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PREVIEW: Division Semifinal Game #2 – Steelheads vs. Grizzlies

Saturday, April 13th
PREVIEW: Division Semifinal Game #2 – Steelheads vs. Grizzlies

MOUNTAIN DIVISION SEMIFINAL:IDAHO STEELHEADS VS. UTAH GRIZZLIESUTA leads 1-0

SATURDAY, APR. 13, 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 play Game 2 of the Mountain Division Semifinal against the Utah Grizzlies in the 2019 U.S. Bank Kelly Cup Playoffs, presented by SmileDirectClub, at CenturyLink Arena.

Head-To-Head: This is the third postseason meeting between the Steelheads and Grizzlies in the ECHL era, with their last meeting coming in the 2015 Pacific Division Semifinals when the Grizzlies took the series 4-2. Their first meeting was in the 2010 Western Conference Semifinal, and the Steelheads swept the series 4-0 en route to a Kelly Cup Final appearance. The Steelheads are 75-57-17 all-time in the Kelly Cup Playoffs with a 16-13 series record, while the Grizzlies are 47-63-15 in the Kelly Cup Playoffs with a 10-18 series record. In the regular season, the Grizzlies took the series with nine wins in 15 games, slotting the Steelheads with a 6-8-1 record while going 4-3-0 at CenturyLink Arena.

Last Night: The Steelheads fell 7-1 in Game 1 to the Grizzlies on Friday night from CenturyLink Arena. Grizzlies forward Jake Marchment (4:59 1st) scored the first goal of the series before Steelheads forward A.J. White (8:33 1st) answered with the first Idaho playoff goal to tie the game, 1-1. Grizzlies forwards Josh Dickinson (17:59 1st) and Jack Walker (19:31 1st) started the scoring run to finish the opening frame, 3-1. Grizzlies forward Caleb Herbert (PP, 4:26 2nd) added the lone special teams tally, and Dickinson (11:27 2nd) tabbed his second goal to spread the lead to 5-1. Grizzlies forwards Austin Carroll (6:02 3rd) and Travis Barron (6:10 3rd) finished the scoring at 7-1. Kevin Carr (1-0-0) halted 35 of 36 shots in the win. Tomas Sholl (0-1-0) stopped 17 of 24 shots in the loss, and Ryan Faragher saved all five shots in relief.

Uprooted: The Steelheads dropped Game 1 in a six-goal loss and seven against for the first time to open a playoff series or the postseason. However, the Steelheads have conceded the opening series game 12 times since 2007, including three times in four series during their 2007 Kelly Cup Championship run. It’s just the fourth time since 2007 and the second-straight year that the Steelheads have dropped the opening game of the playoffs, which also includes three-straight years from 2007 through 2009. The Steelheads are 5-7 in series when dropping Game 1 as well as 2-2 in series when opening the postseason, which includes the 2007 Kelly Cup.

The Power of Kale: Steelheads forward Kale Kessy has extended his in-season success to the postseason in scoring, posting one of three points earned by the Steelheads. Dating to the regular season, the Shaunovan, Sask., product has points in four-straight games since his return from the AHL, posting seven points (1g, 6a) while also grabbing points in eight of his last 10 games (4-8–12) since January 16. In the regular season, Kessy averaged just under one point per game, tallying 33 points (11g, 22a) in 35 games, and last night was his first postseason game since the 2013 WHL Playoffs with the Kamloops Blazers.

Oh Captain: Steelheads captain A.J. White has been a recent spark for the Steelheads by finding key goals to get the offense moving. Last night’s team-opening goal was the second time in the team’s last four games in which the Dearborn, Mich. native scored the opening goal, though last night’s result came as the lone tally. Dating to March 22, each of his last four games with points has also included a goal, and last night’s goal was his second-career postseason goal since his tally on Apr. 24, 2018 in Game 6 against the Allen Americans.

Gaslight Anthem: The Utah Grizzlies began the 2019 Kelly Cup Playoffs with a bang, posting seven goals for the second-straight game dating to the end of the regular season and jumping out to a 1-0 series lead. It’s the most goals in the playoffs for the Grizzlies since the team posted 7-2 wins twice in their 2016 Mountain Division Semifinal series over the Colorado Eagles and just falls short of their eight-goal output on May 3, 2008 against the Victoria Salmon Kings (8-3 W). The Grizzlies have now scored seven or more goals in four games since 2008 and the second playoff-opening win in their last three appearances since 2016.

Continued Success: Grizzlies forward Josh Dickinson posted a three-point night to open his first playoff appearance along with two goals and the game-winner. The Georgetown, Ont. native carries momentum into the postseason, now owning points in five of his last six games since March 1 and between two stints in Utah, recording nine points (4g, 5a) with goals in four of those five games. The two goals scored last night is one quarter of his season total through 31 games, but it’s the first three-point game of 2018-19 he’s earned. Dickinson posted 29 poitns (8g, 21a) during the regular season.

MOUNTAIN DIVISION SEMIFINALS:

#2 Idaho Steelheads vs. #3 Utah GrizzliesGame 1: Friday, Apr. 12 – UTA wins 7-1Game 2: Saturday, Apr. 13 – CenturyLink Arena • Boise, IDGame 3: Wednesday, Apr. 17 – Maverik Center • West Valley City, UTGame 4: Friday, Apr. 19 – Maverik Center • West Valley City, UT*Game 5: Saturday, Apr. 20 – Maverik Center • West Valley City, UT*Game 6: Monday, Apr. 22 – CenturyLink Arena • Boise, ID*Game 7: Tuesday, Apr. 23 – CenturyLink Arena • Boise, ID(*if necessary)

#1 Tulsa Oilers vs. #4 Kansas City MavericksGame 1: Thursday, Apr. 11 – KC wins 6-4Game 2: Sunday, Apr. 14 – BOK Center • Tulsa, OKGame 3: Wednesday, Apr. 17 – Silverstein Eye Centers Arena • Independence, MOGame 4: Friday, Apr. 19 – Silverstein Eye Centers Arena • Independence, MO*Game 5: Saturday, Apr. 20 – Silverstein Eye Centers Arena • Independence, MO*Game 6: Tuesday, Apr. 23 – BOK Center • Tulsa, OK*Game 7: Wednesday, Apr. 24 – BOK Center • Tulsa, OK(*if necessary)

Next Game: Game 3 of the Mountain Division Semifinals between the Steelheads and Grizzlies begins on Wednesday, Apr. 17 at 7:05 p.m. from Maverik Center. Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. on 1350 KTIK-AM "The Ticket" and ECHL.TV.

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