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PREVIEW: Game #56 – Steelheads vs. Grizzlies

Wednesday, February 26th
PREVIEW: Game #56 – Steelheads vs. Grizzlies

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (31-17-7) VS. UTAH GRIZZLIES (33-16-8)

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 26, 2020 | 7:10 P.M. MTCENTURYLINK ARENA | BOISE, IDTICKETS: CLICK HERETV: SPARKLIGHT CH. 72 | RADIO: 1350 KTIK-AM | STREAM: ECHL TV

GAME NOTES: CLICK HERE

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads open Rivalry Week and a three-game series against the Utah Grizzlies from CenturyLink Arena.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads won back-to-back home games against the Grizzlies on February 7 & 8, stretching their record to 6-1-1 in the season series. So far, the home team has won all three games in the 2020 calendar year with the Steelheads winning two of those three, which comes after the road team won all games in the 2019 calendar year portion of this season’s set. The Steelheads have five-consecutive home games remaining in their season series through March and are now 104-51-27 all-time against the Grizzlies in the franchise series.

Last Game: The Steelheads pushed out scoring early and held out for a 3-1 win over the Rush on Saturday night from CenturyLink Arena. Steelheads forward Jonathan Charbonneau (PP, 14:14 1st) netted his first goal with the team to hop the home side ahead, 1-0, and forward Kyle Schempp (17:46 1st) doubled the advantage to 2-0 with a deflection net front. The Steelheads added a second deflection goal thanks to forward Brett Supinski (3:37 2nd), expanding the unanswered run to three goals before Rush forward Stephane Legault (7:18 2nd) answered back for a 3-1 scoreline. From there, the Steelheads held strong defensively for the final result. Tomas Sholl (25-8-5) saved 26 of 27 shots in the win, while Alex Sakellaropoulos (6-11-0) stopped 28 of 31 shots in the loss.

Corner Turned: Thanks to their win on Saturday night, the Steelheads have now won five-straight home games since February 7 and also won their first three-game week this season. After splitting their first 20 games at CenturyLink Arena, the Steelheads are now 5-1-0 over their last six games while also grabbing wins in seven of nine overall contests. Opponents have scored three goals or more just twice over their last nine games despite the Steelheads averaging just 2.89 goals per game in that time. The Steelheads are in the midst of a nine-game homestand and stretch with 13 of 15 games at home, and a win tonight will secure at least a positive record during that time.

Powering Up: For the third time this season, the Steelheads power play unit capitalized in three-straight games over their last week of games. The Steelheads have made the most of their chances, going 3-for-7 (42.9%) against Kansas City and Rapid City and now own power play goals in six-straight games when having three or fewer attempts during their last nine games, and in that time the Steelheads have goals in six of nine contests (6-for-30, 20.0%) since January 31. While the Steelheads still sit in the middle of the pack on the season (16.9%, 14th ECHL), the team can amass four straight games with power play goals with a tally tonight.

Souper Man: Steelheads forward Brett Supinski was at it again on Saturday, securing another deflection goal to round out a four-goal week with a shootout goal. His three-game goal streak marks the sixth time this season between four players that the Steelheads have seen a goal stretch hit that mark, and those tallies also extend his overall point streak to seven-straight games (4-4–8) since February 7. The Collegeville, Penn. product has the third-most consecutive games with points on the team this season, only trailing forward Marc-Olivier Roy (nine games) and A.J. White (eight games), and though he owns the fewest points in a streak of this length he also tied White’s four-goal mark for the most in a stretch run. Supinski now sits second on the team in goals and leads team rookies in all major scoring categories (16-15–31).

The GOAT: Steelheads goaltender Tomas Sholl completed his seventh-straight start on Saturday night with a win, reaching his 60th career win with the Steelheads in the process. The Hermosa Beach, Calif. native becomes just the second Steelheads goaltender in the ECHL era to reach the 60-win plateau and the third goaltender in Steelheads history to hit that mark. He follows only Blair Allison (81 wins) and Steve Silverthorn (68 wins) on the team’s all-time list, however Sholl is on-pace to take over the all-time wins lead should he play a similar number of games. He’s won 68.2% of his contests (60-of-88) so far while Allison (81-of-131, 61.8%) and Silverthorn (68-of-122, 55.7%) hasn’t been on the same pacing. Sholl is one win from tying his career-best set last season (26) and leads the ECHL with 25 wins.

Locked In: The Utah Grizzlies have been locked in defensively since their last meetings with the Steelheads this month, winning six of eight games since February 11. In that time, the Grizzlies have held opponents to just two goals or less in all eight contests despite only averaging 2.88 goals per game. Last week, the Grizzlies just outscored the Kansas City Mavericks (4-3) while owning a 1-1-1 record. The Grizzlies begin a five-game road trip over two weeks between the Steelheads and Rapid City Rush.

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Allen Americans 57 37 12 6 2 82 .719
Utah Grizzlies 57 33 16 5 3 74 .649
Idaho Steelheads 55 31 17 3 4 69 .627
Rapid City Rush 55 27 22 5 1 60 .545
Tulsa Oilers 58 26 25 6 1 59 .509
Kansas City Mavericks 57 24 29 3 1 52 .456
Wichita Thunder 57 21 28 8 0 50 .439

Next Game: The Steelheads and Grizzlies continue their weekend set on Friday, Feb. 28 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, ECHL.tv, and the ECHL Facebook page.

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