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PREVIEW: Game #67 – Steelheads vs. Rush

Wednesday, March 27th
PREVIEW: Game #67 – Steelheads vs. Rush

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (39-22-5) @ RAPID CITY RUSH (27-32-8)

WEDNESDAY, MAR. 27, 2019 | 7:10 P.M. MTCENTURYLINK ARENA | BOISE, IDRADIO: 1350 AM KTIK | TV: CABLE ONE CH. 72 | STREAM: ECHL TV

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads begin to close their season series with the Rapid City Rush and open a four-game homestand from CenturyLink Arena.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads closed the road portion of the season series last weekend with a pair of wins, finishing with a 7-1-0 record in Rapid City, and overall on the season the Steelheads are 11-1-2 against the Rush head-to-head. However, all six previous games at CenturyLink Arena have been one-goal games with three reaching post-regulation play. The Steelheads have wins in 22 of 27 games against the Rush over the last two seasons and are 37-11-4 all-time in the franchise series.

Last Game: The Steelheads shut out the Rush in a 4-0 win to close the road trip from Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. Forward Elgin Pearce (19:21 1st) opened the scoring late in the first period, and defenseman Charlie Dodero (3:48 2nd) followed that up with the first of three insurance goals on the night to double the lead, 2-0. Forwards Will Merchant (7:52 3rd) and Kyle Schempp (PP, 12:38 3rd) added to the advantage in the third period to seal the 4-0 win. Goaltender Tomas Sholl (24-11-0) halted all 20 shots faced in his third shutout win of the season, and Adam Carlson (19-16-5) turned aside 23 of 27 shots in the loss.

Rack ‘Em Up: The Steelheads finished their final extended road trip of the season on a four-game win streak to end with a 4-1-0 record during their last five games between Orlando and Rapid City. This is their longest win streak since their season-high five-game stretch from December 28 through January 5, during which the team won three-straight games against the Rush and one game each over Utah and Tulsa. Over the last two seasons, the Steelheads have locked down the month of March, powering to a 15-4-2 record (.762) through 21 games and remain atop the Mountain Division standings with six games and two weeks left in the regular season.

Shut ‘Em Down: The Steelheads held the Rush to 20 shots in each of their last two games, equalling their lowest shot output against in back-to-back nights after breaking their previous low of 21 shots from November 30 over Jacksonville (4-1 W) and December 14 against Kansas City (3-0 W). This comes after allowing 35 shots or more in three-straight games to Orlando but follows a general trend in recent weeks. The Steelheads have held opponents under 30 shots in four of their last seven games since March 8 and have earned points in three of four games in that scenario (2-1-1 record). On the season, the Steelheads are 20-11-1 when holding opponents under 30 shots in a game.

Shollshank Redemption: Steelheads goaltender Tomas Sholl was named ECHL Goaltender of the Week for the first time this season and third in his career, going 2-0-0 with only two goals against, a .965 save percentage and a shutout through two games last week. The Hermosa Beach, Calif., native has now posted all three shutouts this season in Rapid City while stretching his dominance in March, keeping opponents to two goals or less in five of his last six games while winning nine of his last 11 starts. In his career during March, he boasts a 14-1-2 record with a 1.45 GAA and .950 SV% and five shutouts. Sholl leads the ECHL in save percentage (.931) and sits 2nd in GAA (2.19) as well as third in wins (24).

Going Streaking: The Steelheads have multiple players on active point streaks heading into this weekend. Forward Robbie Payne leads with a six-game point streak over his three different ECHL stints, boasting 10 points (4g, 6a) in that stretch, closely followed by forward Steve McParland on his longest streak of the year at five games with eight points (4g, 4a). Forward Will Merchant extended his point streak to four games (3-2–5) thanks to his goal on Saturday, and both forward Kyle Schempp (1-3–4) and defenseman Nolan Gluchowski (1-4–5) are each on three-game point streaks. Goaltender Tomas Sholl is also on a three-game win streak.

Caaaaaaaarl: The Rapid City Rush have thrived on the successes of goaltender Adam Carlson, and the team will rely on the netminder’s efforts to make a late surge for the postseason. The Edina, Minn., native has started nine-straight games heading into the weekend and bared the burden of the team’s results in that time, going 6-3-0 with losses in three of his last four games. However, he’s held opponents under three goals in six of his last nine games while also posting two shutouts to go along with a 1.99 goals-against average and a .942 save percentage. Carlson has played in 41 of the team’s 67 games (61.2%) this season, which is more games than his previous two seasons combined (41 of 80 ECHL games).

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Idaho Steelheads 66 39 22 3 2 83 .629
Tulsa Oilers 65 38 21 4 2 82 .631
Utah Grizzlies 65 34 23 4 4 76 .585
Kansas City Mavericks 65 32 28 3 2 69 .531
Rapid City Rush 67 27 32 5 3 62 .463
Wichita Thunder 65 24 30 8 3 59 .454
Allen Americans 68 24 28 4 2 54 .397

Next Game: The Steelheads finish the road portion of their season series with the Rush on Saturday, Mar. 23 at 7:05 p.m. from Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. on 1350AM KITK and ECHL.TV.

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