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PREVIEW: Game #47 – Steelheads vs. Rush

Friday, January 31st
PREVIEW: Game #47 – Steelheads vs. Rush

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (24-15-7) VS. RAPID CITY RUSH (24-17-3)

FRIDAY, JAN. 31, 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 open a four-game homestand with the first of two contests against the Rapid City Rush from CenturyLink Arena.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads have not fared well against the Rush this season, dropping five of six contests for a 1-4-1 record. This weekend continues a stretch of seven-straight games at home against the Rush dating back to the end of November and through February as part of their 13-game season series. The Steelheads’ lone win this season came on November 27 in a 4-3 overtime victory and have lost back-to-back since. However, the Steelheads boast a 39-17-5 record all-time against the Rush and are 17-7-4 at CenturyLink Arena.

Last Game: The Steelheads closed their road trip with a 6-2 loss to the Tulsa Oilers from the BOK Center. Steelheads forward Marc-Olivier Roy (9:02 1st) struck first to take the initial 1-0 lead before two Oilers tallies from defenseman Jake Clifford (SH, 13:10 1st) and forward Robbie Jackson (1:49 2nd) shifted the advantage, 2-1. The Steelheads answered for the final time thanks to forward Will Merchant (10:21 2nd) to tie the game, 2-2. However, the Oilers scored three more goals in the second period by forwards Jack Nevins (11:19 2nd), Bobby Watson (12:13 2nd), and Jacob Benson (19:)1 2nd) and one more in the final frame from forward Cory Ward (14:53 3rd) for the 6-2 win. Devin Williams (11-9-1) saved 24 of 26 shots in the win. Tomas Sholl (18-7-5) stopped 21 of 26 shots in 39:34 minutes in the loss, and Colton Point halted three of four shots in 20:00 minutes of relief.

End of the Road: The Steelheads closed their four-game road trip with their first road regulation loss since January 4, breaking a six-game point streak on the road. During their point streak, the Steelheads earned a 4-0-2 record with three shootout results during their final week following three-straight wins beginning on January 5. Last week, the Steelheads earned a 1-1-2 record during their immediate four-game road trip while also wrapping up a stretch with 13 of 18 games away from home since December 18. In that time, the Steelheads earned a 10-6-2 record while posting a 8-3-2 road record in that time. 

We’re Coming Home: While the road stretch ends, another long stretch begins for the Steelheads with 13 of their next 15 games coming at CenturyLink Arena. On the season, the Steelheads own a 10-9-1 record at home while dropping three of their last five games, scoring two goals or less in all five contests. During their 12-game homestand in November and December, the Steelheads posted a 6-5-1 record while opening with losses in four of seven followed by points in four of five. The Steelheads have yet to win or lose more than three-consecutive games in Boise.

White Ranger: Steelheads captain A.J. White had a strong end to the team’s most recent road trip, tallying four points (2-2–4) over his last four games. In that time, the Dearborn, Mich. native has points in three of his last four games and improved to 3-for-6 in shootouts with his game-winning goal last Friday in Kansas City, leading the team in shootout goals and earning both winners in the skills contest. White had been held scorless in six-straight games leading into his most recent run, and overall he owns 31 points (10-21–31) through 46 games. He sits second in assists and scoring as well as third in points per game (0.67).

Char-Broiled: The Steelheads continued to make moves this week, acquiring forward Jonathan Charbonneau from the Toledo Walleye on Monday. The St-Colombant, Que. product was traded by the South Carolina Stingrays just one day prior following 34 games with the team this season, adding 18 points (9-9–18) with four power play goals and a plus-five rating. Over parts of the last three seasons, Charbonneau has notched 78 points (30-48–78) with 15 power play goals in 103 ECHL games with the Stingrays following a four-year career at Mercyhurst University. Last year, he was named to the 2019 ECHL All-Star Classic and finished third on the team in scoring with 51 points (16-35–51) as a rookie.

Doing Business: Though the Rapid City Rush have dropped three of their last five games overall, they’ve performed well against the Mountain Division opening the 2020 calendar year. Thanks to a pair of wins against the Wichita Thunder, the Rush have won seven of their last nine games against divisional opponents, boasting a 7-1-1 record since December 27, which closed an overall six-game losing skid heading into the holiday break. The Rush have scored four goals or more in three-straight games as well as six-straight games against the division. However, the Rush are 2-4-0 against non-divisional teams in that same time.

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Allen Americans 47 31 8 6 2 70 .745
Utah Grizzlies 45 25 13 5 2 57 .633
Idaho Steelheads 46 24 15 5 2 55 .598
Rapid City Rush 44 24 17 3 0 51 .580
Wichita Thunder 47 19 20 8 0 46 .489
Tulsa Oilers 47 20 22 4 1 45 .479
Kansas City Mavericks 43 18 22 2 1 39 .453

Next Game: The Steelheads finish their two-game set with the Rush on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 7:10 p.m. from CenturyLink Arena. Tickets are available by calling 208-331-TIXS 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 & ECHL.tv.

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