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PREVIEW: Game #41 – Steelheads vs. Oilers

Friday, January 17th
PREVIEW: Game #41 – Steelheads vs. Oilers

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (22-13-5) VS. TULSA OILERS (17-21-3)

FRIDAY, JAN. 17, 2020 | 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 continue their three-game weekend against the Tulsa Oilers from CenturyLink Arena.

Head-To-Head: With their win on Wednesday, the Oilers have claimed at least a share of the season series with the Steelheads while having three games remaining, pushing the Steelheads to a 1-3-1 record. This is the fifth of seven games head-to-head in January to close out the season set as well as the second of just three meetings in Boise this season. The Steelheads are 16-10-2 against the Oilers all-time in the regular season and 6-5-1 at CenturyLink Arena.

Last Game: The Steelheads slipped 4-1 to the Oilers in their return home to CenturyLink Arena. After a scoreless first period, Oilers forward Jacob Benson (6:06 2nd) deflected a shot off his body to open the scoring before Steelheads defenseman Jeff King (9:03 2nd) was led for a breakaway goal, tying the game at 1-1. The Oilers struck three times in the third beginning with forward Danny Moynihan (8:38 3rd) and followed by the second tallies from Benson (12:12 3rd) and Moynihan (EN, SH, 17:44 3rd) to seal off the 4-1 win. Olle Eriksson Ek (6-9-1) stopped 34 of 35 shots in the win, while Jake Kupsky (0-1-0) stopped 30 of 33 shots in the loss.

Bumpy Ride: The Steelheads have had a roller coaster season while playing at home, and Wednesday’s loss moves them to a split of wins and losses midway through the home schedule at 9-8-1. The Steelheads have earned similar results in bunches, only going back-and-forth between wins and losses once when they beat Allen on December 6 that broke up a stretch with losses in five of six home games. Otherwise, the Steelheads have collected at least two of the same result (wins or losses) in-a-row though only doing so in two and three game spurts. While scoring has picked up at home (3.06 GPG) for the Steelheads, it has also risen for road teams (3.33 GAPG) with the Steelheads being held to three goals or less in 10 of 18 home games. 16 of the team’s next 21 games through March 7 all come at home.

Kill Bill, Vol. I: The Steelheads penalty kill units have been becoming more and more consistent stretching into the third quarter of the season after going perfect in their return home. The Steelheads have not allowed a power play goal in eight of their last 11 games since not allowing an attempt on December 18 in Norfolk, going 40-for-44 (90.9%) in that time. Since that game, the Steelheads have risen from 16th in the ECHL at a 82.4% conversion rate up to fifth in the league at a 84.9% rate, all while keeping opponents to four chances or less in seven of 11 contests.

King of the World: Steelheads defenseman Jeff King extends his scorching of opponents with the lone goal in last night’s game and has been a highlight player since making the transition to forward. The St. Clair, Mich. native has goals in four of his last six games and points in seven of nine contests since December 18 in Norfolk, tallying 11 points (4-7–11) in that stretch. In fact, he only trails forward Anthony Nellis in goals (five) and forward Marc-Olivier Roy in points (3-9–12) during that time while also putting up the best game-to-point percentage (77.8%). King shares the team lead in scoring for defenseman with 16 points (5-11–16) through 24 games while sharing the fourth-best point-per-game ratio (0.67) on the roster.

Chuck Norrish: Steelheads defenseman Brady Norrish played his 100th professional game in Wednesday’s loss, marking the second defenseman in as many weeks to hit the personal plateau. Most of his professional career has come with the Steelheads outside of 13 games played with the Texas Stars in his rookie season, and he’s at an average of one point every two games, tallying 50 points (13-37–50) in his first 100 games with 45 points in Idaho. The Strongfield, Sask. product was named to the 2020 Warrior/ECHL All-Star Classic as well as a share of the ECHL Plus Performer of the Month this past October while earning an AHL contract last season. This year, he owns 11 points (2-9–11) in 38 games with the Steelheads.

Boomerang Effect: Oilers forward Jack Nevins picked up an assist on the game-winning goal in Wednesday’s result and also extended a personal streak against his former team. The Stittsville, Ont. product has equaled his production in Florida (2-2–4 in 16 games) in less than half of the games (seven) with the Oilers, but all four points earned came against the Steelheads combined in three of their four meetings since being acquired on January 2. Nevins has eight points in 23 games this season as well as 79 points (34-45–79) in 203 career ECHL games.

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Allen Americans 42 27 8 6 1 61 .726
Idaho Steelheads 40 22 13 3 2 49 .613
Utah Grizzlies 38 20 11 5 2 47 .618
Rapid City Rush 38 21 14 3 0 45 .592
Wichita Thunder 42 18 17 7 0 43 .512
Tulsa Oilers 41 17 21 2 1 37 .451
Kansas City Mavericks 38 17 19 2 0 36 .474

Next Game: The Steelheads and Oilers finish their three-game set on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 7:10 p.m. from CenturyLink Arena. 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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