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PREVIEW: Division Final Game #4 – Steelheads vs. Oilers

Wednesday, May 1st
PREVIEW: Division Final Game #4 – Steelheads vs. Oilers

MOUNTAIN DIVISION FINAL:IDAHO STEELHEADS VS. TULSA OILERSSeries: TUL leads 3-0

WEDNESDAY, MAY 1, 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 face elimination in Game 4 of the Mountain Division Final against the Tulsa Oilers from CenturyLink Arena in the 2019 U.S. Bank Kelly Cup Playoffs, presented by SmileDirectClub.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads dropped three-straight games against the Oilers for the first time this season, and now the Oilers could eliminate the Steelheads from the postseason. 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 79-59-17 record all-time in the Kelly Cup Playoffs with a 17-13 series record. The Oilers are just 8-6-1 in the Kelly Cup Playoffs, losing their lone series in the 2015 Division Semifinals prior to this year.

Last Night: The Steelheads could not find an answer in a 1-0 loss to the Oilers in Game 3 on Tuesday night from CenturyLink Arena. Despite a 18-8 shot differential in favor of the Steelheads in the first period, Oilers forward Stephen Perfetto (PP, 11:33 2nd) scored the lone goal of the contest following a net-front scramble to edge ahead 1-0. The Steelheads were unable to find the goal to extend their night, falling by the same scoreline. Devin Williams (7-3-0) stopped all 36 shots in the win, while Tomas Sholl (4-4-0) turned away 26 of 27 shots in the loss.

Win or Go Home: The Steelheads face an elimination scenario for the first time this postseason, but this is not the first time the Steelheads have trailed 3-0 in a series. Last year, the Steelheads fell behind in the Mountain Division Semifinal and became the second team in ECHL history to come from a 3-0 deficit to win a series. Historically, the Steelheads own a 10-10-3 since 2007 in Game 4 scenarios but are 1-2-2 when facing elimination in Game 4. 

Shut Down: Despite posting 36 shots in regulation last night, the Steelheads were shut out for the first time in the 2019 playoffs but was not the first occurrence historically. The last time the Steelheads were shutout in a playoff game came in Game 4 of the 2018 Mountain Division Final, falling 1-0 in overtime to the Colorado Eagles in an elimination game. The Steelheads have been part of 19 shutouts since 2007 but have been shut down 11 of those 19 times. In games following a shutout in the same postseason, the Steelheads own a 3-5-0 record. The Steelheads were shut out just once in the 2018-19 regular season: Nov. 2, 2018 in Toledo (4-0 L).

Shollshank Redemption: Steelheads goaltender Tomas Sholl continues to post strong performances in net including in last night’s loss. The Hermosa Beach, Calif. native now has kept opponents to two goals or less in four-straight games as well as six of his last seven contests, combining for a 1.85 goals-against average and a .938 save percentage since a six-goal loss in Game 1 of the Mountain Division Semifinals. His numbers down the stretch would slate him third in GAA and fourth in save pct. in the 2019 playoffs. So far, Sholl owns a 2.50 GAA and .916 save pct. through eight games.

Rock Solid: Oilers goaltender Devin Williams earned his first career postseason shutout in Tuesday’s win and has been a rock for Tulsa in net throughout this season and his two-year tenure. The Saginaw, Mich. native has now kept opponents to two goals or less in five-straight games since April 23 as well as in six of his 10 playoff games so far while facing an average of 30.00 shots per game and being the sole goaltender for the Oilers’ postseason run. His career regular season numbers line up with this year’s playoff numbers, boasting a 2.33 GAA in two regular seasons (2.38 in playoffs) and a .918 save pct. in two years (.920 in playoffs). His postseason efforts slot him eighth in GAA and save pct. through 10 games played, and he leads the ECHL in wins (seven), minutes (605) and saves (276).

Powered Up: The Oliers power play has been consistently producing not only during this series but also in the 2019 playoffs as a whole. Dating back to their last series, the Oilers have power play goals in five-straight games, going 6-for-15 (40.0%) during that stretch that spans only eight days, and in that time the Oilers have won all five games. Additionally, the Oilers have goals in seven of their 10 playoff games thus far though their correlation between wins and power play goals only stretches over the last week. The Oilers lead the ECHL in power play percentage (31.0%), and forward Alex Dostie shares the ECHL lead with three power play goals.

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 • TUL wins 1-0Game 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: If the Steelheads win tonight, they'll meet the Oilers in Game 5 of the Mountain Division Final on Friday, May 3 at 7:10 p.m. from CenturyLink Arena. Tickets will be available online tonight following the game and at the CenturyLink Arena Box Office on Thursday morning at 10:00 a.m. Coverage would begin 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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