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PREVIEW: Game #72 – Steelheads @ Grizzlies

Sunday, April 7th
PREVIEW: Game #72 – Steelheads @ Grizzlies

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (41-24-6) @ UTAH GRIZZLIES (36-26-9)

SUNDAY, APR. 7, 2019 | 1:05 P.M. MTMAVERIK CENTER | WEST VALLEY CITY, UTRADIO: 1350 AM KTIK | TSTREAM: ECHL TV

Today’s Game: The Steelheads finish the 2018-19 regular season against the Utah Grizzlies from Maverik Center.

Head-To-Head: With their win last night, the Grizzlies claimed the season series outright with one game remaining, and the Steelheads own a 6-7-1 record through 14 games this season. The Steelheads have taken two of three overtime results in the season set with two of those coming at Maverik Center. The Steelheads went 4-3-0 at CenturyLink Arena in their seven games at home in the set. The Steelheads own a 98-49-25 record all-time in the ECHL franchise series.

Last Night: The Steelheads couldn’t hold off the Grizzlies in a 3-2 overtime loss on Saturday night from Maverik Center. Steelheads forward Elgin Pearce (6:05 2nd) opened the scoring on a deflection to take a 1-0 lead followed by another tip by Steelheads forward Kyle Schempp (PP, 15:56 2nd), doubling the lead to 2-0. However, the Grizzlies were led on their comeback bid by forward Ty Lewis (3:07 3rd; 17:39 3rd), who scored both regulation goals to send the game to overtime, 2-2. Grizzlies forward Caleb Herbert (1:06 OT) scored the game-winner to seal the 3-2 overtime win. Kevin Carr (19-9-3) stopped 30 of 32 shots in the win, while Tomas Sholl (26-12-1) halted 32 of 35 shots in the overtime loss.

Mountain Settled: Heading into the final game of the regular season, the Mountain Division has been officially decided. Thanks to the win by the Tulsa Oilers and the overtime loss by the Steelheads, the Oilers will take the division title and keep the Steelheads in second place. Additionally, the win by the Utah Grizzlies seals them in third place, meaning the Steelheads and Grizzlies will meet in the Mountain Division Semifinals starting on Friday. The Oilers and Kansas City Mavericks will be the other divisional meeting with the winner of each pairing to meet for a chance to represent the Mountain Division in the Western Conference Final.

Overtime Slip: For just the fourth time this season, the Steelheads slipped in overtime, marking also the third-straight overtime loss since February 16 and the first coming away from CenturyLink Arena. The team’s last overtime win came on February 13 against Rapid City, which also was the last of a six-game win streak in that scenario. In addition, it’s just the third time the Steelheads fell after leading through two periods, joining their other two instances on November 10 hosting Tulsa (5-4 OTL) and November 14 against Rapid City (3-2 SOL). The Steelheads are 26-0-2-1 when leading through two periods.

Rolling Start: The Steelheads flipped the script in opening tallies in contests, scoring first on Saturday night to break a four-game streak of allowing the opening goal. However, the goal extended the team’s streak of opening goals on the road to three-straight games and four in their last five road contests since March 17 in Orlando. The Steelheads broke a five-game win streak when scoring the opening goal on the road dating back to February 1 in Allen. On the season, the Steelheads are 14-3-1-0 when scoring first away from CenturyLink Arena and 26-4-3-1 overall (12-1-2-1 at home).

The Power of Kale: Steelheads forward Kale Kessy added another two-assist night, notching four assists in his first two games since returning to the lineup. Now, the Shaunovan, Sask. native has points in three-straight games (1g, 4a) and five of his last six contests with seven points (1g, 6a). He’s averaging over a point-per-game since January 16, posting nine points (3g, 6a) in his last eight games in that span. His season point total is just three away from his game total, tallying 31 points (10g, 21a) through 34 games with the Steelheads and hosting a 0.91 point-per-game ratio, which only trails Robbie Payne (0.92) but leads skaters with at least 20 games played.

Cutting Foot-Lewis: Grizzlies forward Ty Lewis has provided an immediate offensive boost to a Utah team looking for more offensive life. With a three-point night last night including two goals, the Brandon, Man. native has points in four of his six games with the Grizzlies and multi-point efforts in three of those games, posting nine points (4g, 5a) since making his ECHL debut on March 27. It’s the second game that Lewis has picked up a three-point night, joining his performance on March 29 with two goals and one assist. After playing with WHL Brandon for three seasons, he began the season with 19 points (8g, 11a) in 51 games with AHL Colorado.

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Tulsa Oilers 71 42 23 4 2 90 .634
Idaho Steelheads 71 41 24 4 2 88 .620
Utah Grizzlies 71 36 26 4 5 81 .570
Kansas City Mavericks 72 36 30 4 2 78 .542
Rapid City Rush 72 30 33 5 4 69 .479
Wichita Thunder 71 28 31 9 3 68 .479
Allen Americans 72 25 41 4 2 56 .389

Next Game: The Steelheads open the 2019 U.S. Bank Kelly Cup Playoffs, presented by SmileDirectClub, with Game 1 of the Mountain Division Semifinals on Friday, Apr. 12 at 7:10 p.m. from CenturyLink Arena. Tickets are available by calling 208-383-0080 or going to idahosteelheads.com. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on 1350 KTIK-AM "The Ticket" and at 7:00 p.m. on Cable One Ch. 72 and ECHL.TV.

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