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PREVIEW: Game #51 – Steelheads vs. Rush

Friday, February 15th
PREVIEW: Game #51 – Steelheads vs. Rush

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (30-17-3) VS. RAPID CITY RUSH (20-24-8)

FRIDAY, FEB. 15, 2019 | 7:10 P.M.CENTURYLINK ARENA | BOISE, IDRADIO: 93.1FM KTIK | TV: CABLEONE CH. 72 | STREAM: ECHL TV

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads continue their three-game weekend with game two against the Rapid City Rush from CenturyLink Arena.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads have now won five-straight games against the Rush since November 24 and claimed their second-straight overtime win at CenturyLink Arena, joining their 2-1 overtime win on November 17. The Steelheads won three of four games at home this season over the Rush. On the season, the Steelheads are 8-1-1 in their 17-game season series with a chance to claim the series outright with one win over their final seven games. The Steelheads are now 34-11-4 against the Rush and have won 19 of their last 23 meetings.

Last Game: The Steelheads opened their homestand with a 3-2 overtime win over the Rush on Wednesday night from CenturyLink Arena. Steelheads forward Henrik Samuelsson (4:17 1st) notched the opening goal in his first game back, and forward Kyle Schempp (5:54 1st) followed up less than two minutes later to take a 2-0 lead. With the netminder pulled, Rush defensemen Chris Leibinger (EA, 18:37 3rd) and Riley Weselowski (PP EA, 19:51 3rd) willed the road side into overtime, 2-2. Steelheads forward Charlie Dodero (1:58 OT) was the last player to touch the puck before being batted into the Rush net and helped claim the 3-2 overtime win. Tomas Sholl (16-9-0) halted 25 of 27 shots in the win, while Adam Carlson (13-13-5) saved 29 of 32 shots in the overtime loss.

Home Cooking: The Steelheads broke a three-game losing skid by returning to the comfortable confines of their home rink. The Steelheads have now won three-straight games at CenturyLink Arena, including three-straight games all with overtime victories, as well as seven of their last eight games at home since December 22. Overall, the Steelheads are one of just seven teams with at least 17 wins at home and own the fewest home regulation losses in the Mountain Division (five). With a 17-5-1-1 home record, the Steelheads own the third-best home point percentage (.750) in the ECHL, only trailing the Cincinnati Cyclones (.870) and Florida Everblades (.792), the top-two teams in the ECHL standings.

Overtime Masters: The Steelheads racked up their third-straight win at home, all coming in overtime, in Wednesday’s weekend opener, continuing one of the strongest parts of their game. After starting the season with a 3-2 post-regulation record, the Steelheads have won six-straight games ending in overtime and seven-straight post-regulation results since November 17 with four of their eight total overtime wins coming in a 3-2 scoreline. The Steelheads are 8-1 in games ending in overtime and now 10-3 overall after the third period, becoming the first team in the ECHL this year to reach 10 post-regulation wins while leading the league in overtime victories. The Steelheads own a share of the fourth-most post-regulation games in the ECHL and sit second in win percentage (.769), only trailing the Maine Mariners (6-1, .857).

Early Starts: After having difficulty getting an early start in their road trip, the Steelheads returned home with the opening two goals in Wednesday’s game. It’s the first time since February 1 that the Steelheads have struck first and just the fifth time in their last 11 games, winning four of those five contests. The number of opening goals is down from the second quarter of the season, during which the Steelheads struck first in 11 of 18 games and owned a 9-2-0 record in those contests. On the season, the Steelheads are 18-4-2 when scoring the game’s opening goal, which is in the top-10 among ECHL teams. The Steelheads have scored first in nine of their first 10 games as well as five-straight contests against Rapid City, owning a 7-1-0 record in those games.

The Road Ahead: The Rapid City Rush are in the midst of a stretch with nine of 11 games on the road, heading into game eight of nine away from Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. In that time, the Rush have points in seven of nine games, posting a 4-2-3 record along with a 2-2-3 record specifically on the road. Five of their nine games have gone into post-regulation play with all three ending in overtime resulting as losses. The Rush haven’t won in overtime since November 3 in Tulsa, dropping four-straight in the process. The Rush own the most overtime games in the ECHL (17), and their road wins (10) is tied for ninth-fewest across the ECHL and tied for fifth-best among Mountain Division teams with Allen.

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Utah Grizzlies 48 30 13 4 1 65 .677
Idaho Steelheads 50 30 17 1 2 63 .630
Tulsa Oilers 51 28 17 4 2 62 .608
Kansas City Mavericks 46 24 19 2 1 51 .554
Rapid City Rush 52 20 24 5 3 48 .462
Wichita Thunder 50 19 22 6 3 47 .470
Allen Americans 52 16 30 4 2 38 .365

Next Game: The Steelheads finish their three-game weekend against the Rush on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 7:10 p.m. from CenturyLink Arena. 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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