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PREVIEW: Game #18 – Steelheads vs. Mavericks

Friday, November 22nd
PREVIEW: Game #18 – Steelheads vs. Mavericks

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (8-4-4) VS. KANSAS CITY MAVERICKS (6-8-1)

FRIDAY, NOV. 22, 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 a five-game season series with the Kansas City Mavericks and their first of two games at CenturyLink Arena.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads and Kansas City Mavericks meet for the first two games of a five-game season series as well as the first of two weekends in Boise. Last season, the Steelheads swept all three games at home in December but dropped two of three games on the road, putting the season record at 4-2-0. The Steelheads have controlled the franchise series against the Mavericks, going 8-4-0 overall as well as 6-1-0 at CenturyLink Arena.

Last Game: The Steelheads were blanked 3-0 by the Orlando Solar Bears on Wednesday night from CenturyLink Arena. Solar Bears defenseman Rich Boyd (4:18 1st) opened the scoring with his first professional goal to take an early 1-0 lead. Scoring halted until the final frame when Solar Bears forward Mikhail Shalagin (PP, 0:27 3rd) doubled the lead, 2-0, and forward Trevor Olson (EN, 19:59 3rd) sealed off the night for the 3-0 scoreline. Zachary Fucale (2-3-1) denied all 44 shots in the win, while Colton Point (2-3-1) stopped 19 of 21 shots in the loss.

Shut Down: The Steelheads suffered their second shutout loss of the season in Wednesday’s fall to open the home stand. The last shutout loss came in Rapid City on November 9, however the Steelheads hadn’t been shut out at home since Feb. 10, 2017 against the Wheeling Nailers (3-0 L), breaking an 84-game home streak without a shutout loss spanning over two seasons. In fact, the Steelheads have only been shut out at home five times since the 2013-14 season (six years). The Steelheads have been part of three shutout results this year, winning 1-0 over Utah on November 2.

Going Quiet: The Steelheads have fallen into a rut in scoring recently after coming up empty against the Solar Bears on Wednesday. During their first eight games, the Steelheads averaged 3.13 goals per game (25 goals) with three or more tallies in six of those eight games. However, in their last nine games since beginning their last road trip, the Steelheads tallied only 1.67 goals per game (15 goals) while hitting that three-goal mark in three of nine games and being shut out twice. The good sign is that the Steelheads hit two of those three-goal marks last weekend and they’re averaging 2.75 goals per game at CenturyLink Arena, which is over their season average.

Never Too Bleack: The Steelheads saw the return of forward Conner Bleackley on Thursday, and he’s set to make his Steelheads debut this weekend. The 23-year-old signed a PTO with the Texas Stars on October 5 and played 10 games, posting five points (3-2–5) with two goals in his season debut. The High River, Alb. native has spent most of his career in the AHL, adding 33 points (11-22–33) in 132 career AHL games. His last ECHL stint came with the Tulsa Oilers in 2017-18, and in 54 career ECHL games between Tulsa and Kansas City, Bleackley has amassed 55 points (26-29–55) with 96 penalty minutes. He signed with the Steelheads on Steelheads on September 3.

The Sholl Show: With the assignment of Colton Point to the Texas Stars, Steelheads goaltender Tomas Sholl will take over the reigns in net for the foreseeable future, a place where he has continued to excel this season. While he’s dropped three of his last four games since November 6, the Hermosa Beach, Calif. product has kept opponents to three goals or less in three-straight games while going 1-1-1. He also has held down opponent scoring to two goals or less in eight of his first 11 games (72.7%) including a 25-save shutout on November 3. Sholl sits sixth in ECHL for goals-against average (2.10) and tied for sixth in save pct. (.926). His next win ties him for third all-time in Steelheads ECHL career wins with Rejean Beauchemin (2008-10) at 42 wins.

Road Trippin’: The Kansas City Mavericks are in their first extended road trip of the season, meaning they travel out of the Midwest for the first time this season. The team hasn’t spent much time on the road this year, playing only four of their first 15 games away from Independence, Mo. and only stopping in Indianapolis (475 miles), Tulsa (273 miles) and Wichita (207 miles) for one game at a time compared to the four-game road swing that takes them to Idaho (1,379 miles). The Mavericks are winless in their four road games, only earning an overtime loss in their last road meeting against the Indy Fuel (4-3 OTL) on November 13. Conversely, the Mavericks are 6-5-0 at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena this season.

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Allen Americans 15 11 3 1 0 23 .767
Rapid City Rush 17 10 5 2 0 22 .647
Idaho Steelheads 17 8 5 2 2 20 .588
Wichita Thunder 15 8 4 3 0 19 .633
Tulsa Oilers 18 7 10 1 0 15 .417
Kansas City Mavericks 15 6 8 1 0 13 .433
Utah Grizzlies 14 4 7 2 1 11 .393

Next Game: The Steelheads close their weekend against the Kansas City Mavericks on Saturday, Nov. 23 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" as well as 7:00 p.m. on Sparklight Ch. 72 & ECHL.TV.

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