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PREVIEW: Game #14 – Steelheads @ Thunder

Friday, November 15th
PREVIEW: Game #14 – Steelheads @ Thunder

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (7-3-3) @ WICHITA THUNDER (8-3-3)

FRIDAY, NOV. 15, 2019 | 6:05 P.M. MTINTRUST BANK ARENA | WICHITA, KSRADIO: 1350-AM KTIK | STREAM: ECHL TV

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads open the final weekend of their eight-game road trip as well as their first of a three-in-three weekend against the Wichita Thunder from INTRUST Bank Arena.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads have earned points in all three meetings with the Wichita Thunder this season, last falling 4-3 in overtime on October 25 to move to 2-0-1 through three games played. The Steelheads have a chance to earn the season series outright with a win on Friday night with only two games remaining in their five-game regular season series concluding on March 29. The Steelheads own a 7-4-4 record against the Thunder in their franchise series while going 3-2-3 at INTRUST Bank Arena.

Last Game: The Steelheads had a bounce turn against them during the final two minutes of the game during a 1-0 shut loss against the Rapid City Rush on Saturday night from Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. After a scoreless first two periods and a strong defensive effort by the Steelheads, the Rush found a good bounce on a shot from defenseman Myles McGurty (18:12 3rd) at the right point with under two minutes remaining to sneak past with a 1-0 win. Ivan Prosvetov (1-0-0) denied all 30 shots faced in the shutout win, while Colton Point (2-2-0) halted 20 of 21 shots in the loss.

Road Warriors: The Steelheads are in the midst of a long opening stretch away from CenturyLink Arena while playing in game six of their eight-game road swing. Thus far, the Steelheads have points in three of five games with a 2-2-1 record, and overall the team is 5-2-3 through nine total games away from home despite falling in all three games last week against Rapid City. The Steelheads trailing only South Carolina (7-1-0) and Allen (2-1-0) for the best road record and also own the third-most road wins in the ECHL. Tonight’s game will be the opening of their third three-game, three-day weekend in the last four weeks that will also take the team to Tulsa (Saturday) and Allen (Sunday) to close their second Midwestern swing.

Shut Down: For the first time this season, the Steelheads fell in a shutout and saw their second shutout result of the year in a six-day span with both coming as 1-0 scorelines. The shutout is their first against since Nov. 2, 2018 in Toledo (4-0 L) and their second over the last two seasons. Additionally, the team has only suffered 38 shutout losses since 2006-07, averaging 2.71 shutouts against in that time though only allowing four shutouts in the last four seasons while averaging 4.79 shutouts completed during the same stretch. Recently, the Steelheads have seen more shutout losses come on the road with 10 of their last 14 shutout losses happening away from home since Christmas 2013.

Good News, Bad News: The Steelheads are garnering their chances for scoring early in the season in droves with another 30-plus shot performance on Saturday night. So far, the Steelheads have outshot their opponents in 11 of 13 games (84.6%) while also recording 30 shots or more in all but one game: November 3 in Utah (1-0 W) when the team posted 28 shots. The Steelheads own the third-most shots in the ECHL (36.46) and are averaging over eight shots per game more than their opponents (28.77). However, the Steelheads own the third-fewest goals (2.46) with the lowest conversion rate (6.75%) in the ECHL.

Deadly Duo: Despite the results last week, Steelheads goaltending remains one of the top pairs across the league thanks to the efforts of Tomas Sholl and Colton Point. Heading into the weekend, the pair are the only goaltending tandem to sit in the top-10 among qualifying netminders in goals-against average with Sholl (2.12) sitting fourth and Point (2.57) owning 10th. Additionally, Sholl sits fifth in minutes (538) and save pct. (.924) among ECHL netminders. The pair have helped the Steelheads to the second-best goals allowed per game (2.38) in the league, and the team hasn’t slipped lower than the top-five since all teams began their seasons.

Keep Rollin’, Rollin’: The Wichita Thunder extended their impressive run as of late with a late regulation goal to snag a win over Rapid City. With that victory, the Thunder have now earned wins in seven of their last nine games, going 7-1-1 since starting their run against the Steelheads on October 25 and skyrocketing to a share of first place in the ECHL while owning the second-most wins (8) in the league, only trailing Allen (9) in that category. During their recent run, the Thunder earned a six-game point streak (5-0-1) from October 25 to November 8 while outscoring their opponents 25-14 and keeping opponents to three goals or less in all six games. The Thunder start working through the Midwest with 13 of their next 14 games through December 15 against Allen, Kansas City or Tulsa.

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Allen Americans 13 9 3 1 0 19 .731
Wichita Thunder 14 8 3 3 0 19 .679
Rapid City Rush 14 8 4 2 0 18 .643
Idaho Steelheads 13 7 3 3 0 17 .654
Tulsa Oilers 15 6 8 1 0 13 .433
Kansas City Mavericks 13 5 7 1 0 11 .423
Utah Grizzlies 12 3 6 2 1 9 .375

Next Game: The Steelheads make their next stop at BOK Center on Saturday, Nov. 16 at 6:05 p.m. MT against the Tulsa Oilers. Coverage begins at 5:45 p.m. on 1350 KTIK-AM "The Ticket" & ECHL.TV.

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Tulsa Oilers
Idaho Steelheads
Wednesday, March 20th
Tulsa Oilers @ Idaho Steelheads
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM MDT
Idaho Central Arena
Tulsa Oilers
TUL Tulsa Oilers
at
Idaho Steelheads
IDH Idaho Steelheads
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Tulsa Oilers
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Friday, March 22nd
Tulsa Oilers @ Idaho Steelheads
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM MDT
Idaho Central Arena
Tulsa Oilers
TUL Tulsa Oilers
at
Idaho Steelheads
IDH Idaho Steelheads
Idaho Central Arena
Tulsa Oilers
Idaho Steelheads
Saturday, March 23rd
Tulsa Oilers @ Idaho Steelheads
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM MDT
Idaho Central Arena
Tulsa Oilers
TUL Tulsa Oilers
at
Idaho Steelheads
IDH Idaho Steelheads
Idaho Central Arena

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