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PREVIEW: Game #56 – Steelheads @ Mavericks

Wednesday, February 27th
PREVIEW: Game #56 – Steelheads @ Mavericks

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (33-18-4) @ KANSAS CITY MAVERICKS (27-21-4)

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 27, 2019 | 6:05 P.M.SILVERSTEIN EYE CENTERS ARENARADIO: 93.1 FM KTIK | STREAM: ECHL TV

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads open their first trip to Missouri to take on the Kansas City Mavericks from Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads met the Mavericks in December and took all three games, outscoring them 11-3 and extending their win streak to five games against the Mavericks. The Steelheads need one win to claim the season series outright and have won seven of nine games head-to-head, earning a 7-2-0 record in the ECHL franchise series.

Last Game: The Steelheads slipped 5-1 to the Tulsa Oilers in the final game of the homestand on Saturday night from CenturyLink Arena. The Oilers flipped the script of the previous games with two goals in the first period from forwards Ryan Tesink (10:51 1st) and Adam Pleskach (15:56 1st) to take a 2-0 lead. Steelheads forward Elgin Pearce (19:54 1st) cut the lead in half, 2-1, before the end of the period, but the Oilers tacked on three more goals in the third period starting with Oilers defenseman Eric Drapluk (PP, 15:14 3rd) to spread the lead back to 3-1. Pleskach (EN, 18:40 3rd) and Tesink (19:07 3rd) added two insurance goals for the 5-1 win. Keegan Asmundson (3-6-1) saved 23 of 24 shots in the win, while Ryan Faragher (7-5-2) halted 35 of 39 shots in the loss.

Home, Sweet Home: The Steelheads closed a two-week homestand on Saturday on a sour note but still boasted a strong record during their six-game stretch. The Steelheads finished with points in five of six games, going 4-1-1 with wins in back-to-back Wednesday and Friday nights. The homestand helped the Steelheads match both a season-high five-game point streak (4-0-1), joining their five-game win streak from December 22 through January 5, as well as a seven-game home point streak (6-0-1) that was initially set from November 10 through December 7. The Steelheads are 20-6-2-1 (.743) at CenturyLink Arena this season, which is best in the Mountain Division and third-best in the ECHL, only trailing Cincinnati (.889) and Florida (.769).

Power Outage: The Steelheads had difficulty keeping their momentum throughout the homestand but still remain one of the better teams on the road. In six games, the Steelheads only scored on the power play in one game, going 2-for-17 (11.8%) in that stretch and now have just three games with power play goals in 12 games at home since the start of 2019. However, the team’s road power play continues to be strong, scoring goals in five of their last six games since January 27, going 6-for-34 (17.6%) and improving to fifth in the ECHL in road percentage (23.9%). The Steelheads are eighth overall (18.6%) but 24th at home (13.3%).

Low Five, High Five: For the sixth time this season, the Steelheads allowed a season-high five goals in a game in Saturday’s loss, but results like those are more outliers compared to more positve results. It’s the first five-goal allowance since December 31 (22 games) when the Steelheads won 6-5 in Rapid City, and the Steelheads on the season have points in three of six games in this scenario with a 2-3-1 record. The Steelheads have a losing record only when they allow more than four goals but have never allowed more than five goals, meeting that in 17 of 55 games (31.0%) with a 6-10-1 record in that instance. On the flipside, the Steelheads have scored four or more goals in 23 of 55 games (41.8%) and have never lost in regulation, going 22-0-1 when scoring that amount.

Pear-ed For Points: Steelheads forward Elgin Pearce had a healthy dose of points during the team’s recent homestand, including the lone goal in Saturday’s loss. The Canadian forward has three points in two games and points in four of his last five contests, posting five points (3g, 2a) and one of his better stretches of the year. This is the second four-of-five game point stretch, joining his four-point effort (2g, 2a) from January 18 to January 27 as well as his four-game point streak (1g, 3a) from January 5 through January 11. Pearce now owns 24 points (11g, 13a) through 41 games this year along with 74 points (34g, 40a) through 102 ECHL games.

Will-He-Is: Mavericks defenseman Willie Raskob has been rewarded for his defensive contributions with more points during the team’s last two weeks. The Hastings, Minn., native has points in each of his last four games, posting five points (2g, 3a) since February 18 and contributing to both goals in Saturday’s home loss to Kalamazoo. This is the fourth point streak of the season and his longest since his five-game stretch from October 20 through November 2 when he posted six assists. Raskob owns 35 points (6g, 29a) through 50 games this season, sitting sixth among ECHL defensemen in scoring, tied for third in defensive assists and tied for fourth in defensive power play points (15).

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Idaho Steelheads 55 33 18 2 2 70 .636
Tulsa Oilers 57 31 20 4 2 68 .596
Utah Grizzlies 54 31 17 4 2 68 .630
Kansas City Mavericks 52 27 21 3 1 58 .558
Rapid City Rush 57 22 27 5 3 52 .456
Wichita Thunder 57 21 27 6 3 51 .447
Allen Americans 58 20 32 4 2 46 .397

Next Game: The Steelheads and Mavericks continue their weekend on Friday, Mar. 1 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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