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PREVIEW: Game #58 – Steelheads @ Mavericks

Saturday, March 2nd
PREVIEW: Game #58 – Steelheads @ Mavericks

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (34-19-4) @ KANSAS CITY MAVERICKS (28-22-4)

SATURDAY, MAR. 2, 2019 | 6:05 P.M.SILVERSTEIN EYE CENTERS ARENARADIO: 1350 AM KTIK | STREAM: ECHL TV

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads close their season series and three-game road weekend against the Kansas City Mavericks from Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.

Head-To-Head: With last night’s win, the Steelheads claimed the season series outright over the Mavericks with one game remaining, going 4-1-0 through five games. The Steelheads have also won six of their last seven games against the Mavericks over the last two seasons with three of those seven coming in overtime. The Steelheads are now 8-3-0 against the Mavericks in their ECHL franchise series and will close their first multi-venue series.

Last Night: The Steelheads pushed ahead in the third period to take a 4-1 win over the Mavericks on Friday night from Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. Scoring didn’t open until Steelheads forward Steve McParland (6:52 2nd) netted the opening tally for the 1-0 lead in the middle frame. Mavericks defenseman Jordan Klimek (SH, 12:24 2nd) leveled the score, 1-1, before the Steelheads pulled away. Steelheads forward Kyle Schempp (SH, 1:04 3rd) forced the game-winner early before forwards A.J. White (5:56 3rd) and Mitch Moroz (EN, 19:48 3rd) sealed the 4-1 win with two insurance tallies. Tomas Sholl (20-10-0) saved 29 of 30 shots in the win, while Mason McDonald (17-6-2) stopped 31 of 34 shots in the loss.

Mighty No. 9: With last night’s win, the Steelheads need just nine points to become the first team in the Mountain Division to clinch a spot in the Kelly Cup Playoff. Their nine points are a combination of points earned by Idaho and lost by the Wichita Thunder, who are the first team out of a playoff position. Should the team clinch a playoff berth, it would mark 22-straight seasons with a playoff berth, extending a share of the longest playoff streak in North American professional sports, sharing the top mark with the San Antonio Spurs (NBA), who also have 21-straight playoff appearances. The longest playoff streak all-time belongs to the Boston Bruins, who made 29-straight playoff appearances from 1967-68 through 1995-96, also with two championships. The longest active NHL streak belongs to the Pittsburgh Penguins at 12 seasons.

Short & Short: The Steelheads went back and forth with shorthanded goals in last night’s game, which has a positive and negative side. The trading of shorthanded goals was the first time this season that the Steelheads and an opponent both scored shorthanded in the same game, and it’s also the first time since February 7 (Steve McParland) that the Steelheads scored a shorthanded goal. However, it’s also back-to-back games that they’ve conceded shorthanded goals, which also happened on November 14 and 16 against Rapid City. On the season, the Steelheads have scored nine shorthanded goals this season, which is tied for seventh-most among ECHL teams, and their nine goals against is tied for ninth-most in the ECHL.

That Home Feeling: Steelheads forward Kyle Schempp has started to pick up his pace of point production thanks to a goal last night. The tally was his third game-winning goal of the year and first since December 7, moving him into second place on the team with three game-winners. In addition, it was his second shorthanded goal of the year, joining his tally from October 19 for his team-leading second of the year. Recently, Schempp has points in four of his last five games, posting five points (2g, 3a) in that stretch and moving into the top-six in team scoring, owning 29 points (11g, 18a) through 55 games, which are all ECHL career-highs.

Mr. 200: Steelheads forward Mitch Moroz played in his 200th professional game last night and even cashed in with a goal to put an exclamation point on the feat. Over his five-year professional career, the Calgary, Alb., native has played with only three different organizations, spending 147 games in the AHL between Oklahoma City, Bakersfield and Tucson and 53 ECHL games with the Steelheads. In his time, he’s nearly totaled his AHL total in parts of two seasons with the Steelheads, boasting 27 points (9g, 18a) compared to 28 points (14g, 14a) in the AHL. Moroz has points in three of his last five games overall, netting six points (1g, 5a) in that span.

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Idaho Steelheads 57 34 19 2 2 72 .632
Tulsa Oilers 58 32 20 4 2 70 .603
Utah Grizzlies 56 31 18 4 3 69 .616
Kansas City Mavericks 54 28 22 3 1 60 .556
Wichita Thunder 58 22 27 6 3 53 .457
Rapid City Rush 58 22 28 5 3 52 .448
Allen Americans 59 20 33 4 2 46 .390

Next Game: The Steelheads return to CenturyLink Arena on Wednesday, Mar. 6 at 7:10 p.m. to open a three-game weekend against the Wichita Thunder. 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 Cable One Ch. 72 and ECHL.TV.

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