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PREVIEW: Game #50 – Steelheads vs. Rush

Wednesday, February 13th
PREVIEW: Game #50 – Steelheads vs. Rush

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (29-17-3) VS. RAPID CITY RUSH (20-24-7)

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 13, 2019 | 7:10 P.M.CENTURYLINK ARENA | BOISE, IDRADIO: 93.1FM KTIK | TV: CABLEONE CH. 72 | STREAM: ECHL TV

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads open a six-game homestand and three-game, four-day weekend against the Rapid City Rush.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads have now won four-straight games against the Rush since November 24, all coming on the road. This will be the first time that the Steelheads host the Rush since their series-opening weekend from November 14 through November 17, and the Steelheads won two of three games in that set. On the season, the Steelheads are 7-1-1 in their 17-game season series with a chance to claim the series outright with at least two wins this weekend. The Steelheads are now 33-11-4 against the Rush and have won 18 of their last 22 meetings.

Last Game: The Steelheads battled but fell 4-2 to the Utah Grizzlies on Saturday night from Maverik Center. Grizzlies forwards Ryan Walters (6:17 1st) and Mitch Maxwell (8:48 1st) helped the home side jump out to a 2-0 lead before Steelheads defenseman Keegan Kanzig (PP, 8:11 2nd) deflected a shot to cut the lead in half, 2-1. Grizzlies forward Caleb Herbert (10:56 2nd) notched another tally followed by a goal from Steelheads forward Steve McParland (PP, 17:35 2nd), bringing the lead back to 3-2. Maxwell (EN, 19:14 3rd) scored a late goal to seal the 4-2 win. Kevin Carr (17-5-2) turned away 23 of 25 shots in the win, while Ryan Faragher (7-4-1) halted 18 of 21 shots in the loss.

Road Tripping: The Steelheads concluded their longest road trip of the season on Saturday night, falling in their final three games to finish with a 4-5-0 record over the last three weeks. The three-game losing skid is tied for the longest of the season and the first since November 9th to 14th spreading across two weeks and the second time this season the Steelheads dropped three-straight on a road weekend (November 2-4, Toledo & Kalamazoo. Overall, the Steelheads still own a positive road record, going 13-2-1 and holding a share of the most road wins in the Mountain Division (Utah). The Steelheads have just 11 road games remaining this season.

All Powered Up: The Steelheads power play finished the road stretch on the upward trend thanks to a second-straight 1-for-5 effort on Saturday night. With that, the Steelheads finished the road trip with power play goals in six of their last seven games, going 7-for-39 (17.9%) in that stretch, however the number of opportunities during the trip caused their overall average to slip slightly from the start of the road trip. The Steelheads remain at a 19.1% conversation rate on the season, which is tied for seventh in the ECHL, and sit fifth in the league for road power play conversions (23.9%). The Steelheads come home sitting 22nd in home power play success (13.5%).

Road Leaders: The Steelheads saw a spread of scoring across their three-week, nine-game road trip with one runaway leader and a lot of consistent production. Forward Steve McParland led all Steelheads in goals and scoring during the trip, tallying 13 points (7g, 6a) in nine games with four multi-point games and points in six of nine games. Forward Brad McClure, now with AHL Texas, averaged just over a point-per-game with eight points (2g, 6a) in seven games, and two more skaters averaged just under a point-per-game: defenseman Nolan Gluchowski (2+6=8) and forward A.J. White (2+6=8). Goaltender Ryan Faragher won three of his four games played despite dropping his final game on Saturday.

Howdy, Hank!: Forward Henrik Samuelsson returned to the Steelheads on Tuesday and is set to make his return to Idaho nearly a year to the date of his last ECHL appearance. The Pittsburgh, Penn., native recorded a three-point night on Feb. 10, 2018 against Colorado before signing a PTO with the Rockford IceHogs (AHL), which gives Samuelsson a four-game ECHL point streak of six points (1g, 5a) heading into his season debut. He earned points in seven of his last eight ECHL games, totaling 10 points (2g, 8a) since Jan. 26, 2018. In parts of two seasons with the IceHogs, Samuelsson owns 19 points (8, 8a) through 65 games  and owns 43 points (16g, 27a) in 49 games with the Steelheads in 2017-18.

The Playoff Path: The Rapid City Rush are crunching toward the playoff push with just 21 games remaining including tonight’s game. Currently, the Rush sit just four points out of fourth place and the final playoff spot, however the Kansas City Mavericks boast six games in-hand, meaning the Mavericks could potentially earn an extra 12 points and increase their lead to 16 points with 21 games remaining. Should that happen, the Rush need to win 19 of their final 21 games if the Mavericks go 11-10-0 during their path toward the postseason. However, the Mavericks play 16 of their final 27 games (59.3%) on the road, where they’ve earned a league-low five wins in 20 games away from Missouri. The Rush have won three-straight games heading into tonight's meeting.

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Utah Grizzlies 49 30 13 4 1 65 .677
Idaho Steelheads 49 29 17 1 2 61 .622
Tulsa Oilers 49 26 17 4 2 58 .592
Kansas City Mavericks 45 24 18 2 1 51 .567
Rapid City Rush 51 20 24 4 3 47 .461
Wichita Thunder 49 19 22 5 3 46 .469
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.

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Tulsa Oilers
Idaho Steelheads
Wednesday, March 20th
Tulsa Oilers @ Idaho Steelheads
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM MDT
Idaho Central Arena
Tulsa Oilers
TUL Tulsa Oilers
at
Idaho Steelheads
IDH Idaho Steelheads
Idaho Central Arena
Tulsa Oilers
Idaho Steelheads
Friday, March 22nd
Tulsa Oilers @ Idaho Steelheads
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM MDT
Idaho Central Arena
Tulsa Oilers
TUL Tulsa Oilers
at
Idaho Steelheads
IDH Idaho Steelheads
Idaho Central Arena
Tulsa Oilers
Idaho Steelheads
Saturday, March 23rd
Tulsa Oilers @ Idaho Steelheads
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM MDT
Idaho Central Arena
Tulsa Oilers
TUL Tulsa Oilers
at
Idaho Steelheads
IDH Idaho Steelheads
Idaho Central Arena

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