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PREVIEW: Game #39 – Steelheads @ Komets

Sunday, January 12th
PREVIEW: Game #39 – Steelheads @ Komets

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (21-12-5) VS. FORT WAYNE KOMETS (18-13-5)

SUNDAY, JAN. 12, 2020 | 3:00 P.M. MTALLEN COUNTY WAR MEMORIAL COLISEUMFORT WAYNE, INRADIO: 1350 KTIK-AM | STREAM: ECHL TV

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads close out their six-game road trip in their final meeting with the Fort Wayne Komets from the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads have won three-straight games against the Komets and the first ever road meeting between the two sides, sealing off their first season series heading into the final game of the set. The Steelheads have won three of four games, and all four contests have been separated by two goals or less. This is the fifth of seven games against Central Division opponents this season still with two remaining in Toledo during February. Last year, the Steelheads went 4-3-0 against the Central Division but just 1-3-0 on the road.

Last Game: The Steelheads led ahead on the power play during their 3-2 win over the Komets on Friday night from the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. Komets forward Anthony Petruzzelli (15:10 1st) netted the first goal on a turnover, and the answer from Steelheads forward Conner Bleackley (PP, 16:49 2nd) came just over a period later to tie the game at 1-1. Three goals within a three-minute span led the final frame starting with Bleackley (2:40 3rd) as well as Petruzzelli (PP, 5:11 3rd), and Steelheads defenseman Jeff King (PP, 5:37 3rd) bounced the road side back ahead, 3-2, leading to the game-winning tally. Tomas Sholl (16-5-4) halted 17 of 19 shots in the win, while Patrick Munson (5-2-1) stopped 31 of 34 shots in the loss.

One More Left: The Steelheads head into the final game of their six-game road trip with a chance at holding a winning record. The Steelheads have won three of five games entering tonight’s game while scoring three goals or more in all three wins (3.00 GPG) while keeping opponents to three goals or less in three-straight contests. Both extended road trips this season lasting longer than six games will result in at least an even record after going 3-3-2 during an eight-game trip earlier this season. The Steelheads are in the middle of a stretch with 13 of 18 games on the road dating back to December 18, and the Steelheads are now 7-3-0 in that time.

King Me: Steelheads defenseman Jeff King extended his career-best point streak to five games thanks to another two-point effort in Friday’s win. The game-winning goal was his second of the season, and his goal and assist marks multi-point games in four of five contests during the nine-point stretch (3-6–9) dating back to his flex between forward and defense beginning on New Year’s Eve. The run breaks his longest stretch set from Jan. 9, 2019 through Jan. 16, 2019 (six assists), and he now owns points in six of his last seven games. King has tabbed the most points over the road trip thus far and has lifted his season total to 15 points (4-11–15), placing him in a share for the most points from a defenseman with Colton Saucerman (7-8–15).

Not So Bleack: Steelheads forward Conner Bleackley broke out with a three-point night on Friday, factoring in on all three goals during the victory. The High River, Alb. native earned his first multi-point game of the season while also breaking a nine-game stretch without a goal. The strong night boosts his point total to nearly a point-per-game average for the season, totaling 13 points (4-9–13) through 17 games this season. Over his ECHL career, he’s three points off that 1:1 point ratio, boasting 68 points (30-38–68) through 71 games. Not only that, but Bleackley hit the 100-point threshold (41-60–101) heading into his 200th professional game.

Valedictorian: Steelheads defenseman Ondrej Vala became the next player to reach the 100-game mark for his professional career on Friday night. The native of Kolin, Czech Republic has spent most of his career with the Steelheads but is on-pace for a career season in his second year, tying his career-high goal total  (three) in 22 fewer games while sitting three points under his 13-point career-high and five under last year’s plus-minus rating (+16). Through 100 games between the Steelheads and Texas Stars stretching from the end of the 2016-17 season, Vala tallied 25 points (6-19–25) with a plus-27 rating.

Over(zzelli): Komets forward Anthony Petruzzelli has been strong in both games this weekend, posting two-goal nights both in Friday’s 3-2 loss to the Steelheads as well as last night’s 6-1 win over the Wheeling Nailers. The Federal Way, Wash. product is currently on a three-game point streak, his third of the season, boasting the only multi-goal games of the season through 27 contests and sharing the most points in a streak (4-1–5) with his four-game stretch in December (1-4–5). Petruzzelli owns 19 points (8-11–19) this season, and through his 103-game career with the Komets has 64 points (28-36–64).

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Allen Americans 40 26 7 6 1 59 .738
Idaho Steelheads 38 21 12 3 2 47 .618
Utah Grizzlies 36 19 11 4 2 44 .611
Rapid City Rush 37 20 13 3 0 43 .581
Wichita Thunder 40 18 16 6 0 42 .525
Kansas City Mavericks 36 17 17 2 0 36 .500
Tulsa Oilers 39 15 21 2 1 33 .423

Next Game: The Steelheads return to CenturyLink Arena on Wednesday, Jan. 15 at 7:10 p.m. against the Tulsa Oilers. Tickets are available by calling 208-331-TIXS(8497) 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 and ECHL.tv.

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