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PREVIEW: Game #3 – Steelheads vs. Thunder

Friday, October 18th
PREVIEW: Game #3 – Steelheads vs. Thunder

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (2-0-0) VS. WICHITA THUNDER (1-1-1)

FRIDAY, OCT. 18, 2019 | 7:10 P.M. MTCENTURYLINK ARENA | BOISE, IDTICKETS: CLICK HERETV: SPARKLIGHT CH. 72 | RADIO: 1350 AM KTIK | STREAM: ECHL TV

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads open the 2019-20 home schedule against the Wichita Thunder from CenturyLink Arena.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads and Thunder met six times during the 2018-19 season with the Thunder taking four of the six contests, forcing the Steelheads to a 2-2-1-1 record. The Steelheads went 1-1-1 both at CenturyLink Arena and INTRUST Bank Arena, which included their lone home series from March 6-9. Since the Thunder joined the ECHL in 2014-15, the Steelheads own a 5-4-3 record in the franchise series while going 2-2-1 at CenturyLink Arena.

Last Game: The Steelheads had another early scoring push, helping to take a 3-1 win over the Utah Grizzlies on from Maverik Center. Forward Joe Basaraba (1:44 1st) netted an early tally followed for the second-straight game by forward Brett Supinski (9:11 1st) to swiftly double the lead, 2-0. The Steelheads added one more goal from forward Spencer Naas (11:31 2nd) on a turnover to earn their largest weekend lead, 3-0. The Grizzlies found one goal in the third period from forward Travis Barron (PP, 2:08 3rd), but the Steelheads took the 3-1 win. Netminder Tomas Sholl (2-0-0) saved 39 of 40 shots in the win, while goaltender Mason McDonald (0-1-0) stopped 29 of 32 shots in the loss.

Hot Start: The Steelheads are off to a favorable start to open the 2019-20 season thanks to two wins in Utah last week. Their 2-0-0 record marks the first time since 2009-10 that the team began the season with a pair of wins, and the last time they did so the Steelheads went 6-0-0 to start the season. Additionally, last weekend was the first time since 2006-07 that the team won all their opening weekend games on the road, and in that season the team went 4-1-0 in their first five games (all on the road). In both of those seasons, the Steelheads advanced to the Kelly Cup Final and won in 2007.

Finally Home: The Steelheads open their 36-game home schedule tonight with a pair of games against the Thunder. Last season, the Steelheads split their home opening weekend while winning their opening game against the Utah Grizzlies (6-5 OTW). The Steelheads have won four-straight home opening weekends, last falling in 2014-15 to the Grizzlies in a single-game set (3-2 L). Overall, the Steelheads own a 8-3-1-1 record on Opening Night since the 2006-07 season while going 13-6-3-1 in games on opening weekend.

Top Dog: Goaltender Tomas Sholl was named the Warrior Hockey ECHL Goaltender of the Week, earning his fourth weekly honor by the league and the first honor of the season for the organization. In last weekend’s road sweep of the Grizzlies, the Hermosa Beach, Calif. native stopped 69 of 72 shots en route to a 2-0-0 record to begin the season’s campaign. Last season, Sholl was named to ECHL All-Rookie and All-ECHL Second Team honors as well as the goaltender for Team West at the 2019 ECHL All-Star Classic in Toledo. He sits second in Steelheads ECHL history in goals-against average (2.00) and save percentage (.934) while holding the fifth-most wins (37) as a goaltender.

Naas A Problem: Forward Spencer Naas has picked up where he left off last season with a pair of points in last weekend’s trip to Utah. On Saturday, the St. Louis Park, Minn. native scored his first goal of the year and extended his point streak to three games (2-1–3) extending from last season’s season finale in Utah. Additionally, he has points in five of his last seven games since Mar. 29, 2019 and goals in four of those five contests. Last year, Naas earned 27 points (18g, 9a) through 55 games during his rookie season.

Rumbling On In: The Wichita Thunder continue their opening road trip with their second of three games in the Northwest. On Wednesday, the Thunder were taken down 7-1 by the Utah Grizzlies, marking their first regulation loss of the year in their first road game. However, last weekend the Thunder opened their home schedule with three points in two games, falling in overtime to the Indy Fuel on Opening Night and winning over the Rapid City Rush the following evening. The Thunder finished outside the playoff picture in the 2018-19 season, earning a 29-31-9-3 record with 70 points for a fifth place finish.

2018-19 MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Idaho Steelheads 2 2 0 0 0 4 1.000
Allen Americans 2 2 0 0 0 4 1.000
Rapid City Rush 3 1 1 1 0 3 .500
Wichita Thunder 3 1 1 1 0 3 .500
Utah Grizzlies 3 1 2 0 0 2 .333
Tulsa Oilers 3 1 2 0 0 2 .333
Kansas City Mavericks 2 0 2 0 0 0 .000

Next Game: The Steelheads and Thunder complete Home Opening Weekend on Saturday, Oct. 19 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 Sparklight Ch. 72 & ECHL.TV.

Upcoming Home Games

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Friday, October 25th
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Puck Drops:
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