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PREVIEW: Game #22 – Steelheads vs. Rush

Saturday, November 30th
PREVIEW: Game #22 – Steelheads vs. Rush

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (11-6-4) VS. RAPID CITY RUSH (13-5-3)

SATURDAY, NOV. 30, 2019 | 7:10 P.M. MTCENTURYLINK ARENA | BOISE, IDTICKETS: CLICK HERETV: SPARKLIGHT CH. 72 | RADIO: 1350-AM KTIK | STREAM: ECHL TV

Tonight’s Game: Batman (the Steelheads) take on The Joker (the Rapid City Rush) at CenturyLink Arena on Batman Night.

Head-To-Head: The final second defeat for the Steelheads last night marks losses in four of five games on the season against the Rush, but the Steelheads still have an opportunity to win the weekend and their first three-game set of the season in two attempts. The Steelheads are in the midst of playing seven-straight home games against the Rush through February during their 13-game season set. The Steelheads are 39-16-5 all-time against the Rush and 17-6-4 at CenturyLink Arena.

Last Night: The Steelheads were taken down in the final second during a 4-3 loss to the Rush on Friday night from CenturyLink Arena. Steelheads forward Spencer Naas (3:53 1st) netted the opening goal and the only early tally for a 1-0 lead followed by forward Marc-Olivier Roy (7:39 2nd) from an odd angle to double the lead, 2-0. The Rush answered thanks to forward Stephane Legault (11:34 2nd) before Steelheads forward Zack Andrusiak (PP, 18:08 2nd) set up the home side with a 3-1 lead. The Rush scored three goals in the final frame from forward Giovanni Fiore (6:51 3rd), Peter Quenneville (11:06 3rd) and Fiore (PP, 19:59 3rd) again to complete the 4-3 comeback. Tyler Parks (6-1-3) halted 27 of 30 shots in the win, while Colton Point (2-4-1) stopped 21 of 25 shots in the loss.

Home Stand So Far: The Steelheads head into the midway game of their 12-game, four-week home stand on the upper side of the record and with a chance to win their second-straight weekend set. The Steelheads are 3-2-0 through their first five games while ending a three-game win streak and back-to-back overtime wins in last night’s loss. The Steelheads have scored three or more goals in four-straight games but are even in goals scored (14-14) through those five meetings. Overall, the Steelheads are 5-3-0 at CenturyLink Arena this season and can keep their 3:2 ratio at home with a win tonight.

Powered Up: Even though the Steelheads picked up a loss, the power play keeps streaking along thanks to another goal in last night’s game. The goal marks four-straight games with a power play tally, their highest stretch of the season and best since their five-game streak during the 2018-19 campaign from Dec. 22, 2018 through Jan. 5, 2019 (11-for-24, 45.8%). In their current run, the Steelheads are 4-for-13 (30.8%) during their run while also now 8-for-23 (34.8%) over their last eight games while scoring in seven of those contests. The Steelheads are now over 21 percent for the first time this season, climbing from 17th to 8th in the ECHL since November 15.

A Naas Goal: Despite missing Wednesday’s game, Steelheads forward Spencer Naas earned his second-straight game with a goal with both tallies opening the scoring. After a spotty scoring start to the year, the St. Louis Park, Minn. native has points in three-straight games (2-1–3) while also earning a positive rating over his last eight days. Last year, Naas started with a hot stretch and a career-best four-game point streak from Nov. 7, 2018 through Nov. 14, 2018 (3-1–4) and finished with 18 goals out of 27 points. This year, he owns four goals and eight points through 19 contests and is close to his scoring pace from his rookie season.

French Connection: Steelheads forwards Anthony Nellis and Marc-Olivier Roy are both in full stride with another pair of connections to get two of the team’s three goals last night. Both French Canadians have multi-point games in back-to-back nights and have led the Steelheads in scoring since November 15, posting seven points each over that eight-game stretch with Roy scoring goals in back-to-back nights and Nellis adding three assists in two games. Roy leads the Steelheads in assists (16) and scoring (19) while being the sole player at a point-per-game clip (19 games), and Nellis has risen to third on the team in scoring (5-7–12).

Two-Headed Beast: Rush forwards Giovanni Fiore and Peter Quenneville were the driving force in last night’s comeback and have been that force for the team throughout the season. Fiore’s two-goal night broke an eight-game goal drought but extends his five-game point streak (2-6–8) since November 20, which is still shorter than his seven-game streak (4-8–12) to open the season. Quenneville is on a seven-game goal streak (7-7–14) and breached his season-opening six-game point stretch. Quenneville shares the league lead in points (10-19–29), and Fiore follows in third (10-16–26).

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Rapid City Rush 21 13 5 3 0 29 .690
Allen Americans 18 13 3 2 0 28 .778
Idaho Steelheads 21 11 6 2 2 26 .619
Wichita Thunder 19 9 6 4 0 22 .579
Tulsa Oilers 21 8 11 2 0 18 .429
Utah Grizzlies 18 7 8 2 1 17 .472
Kansas City Mavericks 17 6 9 2 0 14 .412

Next Game: The Steelheads open December by welcoming the Allen Americans on Wednesday, Dec. 4 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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