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PREVIEW: Game #44 – Steelheads @ Mavericks

Friday, January 24th
PREVIEW: Game #44 – Steelheads @ Mavericks

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (23-14-6) @ KANSAS CITY MAVERICKS (17-21-2)

FRIDAY, JAN. 24, 2020 | 6:05 P.M. MTSILVERSTEIN EYE CENTERS ARENAINDEPENDENCE, MORADIO: 1350 KTIK-AM | STREAM: ECHL TV

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads begin a three-game, three-day set with the first of two contests against the Kansas City Mavericks from Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads play their only games on the road against the Mavericks to close the road portion of the season series. The Steelheads won both meetings with the Mavericks at home in November, setting themselves up to win the five-game season series in one of their final three games this season. The Steelheads have also won 10 of their last 14 meetings with the Mavericks, however last year the Steelheads dropped two of three games against the Mavericks on the road. In the franchise series, the Steelheads own a 10-4-0 record but are 2-3-0 at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.

Last Game: The Steelheads started their road trip with a 2-1 shootout loss to the Utah Grizzlies on Monday afternoon from Maverik Center. Grizzlies forward Garrett Klotz (8:18 1st) after an early flurry during the first period to take the 1-0 lead before forward A.J. White (15:22 1st) converted off a turnover to eventually force overtime, 1-1. Stretching into the shootout, Grizzlies forwards Josh Dickinson (2nd) and Mitch Maxwell (3rd) netted two of their three chances to snag the 2-1 shootout result. Mason McDonald (5-4-4) stopped 22 of 23 shots and both attempts in the shootout for the win, while Tomas Sholl (17-6-5) halted 31 of 32 shots in the loss as well as one of three shots in the shootout.

Road, Sweet Road: The Steelheads enter their fifth three-game, three-day road swing of the season and enter the back end of a four-game road trip. The Steelheads have points in four-straight road games (3-0-1 record) following their shootout loss on Monday though were held to under three goals for the first time in that stretch. This is the 11th road game over the team’s last 16 overall games and own a 9-5-1 record in that time. However, the Steelheads have lost three of their last four games while being held to two goals or less in all four contests with only five combined goals.

Powering Down: While the Steelheads power play remains consistent over the long run, the defensive side of special teams has formed into an elite squad. The penalty kill has been lights out over the last two weeks, only allowing one power play goal over their last five contests and going 17-for-18 (94.4%) in that time along with five kills on Monday afternoon. Since December 18, the Steelheads are perfect in 10 of their last 14 games, owning a 48-for-52 (92.3%) conversion rate and climbing from 16th in the ECHL to fifth overall for the season. On the road, the Steelheads sit fourth in the ECHL (12-for-91, 86.8%).

Slow Starts: The Steelheads have had a tough time getting off the ground early in games as of late and finding leads. The team has conceded the opening goal in six of their last nine contests since beginning the New Year on January 3, and while they’re outscoring their opponents in the first period in that span they’ve only scored five of the nine combined tallies. Additionally, the Steelheads have only scored in the first period once in the last four games and have been tied or trailed after the opening frame in seven of their last nine contests. The Steelheads have scored 28 goals in the first period, the fewest across the ECHL, but have only conceded 35 goals in the opening frame.

Making Good Bretts: Steelheads forward Brett Supinski picked up an assist on the team’s lone goal on Monday afternoon, and while only two players netted points that game it helped extend a strong run for the rookie. The Collegeville, Penn. had posted points in three of his last five games and points in 14 of his 24 games played despite missing a decent portion of the season due to injury. With his efforts, Supinski still sits second on the team for point-per-game ratio (0.79) as well as tied for second in goals (11) with forward Anthony Nellis. In his rookie season, he owns 19 points (11-8–19) through 24 games played.

Put Down: The Kansas City Mavericks enter tonight’s game on a five-game losing skid while being overpowered by their opposition. During their down turn, the Mavericks have averaged 6.70 goals allowed per game with four goals or more scored against in all five games and at least seven goals allowed over their past three contests (7-1 L @ NFD, 8-2 L vs. ALN, 8-0 L @ ALN). At the same time, the Mavericks have combined for just four goals in five games while being shut out in the first game and their last contest. This is the first losing streak larger than three games this year for the Mavericks, but tonight’s game begins a five-game homestand and 10 of 12 games from Silverstein Eye Centers Arena, where they sit with a 9-9-0 record.

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Allen Americans 44 29 8 6 1 65 .739
Utah Grizzlies 41 23 11 5 2 53 .646
Idaho Steelheads 43 23 14 3 3 52 .605
Rapid City Rush 41 22 16 3 0 47 .573
Wichita Thunder 44 18 19 7 0 43 .489
Tulsa Oilers 43 18 21 3 1 40 .465
Kansas City Mavericks 40 17 21 2 0 36 .450

Next Game: The Steelheads finish their two-game set against the Mavericks on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 6:05 p.m. from Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. Coverage begins at 5:45 p.m. on 1350 KTIK-AM "The Ticket" and ECHL.tv.

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