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PREVIEW: Game #35 – Steelheads @ Oilers

Friday, January 3rd
PREVIEW: Game #35 – Steelheads @ Oilers

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (19-10-5) VS. TULSA OILERS (13-18-3)

FRIDAY, JAN. 3, 2020 | 6:20 P.M. MTBOK CENTER | TULSA, OKRADIO: 1350 KTIK-AM | STREAM: ECHL TV

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads begin the New Year with the first of three road games against the Tulsa Oilers from BOK Center.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads continue the road portion of their seven-game season series against the Oilers this weekend after meeting on November 16 in a 4-3 shootout loss. This is the first of seven games against the Oilers this month with four coming at BOK Center. Last year, the two sides split their season series with a 5-4-1 record while splitting their four games from the BOK Center. The Steelheads own a 15-7-2 record in the regular season against the Oilers as well as 9-3-1 on the road.

Last Game: The Steelheads closed the calendar year with a 6-5 overtime win over the Allen Americans on Tuesday night from Allen Event Center. Steelheads forward Anthony Nellis (6:40 1st) initially put the road side ahead before three-unanswered goals came from Americans forwards Olivier Archambault (9:51 1st), Jordan Topping (15:21 1st) and Jared VanWormer (16:35 1st) to spike ahead, 3-1. Steelheads forward Marc-Olivier Roy (PP, 19:59 1st) answered just before the end of the frame, and Nellis (8:03 2nd) earned his second to tie the game at 3-3. Americans forward Alex Guptill (8:24 2nd) began the back-and-forth continued by Steelheads forward Zack Andrusiak (19:52 2nd), VanWormer (7:23 3rd) and Andrusiak (EA, 19:38 3rd) again to send the game to overtime, 5-5. Nellis (0:48 OT) netted the hat-trick and the game-winner to take the overtime winner, 6-5, to seal the road victory. Tomas Sholl (14-4-4) halted 14 of 19 shots in the win, while Jake Paterson (12-2-3) stopped 38 of 44 shots in the overtime loss.

December To Remember: The Steelheads closed the 2019 calendar year on quite the run, marking their best stretch of the season. The team finished with a 8-3-1-0 record and 17 points in December, overtaking their November total (6-7-0-2, 14pts) in three fewer games and posting the most wins in a single month. During the month, the Steelheads also went 3-1 in post-regulation play and averaged 3.50 goals per game, their best monthly total of the year. The Steelheads have won seven of their last eight games heading into 2020 and will play nine of 13 games on the road, where the team is 10-3-4.

Bonus Hockey: The Steelheads have been one of the more potent teams in finding points this season with their 12th post-regulation result of the year. The team only trails the Allen Americans (14) in post-regulation appearances and is one of five teams with at least 10 games ending in overtime and beyond. Five of their 12 appearances (41.7%), but overall the Steelheads have won four of their last five overtime results as well as five of six when ending after the third period. The Steelheads are 6-3 in overtime games this year, owning the second-most wins in overtime across the ECHL.

Throw The Hats: Forward Anthony Nellis netted the Steelheads’ first hat-trick of the season, breaking an eight-way tie for the most goals in a game (2). The hat-trick was also the first in three seasons dating back to Feb. 11, 2017 when forward Anthony Luciani (‘16-’17) scored three goals in a 5-1 home win over Wheeling. It was also the first road hat-trick in four seasons with the last time coming on Feb. 21, 2016 in Wichita during a 5-4 overtime win thanks to Carson McMillan’s second hat-trick of the year. Of the 35 total hat-tricks since 2007, 19 of those have come on the road, six game been during post-regulation play, and that was the first against Allen.

Zack Attack: Steelheads forward Zack Andrusiak hasn’t been finding the back of the net at the same pace as early in the season, however his two-goal night on Tuesday pushed him back in the goal column. The tally was his first since November 29 (nine games) and his third multi-goal game of the season, which leads the team. Lately, the Yorkton, Sask. native has been finding his secondary scoring at a stronger pace, posting six assists over his last seven games. Overall, Andrusiak is averaging over a point-per-game clip in his last seven games, notching eight points (2-6–8) since December 14 and lifting into the top-five in team scoring with 19 points (8-11–19) through 31 games.

Lacking Grease: The Tulsa Oilers are looking for a better start in 2020 than the close of the 2019 calendar year beginning with their first games this weekend. The Oilers have dropped three-straight games and four of their last five contests since December 20, and they’ve only strung together at least two-straight wins twice this season: October 30 through November 3 (three wins) and December 15-19 (two wins). On top of that, they’ve been held to just one goal in three of those five games while being outscored 19-12 in that time. The Oilers begin a six-game homestand tonight, where they’ve earned 10 of their 13 wins this season.

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Allen Americans 35 23 6 5 1 52 .743
Idaho Steelheads 34 19 10 3 2 43 .632
Utah Grizzlies 31 17 9 4 1 39 .629
Rapid City Rush 31 17 11 3 0 37 .597
Wichita Thunder 36 15 15 6 0 36 .500
Kansas City Mavericks 33 15 16 2 0 32 .485
Tulsa Oilers 34 13 18 2 1 29 .426

Next Game: The Steelheads open the 2020 calendar year on Friday, Jan. 3 at 6:05 p.m. against the Tulsa Oilers from BOK Center. Coverage begins at 5:45 p.m. on 1350 KTIK-AM "The Ticket" and ECHL.tv.

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