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PREVIEW: Game #53 – Steelheads vs. Oilers

Wednesday, February 20th
PREVIEW: Game #53 – Steelheads vs. Oilers

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (31-17-4) VS. TULSA OILERS (30-18-6)

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 20, 2019 | 7:10 P.M.CENTURYLINK ARENA | BOISE, IDRADIO: 1350AM KTIK | TV: CABLEONE CH. 72 | STREAM: ECHL TV

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads open a three-game weekend against the Tulsa Oilers from CenturyLink Arena.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads last met the Oilers at CenturyLink Arena in early November with the Oilers taking two of three games with the final game finishing in overtime. This season, the Oilers and Steelheads have split their road portion, but the Steelheads own a 3-3-1 record with three games remaining. Overall, the Steelheads boast a 13-6-1 record against the Oilers in their ECHL franchise series.

Last Game: The Steelheads earned one point in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Rapid City Rush on Saturday night from CenturyLink Arena. After Rush forwards Michael Turner (12:31 1st) and Darby Llewellyn (PP, 18:05 1st) to take an early 2-0 lead, forward Alex Dahl (9:20 2nd) began the push back to cut the lead in half before forward Eglin Pearce (12:59 2nd) tied the game, 2-2, and eventually forced overtime. In the extra period, Rush forward Tyler Poulsen (2:13 OT) scored the final goal to take the 3-2 overtime result. Adam Carlson (14-13-5) saved 34 of 36 shots in the win, while Ryan Faragher (7-4-2) halted 38 of 41 turned away 38 of 41 shots in the overtime loss.

Home Groove: Despite dropping Saturday’s overtime result, the Steelheads are on a simmering stretch, earning points in five-straight games at CenturyLink Arena with a 4-0-1 record. Expanding to December 22, the Steelheads have wins in eight of 10 games when playing in Boise with their lone losses coming on January 16 (3-2 L vs. Allen) and Saturday (3-2 OTL vs. Rapid City). The five-game home point streak is their second-longest of the season, trailing only their seven-game run from November 10 through December 7, when they earned a 6-0-1 record and six-straight wins following an overtime loss to Tulsa. On the season, the Steelheads are 18-5-2-1, earning points in 80.8% of their home games (21-of-26).

Playing Close: After a long stretch of expanded results, the Steelheads are back to playing numerous close games as the regular season starts to approach. The Steelheads have played in three-straight one-goal games as well as four in their last five contests, going 2-1-1 in those scenarios while earning a 4-1-1 record during their last six home games, all one-goal contests. Saturday was the first post-regulation loss since November 14 and first overtime loss since November 10, and in that time the Steelheads boasted a 11-3-0 record in games separated by one goal. Overall, the Steelheads are 16-8-2-2 in one-goal games with just over half of their total wins (16-of-31, 516%) in that scenario.

Rolling In The Deep: The Steelheads saw two players on Saturday breach the 10-goal mark on the season, now owning seven players with at least a decade’s worth of tallies. Across the ECHL, there are 17 of 27 teams with at least seven 10-goal scores, however with Elgin Pearce’s tally on Saturday night the Steelheads became one of three teams with 12 players boasting at least 20 points, joining Cincinnati and Wheeling as the lone three teams with that designation. 10 of the 12 Steelheads players are on the active roster, and three skaters are defensemen (Gluchowski, King, Norrish).

Good Disparity: With 20 games remaining in the 2018-19 regular season, the Steelheads are lined up with one of the better records across the ECHL, and a lot of that has to do with good offense and sound defense. The Steelheads own a +30 goal differential, which is fifth in the league and second in the Mountain Division, only trailing Utah (+32) in the seven-team division. The top-four teams in the ECHL all own the best goal differentials (Cincinnati, +80; Florida, +77; Newfoundland, +51; Utah, +32) with two outlier teams sitting above Idaho in the league standings (Toledo, +14; Tulsa, +17). The Steelheads are tied for sixth in the ECHL with Tulsa.

Trending Up: Since the last time the Steelheads saw the Tulsa Oilers, the opposing team has continued their streaky trend though has seen an uptick again recently. The Oilers played five games in a seven-day span (including a rescheduled game), and the team won four of those five contests with the latter three coming at BOK Center in Tulsa. The Oilers have won five of their last seven games since the start of February following a stretch of losses in four of six games to close January. Since their last meeting on January 6, the Oilers have earned a 12-6-0 record. By comparison, the Steelheads were 11-6-1 in that same frame.

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Utah Grizzlies 51 31 15 4 1 67 .657
Tulsa Oilers 54 30 18 4 2 66 .611
Idaho Steelheads 52 31 17 2 2 66 .635
Kansas City Mavericks 49 26 19 3 1 56 .571
Rapid City Rush 54 21 25 5 3 50 .464
Wichita Thunder 54 20 25 6 3 49 .454
Allen Americans 55 17 32 4 2 40 .364

Next Game: The Steelheads continue their three-game weekend against the Tulsa Oilers on Friday, Feb. 22 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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