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PREVIEW: Game #49 – Steelheads @ Grizzlies

Saturday, February 9th
PREVIEW: Game #49 – Steelheads @ Grizzlies

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (29-16-3) @ UTAH GRIZZLIES (29-13-4-1)

SATURDAY, FEB. 9, 2019 | 7:05 P.M.MAVERIK CENTER | WEST VALLEY CITY, UTRADIO: 93.1FM KTIK | STREAM: ECHL TV

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads close their three-game weekend against the Utah Grizzlies and their nine-game road trip at Maverik Center.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads and Grizzlies have four games remaining in the 15-game season series, and the Grizzlies have taken the lead with six wins compared to Idaho’s five victories. Three of the final four games of the series will take place in Utah with the final three meetings coming in the final three days of the regular season. The two sides have gone to overtime twice: October 19 & 27 (both Idaho wins). The Steelheads are 97-48-24 overall against the Grizzlies in the ECHL franchise series.

Last Night: The Steelheads made a late push but fell 4-3 to the Grizzlies on Friday night from Maverik Center. Grizzlies forward J.T. Henke (15:10 1st) claimed the only opening frame goal to take a 1-0 lead before Steelheads forward Reid Petryk (2:17 2nd) answered to tie the game at 1-1. Henke (PP, 11:48 2nd) and Grizzlies defenseman Turner Ottenbreit (18:32 2nd) re-gained then doubled the lead, 3-1, before a late game press. Steelheads forward Steve McParland (PP, 11:43 3rd) brought the road side within one before Grizzlies forward Caleb Herbert (EN, 18:49 3rd) doubled the lead again, 4-2. Despite a late goal by Steelheads forward A.J. White (EA, 19:29 3rd) and a last-second effort, the Grizzlies won 4-3. Kevin Carr (16-5-2) halted 20 of 23 shots in the win, while Tomas Sholl (15-9-0) saved 30 of 33 shots in the loss.

Road Tripping: The Steelheads enter their final game of the season-long nine-game, three-week road trip looking to finish the stretch above .500. So far, the Steelheads own a 4-4-0 record though dropping three of their last five games over two weeks including their first game following a loss since November 14. Last was the first time the Steelheads scored three goals or more in a loss since November 10 and have only lost three-straight games once: November 2-4 to finish their six-game, 12-day road trip. In that trip, the Steelheads went 2-4-0 before beginning their run up the Mountain Division standings.

Slow Starts: For the third-straight game, the Steelheads have conceded the game’s opening goal, and two of those three contests have come with losses. Over the road trip, the Steelheads have allowed the opening tally in five of their eight games so far with their three leading goals coming on January 21 in Utah (7-4 W), January 30 in Allen (4-2) and February 1 in Allen (6-3 W). In fact, the Steelheads have trailed after the first goal in eight of 12 games os far in the third quarter of the season. In that scenario, the Steelheads own a 12-12-0-1 record on the season.

Power Grid: The road trip has helped the Steelheads rekindle their power play scoring, and another tally last night increases their recent stretch. With a 1-for-5 effort, the Steelheads now have power play goals in five of their last six games, boasting a 6-for-34 (17.6%) conversion rate, and though it sits below their season average, the production has slowly given the Steelheads a better position among ECHL teams on the season. Still with a 19.1% conversion rate on the season, the Steelheads now sit in sixth among ECHL teams and rising back to their ranking since the start of the road trip. On the trip, the Steelheads are 6-for-40 (15.0%) on the power play. 

The Brady Bunch: Steelheads defenseman Brady Norrish has been heating up again toward the tail end of the road trip. His two-assist night was second multi-point effort in his last three games and first two-helper night since October 14 in Tulsa (5-4 SOW). He now has points in three of his last four games (1-4–5) as well as four of six contests since January 27. The Strongfield, Sask., native is the second Steelheads defenseman to reach 20 points on the season with 21 points (8g, 13a) through 31 games, joining Nolan Gluchowski with 28 points (7g, 21) through 35 games.

The New J.T.: Grizzlies forward J.T. Henke led the way for Utah last night with a pair of goals in the win as his breakout season continues. The Trenton, Mich., product is on a four-game point streak, tallying six points (2g, 4a) to start February, which is tied for his second-longest streak since his eight-game stretch from December 14 through January 4 with 13 points (6g, 7a). His two-goal night is his fifth of the season but first since December 29 (18 games), when he netted his fourth-straight two-goal night. On the season, Henke owns 31 points (15g, 16a) through 30 games with the fifth-best shooting percentage among ECHL rookies (20.8%).

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Utah Grizzlies 47 29 13 4 1 63 .670
Idaho Steelheads 48 29 16 1 2 61 .635
Tulsa Oilers 49 26 17 4 2 58 .592
Kansas City Mavericks 44 23 18 2 1 49 .557
Wichita Thunder 47 19 21 5 3 46 .479
Rapid City Rush 50 19 24 4 3 45 .450
Allen Americans 52 16 30 4 2 38 .365

Next Game: The Steelheads open a six-game homestand on Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 7:10 p.m. from CenturyLink Arena, starting a three-game weekend against the Rapid City Rush. Tickets are available by calling 208-383-0080 or going to idahosteelheads.com. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on 1350AM KITK and at 7:00 p.m. on CableOne Ch. 72 and ECHL TV.

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