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PREVIEW: Division Final Game #3 – Steelheads vs. Oilers

Tuesday, April 30th
PREVIEW: Division Final Game #3 – Steelheads vs. Oilers

MOUNTAIN DIVISION FINAL:IDAHO STEELHEADS VS. TULSA OILERSSeries: TUL leads 2-0

TUESDAY, APR. 30, 2019 | 7:10 P.M. MTCENTURYLINK ARENA | BOISE, IDRADIO: 1350 AM KTIK | STREAM: ECHL TV | TV: CABLE ONE CH. 72

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads and Oilers head back to CenturyLink Arena for Game 3 of the Mountain Division Final in the 2019 U.S. Bank Kelly Cup Playoffs, presented by SmileDirectClub.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads fell in their first two back-to-back games of the playoffs, falling in two contests at BOK Center last weekend to the Oilers. The two sides met 10 times during the 2018-19 regular season and split their decisions down the middle, going 5-4-1 each during the run with one overtime result for the Oilers and one for the Steelheads. The Steelheads now own a 79-58-17 record all-time in the Kelly Cup Playoffs with a 17-13 series record. The Oilers are just 2-3-1 in the Kelly Cup Playoffs, losing their lone series in the 2015 Division Semifinals.

Last Game: The Steelheads dropped Game 2 with a 3-1 loss to the Oilers on Sunday evening from BOK Center. Oilers forward Stephen Perfetto (3:18 1st) netted the game’s opening goal to take an early 1-0 lead. The Steelheads responded in the next frame thanks to a deflection by forward Brad McClure (PP, 9:22 2nd) to tie the game, 1-1. However, Oilers forward Adam Pleskach (PP, 8:09 3rd; EN, 18:46 3rd) found the game-winner and insurance goal to snag the 3-1 win. Devin Williams (6-3-0) halted 24 of 25 shots in the win, while Tomas Sholl (4-3-0) turned aside 34 of 36 shots in the loss.

Third Time Charm: The Steelheads find themselves heading into Game 3 with an opportunity to turn the series around with a potential three-straight games at CenturyLink Arena. This is the third time in two years that the Steelheads head into Game 3 trailing 2-0 in the series though falling in both scenarios last season. Since 2007, the Steelheads are 3-5-0 in Game 3 when trailing by two games in the series to open the best-of-seven set, however as a whole the Steelheads own a 1-7 series record after falling in the first two games with their lone comeback coming in last year’s Mountain Division Semifinals, during which the Steelheads overcame a 3-0 series deficit to win four-straight games and the series.

Western Draw: The Steelheads turned away just their second playoff penalty shot recorded against in Sunday’s meeting with the Oilers while also defending their first road playoff penalty shot in the ECHL era. The lone other occurrence came on Apr. 11, 2009 against the Victoria Salmon Kings when Matt Climie stopped Wes Goldie in the first period. All four penalty shot attempts both for or against the Steelheads have been saved, including Max French’s attempt on Apr. 24, 2018 against the Allen Americans. In the ECHL, all three penalty shots this postseason have been saved.

Sure Thing McClure: Steelheads forward Brad McClure scored the lone goal in Sunday’s loss but keeps up a strong trend since joining the team in Game 3 of the Mountain Division Semifinals. The Stratford, Ont. native has kept a pace of one point per game through this postseason, netting points in four of five games since April 17 and tallying goals in three of four games with points. For his efforts, McClure sits second in goals and points through five games played, joining Henrik Samuelsson (5g, 2a) with a point-per-game average through a minimum of five games. In the regular season, McClure owned 39 points (19g, 20a) through 42 games.

Shollshank Redemption: Steelheads goaltender Tomas Sholl has been dominant in the crease despite taking two losses to open the series in his record. Following his seven-goal allowance to open the playoffs, the Hermosa Beach, Calif. native has held opponents to two goals or less in five of his last six games as well as three-straight contests, combining for a 4-2-0 record with a 1.96 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage, and those numbers outside of the opening game would place him fourth in GAA and sixth in save pct. So far, Sholl owns a 2.69 GAA and a .910 save pct. through seven games.

Top Heavy: The Tulsa Oilers have run well with their top unit in the playoffs so far, and the combination of forwards Alex Dostie, Stephen Perfetto and Adam Pleskach has been a strong asset to the team’s chemistry. The trio have accounted for 23 of Tulsa’s 32 goals (71.88%) so far through nine games while also combining for 45 of 88 points (51.14%) earned by individual players. Pleskach leads this series with four goals scored including two empty net goals and one game-winning goal, and all three have scored all six goals combined against the Steelheads. All three skaters lead the ECHL playoffs in scoring with Dostie (10g, 6a) and Perfetto (5g, 11a) atop the list with 16 points and Pleskach (8g, 5a) with 13 points.

MOUNTAIN DIVISION FINAL:

#1 Tulsa Oilers vs. #2 Idaho SteelheadsGame 1: Idaho at Tulsa – Friday, April 26 • TUL wins 3-1Game 2: Idaho at Tulsa – Sunday, April 28 • TUL wins 3-1Game 3: Tulsa at Idaho – Tuesday, April 30 • 7:10 p.m. • CenturyLink Arena (Game C)Game 4: Tulsa at Idaho – Wednesday, May 1 • 7:10 p.m. • CenturyLink Arena (Game D)*Game 5: Tulsa at Idaho – Friday, May 3 • 7:10 p.m. • CenturyLink Arena*Game 6: Idaho at Tulsa – Sunday, May 5 • 3:05 p.m. • BOK Center*Game 7: Idaho at Tulsa – Monday, May 6 • 6:05 p.m. • BOK Center* - if necessary (all games in Mountain Time)

Next Game: The Steelheads and Oilers play Game 4 of the Mountain Division Final on Wednesday, May at 7:10 p.m. from CenturyLink Arena. Tickets are available at idahosteelheads.com or by calling 208-383-0080. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on 1350 KTIK-AM as well as 7:00 p.m. on Cable One Ch. 72 and ECHL.TV.

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