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PREVIEW: Game #16 – Steelheads @ Americans

Sunday, November 17th
PREVIEW: Game #16 – Steelheads @ Americans

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (8-3-4) @ ALLEN AMERICANS (9-3-1)

SUNDAY, NOV. 17, 2019 | 3:05 P.M. MTALLEN EVENT CENTER | ALLEN, TXRADIO: 1350-AM KTIK | STREAM: ECHL TV

Today's Game: The Steelheads complete their eight-game road trip with a matinee against the Allen Americans from Allen Event Center.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads and Allen Americans meet for the third time of their 11-game season set, splitting their first two meetings with a regulation win and an overtime loss for the Steelheads during their last trip to Allen. The Steelheads play five more games at Allen Event Center, where the team is 7-4-2 historically since the start of their franchise series. Overall, the Steelheads hold a 15-7-4 regular season record against the Americans.

Last Night: The Steelheads forced a point with a late goal in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Tulsa Oilers on Saturday night from BOK Center. Oilers forward Charlie Sampair (3:15 1st) opened the scoring on a rebound to start the see-saw game before Steelheads forward Will Merchant (PP, 7:29 1st) tapped in a one-time deflection to tie the game at 1-1. The Oilers began again with forward Danny Moynihan (5:01 2nd) followed by a one-time shot by Steelheads forward Anthony Nellis (9:02 2nd) off a turnover to knot the game, 2-2. Oilers forward Josh Wesley (PP, 8:37 3rd) gave the home side hope, but Steelheads forward Kyle Schempp (EA, 19:56 3rd) pushed the game to overtime, 3-3. In the shootout, Steelheads forward A.J. White (1st) started off strong, but Oilers forwards Brent Gates (1st) and Sampair (3rd) finished the 4-3 result. Devin Williams (4-1-1) halted 26 of 29 shots in the win, while Colton Point (2-2-1) denied 51 of 55 shots in the shootout loss.

Road Warriors: The Steelheads enter their final game of their extended opening road stretch as well as their most recent eight-game road trip. Heading into their final game, the Steelheads own a 3-2-2 record with points in five of seven games and will earn at least an even record through their recent run. Overall, the Steelheads are now 6-2-4 (.667) on the road entering their 13th road game out of 16 total games, and that mark is the second-best road record in both wins and point pct. behind South Carolina (7-1-0, .875) in the ECHL despite playing the most road games. After today’s game, the Steelheads will host 12-straight games at CenturyLink Arena.

Bonus Hockey: The Steelheads have come up empty in both of their shootouts this season coming in back-to-back weeks. The last shootout result came on November 8 in Rapid City, going seven rounds in the eventual 3-2 loss. Overall, the Steelheads have dropped three of their last four post-regulation results since October 25 and are 1-2 in games ending after the third period during this eight-game road trip. On the season, the Steelheads have played six of their first 15 games (40.0%) in post-regulation play and are 2-4 overall.. Their last five post-regulation results have come on the road (1-4 record).

A Will, A Way: For the second time this season, Steelheads forward Will Merchant has scored in back-to-back games, marking the fourth time overall that a Steelheads player has performed that feat. Over the last three weeks, the Eagan, Minn. native has been leading the scoring charge, posting points in five of his last six games (4-1–5) with goals in four of those five contests, and that output leads the team in scoring during their first seven games of the road trip. He leads the team in power play goals (3) and power play points (5) as well as overall goals scored (7) while sitting second in overall scoring (7-5–12). Merchant also has points in 10 of his first 15 games.

On Point: Steelheads goaltender Colton Point put on a clinic against the Oilers on Saturday night, posting a career-high 51 shots despite picking up the shootout loss. The North Bay, Ont. native bested his previous career-high 37 saves on October 26 against Allen (4-3 W), and it marks the fourth time in 19 games in which he has denied at least 30 shots in a game. He was four saves shy of tying the all-time Steelheads mark set by Jerry Kuhn on Dec. 2, 2011 in Las Vegas, stopping 55 of 57 shots in a 3-2 shootout win against the Wranglers. Point has been strong during his second professional season, owning a 2-2-1 record with a 2.60 goals-against average and a .921 save pct., ranking in the top-10 in GAA.

Stingy Americans: While the Americans have spent a majority of their season at home, their ability to deny opponent scoring has been consistent throughout the season. Despite falling in a pair of games in Cincinnati, the Americans have held opponents to three goals or less in seven of their last eight games since October 27 in their last meeting with the Steelheads, averaging 1.75 goals against per game while also adding points in those seven games with a 7-1-1 record in that time. The Americans sit in the top-10 in goals allowed per game, only letting opponents score more than four goals in a game once: October 18 against Utah (10-4 L).

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Idaho Steelheads 15 8 3 2 2 20 .667
Rapid City Rush 16 9 5 2 0 20 .625
Allen Americans 13 9 3 1 0 19 .731
Wichita Thunder 15 8 4 3 0 19 .633
Tulsa Oilers 17 7 9 1 0 15 .441
Kansas City Mavericks 14 6 7 1 0 13 .464
Utah Grizzlies 14 4 7 2 1 11 .393

Next Game: The Steelheads return to CenturyLink Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 7:10 p.m. against the Orlando Solar Bears to begin a 12-game home stand. 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" & ECHL.TV.

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