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PREVIEW: Game #55 – Steelheads vs. Oilers

Saturday, February 23rd
PREVIEW: Game #55 – Steelheads vs. Oilers

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (33-17-4) VS. TULSA OILERS (30-20-6)

SATURDAY, FEB. 23, 2019 | 7:10 P.M.CENTURYLINK ARENA | BOISE, IDRADIO: 1350AM KTIK | TV: CABLEONE CH. 72 | STREAM: ECHL TV

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads finish their season series with the Tulsa Oilers and close the home stand tonight from CenturyLink Arena.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads have taken a one win edge in the season series heading into the final meeting, owning a 5-3-1 record through nine games. The win last night also gives the Steelheads their first weekend win over the Oilers on the season and the chance for the first three-game win streak for either team head-to-head. Overall, the Steelheads are 15-6-1 against the Oilers in the ECHL franchise series.

Last Night: The Steelheads took control early during their 6-3 win over the Oilers on Friday night from CenturyLink Arena. Steelheads forward Zach Franko (4:38 1st) opened the scoring with his first pro goal to take a 1-0 lead. Steelheads defenseman Brady Norrish (13:51 1st; 4:09 2nd) tallied twice to triple the lead before forward Henrik Samuelsson (PP, 6:12 2nd) scored his first of two goals on a rebound for a 4-0 lead. Oilers forward Jared Thomas (12:43 2nd) broke the shutout before Samuelsson (18:19 2nd) earned his second tally for a 5-1 lead. The Oilers scored two more from forward Alex Globke (2:33 3rd) and defenseman Eric Drapluk (3:36 3rd) to bring the road side within two, 5-3. However, Steelheads defenseman Charlie Dodero (PP, 5:46 3rd) spread the lead back to its eventual final score, 6-3. Tomas Sholl (19-9-0) saved a career-high 50 of 53 shots in the win, while Keegan Asmundson (2-6-1) stopped 22 of 28 shots in the loss.

The Final Countdown: The Steelheads officially begin the fourth quarter of the 2018-19 season after a strong surge late in the frame to pick up a solid finish. Overall, the Steelheads owned a 11-6-1 record in their last 18 games, earning 23 points and slotting their second-best quarter, following up quarter two’s impressive 28 points (14-4-0). The Steelheads ended the third quarter the same way they started: wins in four of five games with the bulk coming in a homestand. The Steelheads will play 10 of their 18 final games away from CenturyLink Arena, where they are 13-12-0-1 and share the second-most road wins in the Mountain Division.

Mojo Flowing: The Steelheads have had another successful homestand still with one game remaining, earning points in all five games thus far with a 4-0-1 record. In the home run, the Steelheads are averaging just 2.20 goals against per game while also scoring 11 goals in their last two games to spread away from their run of one-goal games. Additionally, their scoring percentage has been strong, posting a 18.6% conversion rate against Tulsa and 11.4% rate overall in five games, which sits above the league’s season average (10.1%). The Steelheads have matched a season-high five-game point streak and seven-game home point run heading into the final game of their six-contest homestand.

Doubling Up: Thanks to a pair of two goals nights from Brady Norrish and Henrik Samuelsson, the Steelheads have showcased an impressive number of multi-goal games and multi-point nights. With those two performances, the Steelheads now have 20 different occasions with multi-goal nights spread across 10 players with Norrish and Samuelsson earning their first of the season. However, none of those 20 instances included a hat-trick, and it’s the first multi-goal game since February 1 in Allen with Alex Dahl and Elgin Pearce each getting a two-goal night. The Steelheads have had a multi-goal game in 15 of their 54 games (27.8%).

Sholl In The Wall: Steelheads goaltender Tomas Sholl had an impressive performance in last night’s win with a career-best 50 saves. Though his three-game streak with two goals allowed or less ended in the victory, the Bowling Green State University product broke his previous high of 44 saves from January 5 against Tulsa (4-2 W) as well as April 4, 2018 against Tulsa (4-1 W). In fact, it’s the first time he’s faced 50 or more shots in a game since Mar. 23, 2013 with the Fresno Monsters (NAHL), stopping 46 of 50 shots in a 4-2 loss to Wenatchee, and it’s the second 50-save effort of his career including juniors, stopping 50 of 54 shots on Mar. 8, 2013 with Fresno in a 4-1 loss to Kenai River. Sholl now sits sixth in Steelheads career wins (28) and sits second in the ECHL in save percentage (.928) as well as third in wins (19) and goals-against average (2.24).

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Idaho Steelheads 54 33 17 2 2 70 .648
Utah Grizzlies 52 31 16 4 1 67 .644
Tulsa Oilers 56 30 20 4 2 66 .589
Kansas City Mavericks 51 27 20 3 1 58 .569
Wichita Thunder 56 21 26 6 3 51 .455
Rapid City Rush 56 21 27 5 3 50 .446
Allen Americans 56 18 32 4 2 42 .375

Next Game: The Steelheads open a three-game weekend with the Kansas City Mavericks on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 6:05 p.m. from Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence, Mizz. Coverage begins at 5:45 p.m. on 1350AM KITK and ECHL TV.

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