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PREVIEW: Game #27 – Steelheads vs. Komets

Friday, December 13th
PREVIEW: Game #27 – Steelheads vs. Komets

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (12-9-5) VS. FORT WAYNE KOMETS (15-7-2)

FRIDAY, DEC. 13, 2019 | 7:10 P.M. MTCENTURYLINK ARENA | BOISE, IDTICKETS: CLICK HERETV: SPARKLIGHT CH. 72 | RADIO: 1350 KTIK-AM | STREAM: ECHL TV

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads pick up their three-game weekend against the Fort Wayne Komets from CenturyLink Arena.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads dropped their first franchise meeting with the Komets in regulation, which also opened up the five-game season series between the two sides. This is the third time in two seasons that the Steelheads have begun a franchise series against a Central Division opponent, and last year the Steelheads went 4-2-0 against the Indy Fuel and Toledo Walleye. This is also the second of seven games against Central Division teams this season.

Last Game: The Steelheads dropped the opening game of the franchise series against the Komets in a 4-2 loss on Wednesday night from CenturyLink Arena. Komets forward Brett McKenzie (11:50 2nd) opened the scoring past the midway point of the game to get the first franchise tally, however Steelheads forward Tye Felhaber (16:46 2nd) answered for the home side’s opening goal and a 1-1 game. Two swift goals by Komets forward Brad Ross (0:30 3rd) and McKenzie (2:52 3rd) spread the advantage to two, 3-1. Steelheads forward A.J. White (PP, EA, 17:43 3rd) have the home side life, however the insurance goal from Komets forward Shawn St-Amant (EN, 18:02 3rd) pushed the game out of reach in the 4-2 result. Cole Kehler (8-2-0) halted 21 of 23 shots in the win, while Colton Point (3-5-1) stopped 21 of 24 shots in the loss.

The Final Week: The Steelheads begin the final two games of their 12-game, four-week homestand with an opportunity to right the ship and salvage their home record. So far, the Steelheads own a 4-5-1 record through 10 games, suffering losses in five of their last six games. While the Steelheads have found better offense in the home stretch at a 3.10 goal-per-game clip compared to 2.50 goals per game in the first 16 contests, they have also allowed four goals or more in six-straight games after doing so only four times in their first 20 contests. Despite the split in scoring, the Steelheads can still come out with a positive homestand record and overall home record, which is now 6-6-1 so far.

Killing Them Strongly: The Steelheads penalty kill has been quietly putting together consistent performances over their last few games to force opponents to tally 5-on-5. After their 4-for-4 night on Wednesday, the Steelheads penalty kill is now perfect in four of their last five games, allowing just one goal on 20 attempts (95.0%) as part of a 7-for-8 effort against Allen last Saturday. A perfect evening tonight gives the Steelheads their second perfect in five-of-six stretch this season following their six games from October 18 through November 1 (19-for-20, 95.0%).

A Naas Start: Steelheads forward Spencer Naas played his 100th professional game on Wednesday evening, and though he did not earn a point he has shown a good start to his career. During his 100 games between the Steelheads, Texas Stars (AHL) and Cleveland Monsters (AHL), the St. Louis Park, Minn. native owns 27 goals and 16 asssits for 43 points with 22 penalty minutes. Overall, all but seven points came with the Steelheads over parts of two seasons, owning 36 points (23-13–36) through 79 ECHL games and finishing last season fifth on the team in goals (18) as well as second among rookies. This year, Naas owns nine points (5-4–9) through 24 games.

Cap Is Back: Steelheads Captain A.J. White has found the scoring and point touch over the last two weeks, adding another goals to his total on Wednesday night during the power play. The goal marks the second three-game point streak of the season, all coming in the last eight games, and in that stretch the Dearborn, Mich. native produced nine of his 14 points for the season, boasting three goals and six assists with two multi-point games during that time. White is second on the team in scoring during their homestand to-date, only trailing forward Marc-Olivier Roy (2-8–10). On the year, White is second on the team in assists (10) and is in the top-five in scoring.

Brady’s Komet: Komets forward Brady Shaw missed out on Wednesday’s franchise-opening game but has been at the forefront of team scoring over the last two seasons regardless of time missed. Heading into tonight, the Ottawa, Ont. native leads the Komets in assists (18) and scoring (27) while also boasting points in 19 of 23 games played (82.6%) and hitting 11 points (3-8–11) over his last nine contests since November 17. Last year, Shaw came over fom the Orlando Solar Bears and finished the season atop the Komets in scoring, tallying 64 points (27-37–64) in 68 games. In 135 career ECHL games, Shaw owns 118 points (50-68–118).

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Allen Americans 24 17 4 3 0 37 .771
Rapid City Rush 25 15 7 3 0 33 .660
Idaho Steelheads 26 12 9 3 2 29 .558
Wichita Thunder 25 11 9 5 0 27 .540
Utah Grizzlies 21 9 8 4 1 23 .523
Kansas City Mavericks 23 10 11 2 0 22 .478
Tulsa Oilers 25 9 14 2 0 20 .400

Next Game: The Steelheads and Komets finish their three-game weekend on Nickelodeon Night this Friday, Dec. 13 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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