economos (2:21 3rd) and forward Ryan Walters (PP, 17:51 3rd) at a 4-1 win. Kevin Carr (15-5-3) halted 19 of 20 shots in the win, while Tomas Sholl (15-8-0) turned away 24 of 28 shots in the loss.

Road Tripping: The Steelheads have two games remaining in their season-long nine-game, three-week road trip and need just one win to finish with a positive record. Overall, the Steelheads have dropped the opening game in all three attempts when starting a two or three game weekend, however the Steelheads are 3-0-0 in games following that loss during the weekend and have scored four goals or more in all three of those games. The Steelheads have not lost back-to-back games on the road since November 3 and 4 (15 games) and still own the second-most road wins (13) in the ECHL.

Rebound & Down: Over the course of the season, the Steelheads have done well in rebound games during a weekend set and also specifically on Friday nights. The Steelheads have not lost back-to-back games since November 10 and 14, owning a 7-0-0 record since then in the immediate game following a loss and 11-4-2 on the year in that situation. The Steelheads have also won three-straight Friday night games and four-straight when part of a three-game weekend while going 9-5-1 on the season in all Friday games.

Grizzled Down: For just the second time during this road trip, the Steelheads were outshot by their opposition with both games against the Grizzlies. The 20-shot output on Wednesday night was the lowest of the season, breaking their two-time mark of 21 shots done on December 21 and 22 against Utah. In fact, the Steelheads have averaged 26.20 shots per game against the Grizzlies compared to 32.49 shots per game overall this season and have also been held to 25 shots or less in three of their last four meetings. The Steelheads average 32.71 shots per game so far on their road trip through seven games.

Dahl To The Wall: Steelheads forward Alex Dahl has become the hottest player during the last few games, picking up another assist in Wednesday’s loss. The assist gives the Eau Claire, Wisc., native his third three-game point streak of the season with four points (2g, 2a) as well as six points (2g, 4a) over his last five games, gaining points in four of those contests. The assist also moved Dahl into a share of his career-high assist total (10), which was set last season, in seven fewer games. He has already tripled his goal total from his rookie season and a point away from reaching the second decade mark, boasting 19 points (9g, 10a) in 35 games this season.

Walters White (Hot): Grizzlies forward Ryan Walters has been the most potent scorer in their immediate stretch heading into this homestand. In his last three games, the Rosemount, Minn., product has five goals in his last three games, securing his first three-game goal streak of the season and his best since last season’s three-game goal streak from February 28 through March 3, during which he also scored five goals. After back-to-back seasons of either at or just under a point-per-game, Walters have slid off that same pace this season with 32 points (12g, 20a) through 42 games, putting him on-pace for a career-low 0.765 points per game clip and 52 total points. However, he also owns 265 points (115g, 150a) through 293 ECHL games since 2014-15, which is .904 points per game.

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Idaho Steelheads 47 29 15 1 2 61 .649
Utah Grizzlies 46 28 13 4 1 61 .663
Tulsa Oilers 49 26 17 4 2 58 .592
Kansas City Mavericks 43 22 18 2 1 47 .547
Wichita Thunder 46 19 20 5 3 46 .489
Rapid City Rush 49 18 24 4 3 43 .439
Allen Americans 51 16 29 4 2 38 .373

Next Game: The Steelheads close their nine-game road trip and the weekend against the Grizzlies on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 7:05 p.m. from Maverik Center. Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. on 1350AM KITK and ECHL TV.

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