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PREVIEW: Game #15 – Steelheads @ Oilers

Saturday, November 16th
PREVIEW: Game #15 – Steelheads @ Oilers

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (8-3-3) @ TULSA OILERS (6-9-1)

SATURDAY, NOV. 16, 2019 | 6:05 P.M. MTBOK CENTER | TULSA, OKRADIO: 1350-AM KTIK | STREAM: ECHL TV

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads meet the Tulsa Oilers for the first time this season from BOK Center in game two of their three-in-three Midwestern swing.

Head-To-Head: This will be the first of eight meetings this season between the Steelheads and Tulsa Oilers and the first of five games played in three trips to the BOK Center. Last year, the Steelheads and Oilers split their season series, each earning a 5-4-1 record before the Oilers took the 2019 Mountain Division Final in six games against the Steelheads. Overall, the Steelheads are 15-7-1 in the regular season against the Oilers.

Last Night: The Steelheads opened the weekend with a 4-1 win over the Wichita Thunder on Friday night from INTRUST Bank Arena. Steelheads forward Will Merchant (1:01 1st) opened the scoring on a stuff in off a defensive deflection to take an early 1-0 lead. The Steelheads scored two in the second period thanks to forward Spencer Naas (PP, 3:53 2nd) and defenseman Colton Saucerman (EA, 5:54 2nd) to triple the advantage, 3-0. The Thunder wiped the shutout bid on a goal by forward Beau Starrett (4:36 3rd), but Steelheads forward Joe Basaraba (PP, 14:19 3rd) pushed the lead back to its final resting place, 4-1. Tomas Sholl (6-1-3) denied 27 of 28 shots in the win, while Mitch Gillam (7-4-1) halted 44 of 48 shots in the loss.

Road Warriors: The Steelheads are in the final weekend of a long opening stretch away from CenturyLink Arena while playing in game seven of their eight-game road swing. So far, the Steelheads have points in four of their first six games on the current trip, earning a 3-2-1 record with a chance to come back to Boise with a positive record with a win tonight or tomorrow. The Steelheads are 6-2-3 through 11 games on the road, owning the most road games played in the ECHL with the second-best win pct. (.681), only trailing South Carolina (7-1-0, .875) for the best road record. The Steelheads have played 11 of their first 14 games on the road with two more remaining before a 12-game homestand.

Powered Up: For the second time this year, the Steelheads posted a multi-power play goal game in Friday’s victory, going 2-for-4 against the Thunder. The last time the team put up a two-goal power play night was in their last home game on November 1 against Utah, going 2-for-3 in a 5-4 loss. The team has been consistent with scoring on the power play this season, posting goals in seven of their first 14 games while only going scoreless in consecutive games once (Oct. 19 & Oct. 25) despite sitting in 17th in the league in conversion rate (17.3%). Last year, the Steelheads had 11 of their 72 games (15.3%) with a multi-power play goal night, and this year’s team has already had two before last year’s team had their first (16 games).

Second Is The Best: The second period has been the best frame for the Steelheads this season, increasing their goal differential with a two-goal output. Last night’s result spreads their differential to four, outscoring opponents 12-8, despite trailing the most goals for a single period by one (third period, 14). The team also has their best shot disparity in the second period, posting a plus-67 (191-124) that also more than doubles their third period total (plus-30). The Steelheads have led in half of their first 14 games after the second period, going 6-0-0-1 after last night’s win.

There He (Ja)gos: With his two-assist night on the power play last night, Steelheads defenseman Tanner Jago has been picking up scoring over the recent stretch now with three assists over his last three games. The Brandon, Man. native earned his first multi-point game of his professional career while picking up points in four of his last seven games since October 19. Even with a three-game stint with AHL Texas, he sits second among Steelheads defensemen in assists (4) and third in scoring (5).

Piccing Them Off: Oilers forward J.J. Piccinich has been tearing through opponents recently with back-to-back three-point nights on November 9 in Wichita (0-3–3) and last night against Rapid City (2-1–3). The former Kelly Cup Champion now has points in eight of his last nine games, posting 17 points (6-11–17) since October 25 which also includes a six-game point streak with 11 points (4-7–11) that lasted through November 5. The 23-year-old’s run lands him atop the ECHL in overall scoring with 21 points as well as assists (14) through his 16 games played. Currently, Piccinich is on an AHL contract with San Antonio and has nearly double the point total of any other skater on the Oilers.

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Rapid City Rush 15 9 4 2 0 20 .667
Allen Americans 13 9 3 1 0 19 .731
Idaho Steelheads 14 8 3 3 0 19 .679
Wichita Thunder 15 8 4 3 0 19 .633
Tulsa Oilers 16 6 9 1 0 13 .406
Kansas City Mavericks 13 5 7 1 0 11 .423
Utah Grizzlies 13 4 6 2 1 11 .423

Next Game: The Steelheads finish their eight-game road trip on Sunday, Nov. 17 at 3:05 p.m. against the Allen Americans from Allen Event Center. Coverage begins at 2:45 p.m. on 1350 KTIK-AM "The Ticket" & ECHL.TV.

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