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PREVIEW: Game #24 – Steelheads vs. Americans

Friday, December 6th
PREVIEW: Game #24 – Steelheads vs. Americans

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (11-8-4) VS. ALLEN AMERICANS (15-4-2)

FRIDAY, DEC. 6, 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 meet with the Allen Americans for the second of a three-game weekend from CenturyLink Arena.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads have dropped three of their first four games with the Americans during their 11-game season series, holding a 1-2-1 record. This is the second of six games in December the two sides will play with five of those six contests coming at CenturyLink Arena. The Steelheads own a 15-9-4 record in the franchise series while going 8-4-2 at home.

Last Game: The Steelheads were taken down 6-4 by the Americans on Wednesday night from CenturyLink Arena. Americans forwards Olivier Archambault (4:10 1st) and Brett Pollock (8:03 1st) started the scoring early before Steelheads forward Will Merchant (10:53 1st) halted the press ahead at a 2-1 score. The Americans then added three more goals stretching into the next period thanks to forwards Gabriel Gagne (12:18 1st), Jared VanWormer (16:25 1st) and Gagne (1:36 2nd) again to extend their lead to 5-1. Steelheads forward Brett Supinski (1:12 3rd) began the push back ahead of another Archambault (11:59 3rd) tally and a 6-2 score. Steelheads defenseman Ondrej Vala (13:53 3rd) and Supinski (18:55 3rd) came up with late goals, but the hole was too wide in the 6-4 loss. Zach Sawchenko (5-1-1) stopped 30 of 34 shots in the win, while Tomas Sholl (9-4-3) halted 17 of 23 shots in the loss.

Little Skid: The Steelheads have dropped three-straight games for the first time this year at home and overall the third time this season. Over that three-game stretch, the Steelheads offense has found life with nine goals scored but have also allowed four goals or more in all three contests (14 GA). The Steelheads are holding opponents to just 20.33 shots per game, however the Rush and Americans have a combined 22.95% scoring rate with the Steelheads trailing at a 7.83% conversion rate. This is the first winless drought with all three losses coming in regulation.

Starting Slow: The four goals allowed by the Steelheads in Wednesday’s loss was the most goals given up in a single period this year by the team. The Steelheads offense has been more productive as the game goes on this season, scoring 21 goals in the third period with 15 tallies in the first frame. The first period is the lowest goal differential (-7) of all three frames and has the lowest shot total (257) all while the Steelheads have allowed the opening goal of the game in three of their last four contests as well as 12 of their 23 games (52.2%). On the flip side, the Steelheads are 8-2-0-1 when scoring the opening goal and 4-1-0-0 when leading after the first period.

My-Tye: The Steelheads received forward Tye Felhaber from the Texas Stars on Thursday afternoon, and the rookie brings a wealth of scoring experience to the roster. In his final junior season with the Ottawa 67’s (OHL), the Pembroke, Ont. native posted 104 points (54-50–104) and finished third in OHL scoring and first in OHL goals. He was also named OHL Second-Team All-Star, led the league in plus/minus (+56) and also led in postseason goals (17). In 22 AHL games since his debut with Laval in 2017-18, Felhaber owns one assist now in his first full professional season.

Getting Sauce’d: Steelheads defenseman Colton Saucerman played in his 200th professional game on Wednesday and added an assist to his total, continuing a solid scoring trend. The Colorado Springs, Colo. product owns points in four of his last five games (1-3–4) after only five points in his first 17 contests. Over his career beginning in 2015-16, the 5-foot-9, 199-pound defenseman has played with eight different teams now in his fourth full season and has amassed 106 points (19-87–106), hitting the 100-point plateau on October 27 against Allen. In his ECHL career, Saucerman owns 97 points (18-79–97) over 158 games between South Carolina, Manchester and Idaho.

Gagn-yay: Americans forward Gabriel Gagne has been a force this season now in his first season in Allen. The Laval, Que. native has four points (3-1–4) over his last two games and is adding tallies consistently with points in 13 of 19 games played. Already, he has five of the team’s 15 game-winning goals which leads the ECHL with Toledo’s Abbott Girduckis and is one of just two Americans players at a point-per-game clip, including forward Olivier Archambault (9-10–19, 17gms). Gagne leads the Americans in scoring with 10 points (9-11–20) through 19 games after 15 points (6-9–15) over his first 24 ECHL games between Newfoundland (2018-19) and Wichita (2016-17).

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Allen Americans 21 15 4 2 0 32 .762
Rapid City Rush 22 14 5 3 0 31 .705
Idaho Steelheads 22 11 7 2 2 26 .591
Wichita Thunder 21 9 7 5 0 23 .548
Tulsa Oilers 23 9 12 2 0 20 .435
Utah Grizzlies 19 8 8 2 1 19 .500
Kansas City Mavericks 19 8 9 2 0 18 .474

Next Game: The Steelheads and Americans finish their weekend with Teddy Bear Toss For Tots on Saturday, Dec. 7 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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