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PREVIEW: Game #6 – Steelheads @ Americans

Saturday, October 26th
PREVIEW: Game #6 – Steelheads @ Americans

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (4-0-0) @ ALLEN AMERICANS (3-1-0)

SATURDAY, OCT. 26, 2019 | 6:05 P.M. MTINTRUST BANK ARENA | WICHITA, KSRADIO: 1350 AM KTIK | STREAM: ECHL TV

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads open their season series against the Allen Americans from Allen Event Center in the midway game of a three-game, three-day road trip.

Head-To-Head: This is the first of 11 meetings against the Americans this season after the Steelheads took last year’s series with a 4-2-0 record while earning a 2-1-0 record both at home and at Allen Events Center. This will be the largest number of games head-to-head in two years, and this is the first of four different stops in Texas. The Steelheads own a 14-7-3 regular season record in the franchise series while going 8-3-2 on the road.

Last Night: The Steelheads battled back to earn one point in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Wichita Thunder on Friday night from INTRUST Bank Arena. The Thunder tabbed one goal in each period beginning with forward Ostap Safin (12;16 1st) to take an early 1-0 lead followed by a pair of goals by forward Chris Crane (PP, 18:50 2nd; 3:39 3rd) to triple the advantage, 3-0. Steelheads forward Zack Andrusiak (5:11 3rd; 17:41 3rd) began the comeback bid with his own pair of goals to cut the lead to 3-2. The Steelheads forced overtime, 3-3, thanks to forward Brett Supinski (EA, 18:40 3rd), however Thunder forward Jack Combs (3:43 OT) netted the final tally in the 4-3 overtime result. Mitch Gillam (2-2-1) turned away 52 of 55 shots in the win, while Tomas Sholl (3-0-1) stopped 20 of 24 shots in the overtime loss.

Still Streaking: While the Steelheads lost their perfect record in Friday’s loss, the team still owns a five-game unbeaten streak in regulation to begin the season and being the only team in the league to earn points in every game played. The last time the Steelheads started the season at four wins and one loss came in the 2006-07 campaign (4-1-0 record), and the Steelheads can still match the unbeaten regulation mark set in the 2009-10 season (6-0-0 record) with a positive result tonight. The Steelheads have not earned seven-straight games with points since online records were kept in 2006-07.

Battling Back: The Steelheads overcame a three-goal deficit in the third period to take an overtime result last night, marking the first time this season the team has played from behind in the third period. The result is the largest comeback to force overtime since Mar. 9, 2019 when the team erased a four-goal deficit in the third period against the Thunder, however that result ended in an overtime loss (6-5 OTL) as well. Last season, the Steelheads went 5-20-1-0 when trailing after the second period, and the team is now 1-1 in overtime results this season, reaching the extra period in two of their last three games.

Apples A-Plenty: Steelheads forward Marc-Olivier Roy continues to rack up assists, tabbing three more helpers in last night’s loss and aiding all three goals in the comeback bid. The Boisbriand, Que. native is on a five-game assist streak, tallying seven assists with his first multi-point game of the season coming last night. It’s the most points he’s had since Jan. 12, 2019 against Utah (1-2–3) and his most assists in a single game in his ECHL career. In just five games, Roy leads the Steelheads in assists and points while sitting tied for third in the ECHL for assists (7) and in the top-20 in scoring (7).

Zack Attack: Steelheads forward Zack Andrusiak found the scoring touch again on Friday, netting his first multi-goal game of his career to help bring the Steelheads back in the game. The Armstrong, B.C. product was known for his scoring in junior hockey, netting six hat-tricks and over 35 goals per year during his final two seasons with the Seattle Thunderbirds and Everett Silvertips. Andrusiak scored in his professional debut on October 11 and shares the team lead in goals (3).

Home Cooking: The Allen Americans have a fortunate opening to their 2019-20 schedule and the luxury to spend much of their early season at Allen Event Center. The Americans are in the midst of a six-game homestand and will be at home for six of their next seven games with their lone road meeting against the Tulsa Oilers (3.63 hour drive). Through November 23, the Americans will host opposing teams in 12 of their opening 17 games, and while the Americans were on a down year in 2018-19 they still won a majority of their home games, going 15-20-1-0 overall. As a comparison, the Tulsa Oilers started the 2018-19 campaign at home spent their first eight games at home and went 4-0-2-2, helping to get an early start in the Mountain Division standings.

2018-19 MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Idaho Steelheads 5 4 0 1 0 9 .900
Rapid City Rush 6 4 1 1 0 9 .750
Allen Americans 4 3 1 0 0 6 .750
Wichita Thunder 6 2 2 2 0 6 .500
Utah Grizzlies 6 2 3 1 0 5 .417
Kansas City Mavericks 5 2 3 0 0 4 .400
Tulsa Oilers 8 2 6 0 0 4 .250

Next Game: The Steelheads complete their three-game Midwest trip against the Allen Americans on Sunday, Oct. 27 at 3:05 p.m. from Allen Events Center. Coverage begins at 2:45 p.m. on 1350 KTIK-AM "The Ticket" & ECHL.TV.

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