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PREVIEW: Game #28 – Steelheads vs. Komets

Saturday, December 14th
PREVIEW: Game #28 – Steelheads vs. Komets

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (13-9-5) VS. FORT WAYNE KOMETS (15-8-2)

SATURDAY, DEC. 14, 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 head back “under the sea” to close the 12-game homestand against the Fort Wayne Komets on Nickelodeon Night featuring SpongeBob SquarePants.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads and Komets both earned 4-2 wins this week heading into the final game of the three-game set but also the midway game of their five-game season series. Tonight is the last game head-to-head in Boise before closing the series for two games in Fort Wayne. Last year, the Steelheads went 4-3-0 against the Indy Fuel, Kalamazoo Wings and Toledo Walleye. This is also the third of seven games against Central Division teams this season.

Last Night: The Steelheads struck swiftly to counter with a 4-2 win against the Komets on Friday night from CenturyLink Arena. Steelheads forward Tye Felhaber (11:10 1st) netted the lone goal of the opening period to start the home scoring for the second-straight game. Three goals came less than three minutes apart in the second period from Steelheads forwards Will Merchant (0:32 2nd) and A.J. White (1:10 2nd; 3:29 2nd) to earn their largest lead of the game, 4-0. The Komets got on the board thanks to forward Anthony Petruzzelli (11:47 2nd) and cut the lead, 4-2, in half following a tally by forward Taylor Ross (PP, 1:03 3rd). Even with the Komets pressing, the quick scoring helped the Steelheads to the win. Tomas Sholl (10-4-4) denied 40 of 42 shots in the win, while Cole Kehler (8-3-0) halted 20 of 24 shots in the loss.

The Final Game: The Steelheads close their four-week, 12-game homestand tonight, and after an up-and-down stretch they can close on a strong note. Last night’s 4-2 win broke a six-game streak of allowing four goals or more, boosted the Steelheads to points in three of their last four games (2-1-1) and also leveled their homestand record to 5-5-1 with one game remaining. Offensively, the Steelheads’ three-goal second period was the fastest three goals this season (2:57 minutes) and now have four goals or more scored in three of their last five contests. The Steelheads are 7-6-1 at CenturyLink Arena heading into the final game before the holidays.

Quick Attack: Early goals has been key for the Steelheads so far this season, and last night’s opener helped continue a positive trend when striking first. The goal marked the 14th time in 27 games that the Steelheads opened with the first tally, and nine of the team’s 13 wins (69.2%) have come in this scenario, boasting a 9-2-1-1 record as well as 3-1-1-0 during the homestand. Despite being outscored in the first period on the season (17-24), the Steelheads are now 5-1-1-0 when leading after the opening period while also owning a 8-1-1-0 record when leading after the second period.

Don’t Fel Me Now: Steelheads forward Tye Felhaber has been a catalyst for the team since being assigned by the Dallas Stars, and last night’s three-point evening was his best display so far. In four games since his ECHL debut on December 6, the Pembroke, Ont. native has six points (3-3–6) with tallies in three of those four contests while also scoring the team’s first goal in back-to-back games. Last season, Felhaber earned 109 points (59-50–109) through 68 games with the Ottawa 67’s (OHL) and signed a NHL contract with Dallas in March.

Captain’s Planet: Steelheads Captain A.J. White continues to torch through the opposition with his first career two-goal night during last night’s win. The Dearborn, Mich. product now has multi-point games in three of his last four contests also during his four-game point streak in which he boasts seven points (4-3–7) while also hopping into a share of the team lead in goals during the homestand (11 games). White also has points in seven of nine games (5-6–11) and leads the team in overall scoring during the homestand. On the year, White is tied for second in assists (10) but now is tied for the third-most goals (6) while not missing a game since the 2017-18 season.

Ground Control: The Komets close out a five-game stretch against Mountain Division teams while coming up with mixed results. The Komets are now 2-2-0 through their opening four games, but in that time they’ve been held to two goals or less in now three of four contests, marking just the second time they’ve been held to three goals or less (November 28-30: 3-0 W vs. WHL, 3-2 OTW vs. CIN) following their pair of one-goal games in Tulsa (1-0 W) and Kansas City (4-1 L) last week. The Komets will play the Steelheads two more times in January and host Tulsa in February to round out their seven-game Mountain Division schedule. They’ve won four of seven non-division games this season with a 4-2-1-0 record (2-0-1-0 vs. South).

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Allen Americans 25 18 4 3 0 39 .780
Rapid City Rush 26 15 8 3 0 33 .635
Idaho Steelheads 27 13 9 3 2 31 .574
Wichita Thunder 26 11 10 5 0 27 .519
Utah Grizzlies 23 10 8 4 1 25 .543
Kansas City Mavericks 24 10 12 2 0 22 .458
Tulsa Oilers 26 10 14 2 0 22 .423

Next Game: The Steelheads head back on the road and open a three-game week against the Norfolk Admirals on Wednesday, Dec. 18 at 5:30 p.m. from Norfolk Scope Arena. Coverage begins at 5:10 p.m. on 1350 KTIK-AM "The Ticket" and ECHL.tv.

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