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PREVIEW: Game #8 – Steelheads vs. Grizzlies

Friday, November 1st
PREVIEW: Game #8 – Steelheads vs. Grizzlies

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (5-0-2) VS. UTAH GRIZZLIES (2-3-2)

FRIDAY, NOV. 1, 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 three-game weekend against the Utah Grizzlies with a one-game pit stop at CenturyLink Arena.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads and Grizzlies met for two games on Opening Weekend, and the Steelheads earned wins in both contests, marking the first time the franchise has earned 100 wins against a single opponent. This year, the two will meet 16 times during the 2019-20 regular season with seven on the road. The Steelheads are 100-50-25 against the Grizzlies in the franchise series.

Last Game: The Steelheads kept their point streak alive in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Allen Americans on Sunday afternoon from Allen Event Center. Americans forward Tyler Sheehy (6:21 3rd) struck first early in the third period, but Steelheads forward A.J. White (8:42 3rd) answered just over two minutes later on a 2-on-1 to tie the game, 1-1, and force overtime. Early in the extra period, Americans forward Olivier Archambault (1:35 OT) converted to take the 2-1 overtime win. Evan Weininger (1-1-0) halted 38 of 39 shots in the win, while Tomas Sholl (3-0-2) turned aside 29 of 31 shots in the overtime loss.

Still Streaking: Despite the overtime loss on Sunday, the Steelheads now have a seven-game point streak to begin the season, their best streak to start the season in the ECHL era. The run surpassed the team’s six-game streak to open the 2009-10 and includes points in all five games on the road, two home victories, two three-goal comebacks, and three overtime results. The team’s longest point streak in the ECHL era stands at 18 games spanning from Mar. 2, 2005 through Apr. 6, 2005. Heading into the fourth weekend, the Steelheads sit atop the ECHL standings.

The Wall: Through the first month of the season, the Steelheads find themselves as one of the league leaders in defensive work heading into the fourth week of the season. The Steelheads have conceded the fewest goals-against per game (2.14) in the ECHL and have a decent cushion against their next closest team (Rapid City - 2.43) while also only trailing Cincinnati (14) in fewest goals allowed at 15 goals. Additionally, the Steelheads penalty kill also ranks atop the ECHL with a 88.5 percent conversion rate and tied for the fewest power play goals allowed (3) with the Indy Fuel. The team has not allowed more than two goals in a single period and three goals in regulation.

A Sholl Thing: Steelheads goaltender Tomas Sholl had a strong month of October that continued into last weekend, and though he didn’t earn a win he did help extend the team’s point run. With his overtime results, the Hermosa Beach, Calif. native stretches his own unbeaten streak in regulation to eight-straight contests dating back to Mar. 27, 2019 in his last regulation loss to Rapid City, and in that time he owns a 5-0-3 record with a 2.44 GAA and a .958 save pct. while holding opponents to three goals or less in seven of eight games. This season, Sholl leads qualifying goaltenders in GAA (1.94) and save pct. (.934) as well as sits second in minutes (309) and third in saves (142).

Road Trippin’: The Utah Grizzlies are also in the midst of an extended road stretch, playing in their fifth-straight road game while being on the road in nine of 11 games through November 16. Through four games, the Grizzlies are 1-1-1-1 with three of four points against Allen and back-to-back losses in Rapid City last weekend. After this weekend, they’ll travel to Kansas City for two games and another pair of games against Central Division opponents (Wheeling, Kalamazoo). Last year, the Grizzlies earned a 15-14-3-4 record away from Maverik Center.

Don’t Josh Me: Grizzlies forwards Cole Cassels and Josh Dickinson have both been recalled over the last week by AHL Colorado, dropping two of the team’s top scorers from the roster. Cassels and Dickinson each lead the Grizzlies in scoring with 10 points and 11 points, respectively, while Dickinson not only leads the ECHL in goals (9) but also earned Inglasco ECHL Player of the Week for his back-to-back hat-tricks the week following the team’s meeting with the Steelheads. Currently, Dickinson and Cassels sit in the top-10 in ECHL scoring, however forward Travis Barron (6-5–11) still remains as the team’s leading scorer while earning points in six of seven games to open the season.

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Idaho Steelheads 7 5 0 2 0 12 .857
Rapid City Rush 7 5 1 1 0 11 .786
Tulsa Oilers 11 4 6 1 0 9 .409
Allen Americans 6 4 2 0 0 8 .667
Utah Grizzlies 7 2 3 1 1 6 .429
Wichita Thunder 6 2 2 2 0 6 .500
Kansas City Mavericks 6 2 4 0 0 4 .333

Next Game: The Steelheads continue their three-game weekend against the Grizzlies on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 7:10 p.m. from Maverik Center. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on 1350 KTIK-AM "The Ticket" & ECHL.TV.

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