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PREVIEW #4 - Steelheads vs. Rush

Friday, October 29th
PREVIEW #4 - Steelheads vs. Rush

IDAHO STEELHEADS (2-0-0) VS. RAPID CITY RUSH (1-1-0)

FRIDAY, OCT. 29, 2021 | 7:10 P.M. MTIDAHO CENTRAL ARENA | BOISE, IDTV: SPARKLIGHT CH. 72RADIO: 1350 KTIK-AM | STREAM: FLOHOCKEYTICKETS: CLICK HERECLICK HERE FOR GAME NOTES

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads close out a short October with a two-game home weekend beginning tonight against the Rapid City Rush. 

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads and Rush open an 11-game season series as well as a five-game schedule at Idaho Central Arena. During their 2019-20 season set, the Rush earned their first series win in their franchise history winning six of 10 games during the abbreviated set, though the Steelheads won back-to-back wins against the Rush to close the set at home. The Steelheads own a 42-18-5 record against the Rush and are now 20-8-4 at Idaho Central Arena.

Last Game: The Steelheads fell short in a 4-0 loss to the Utah Grizzlies on Sunday afternoon from Maverik Center to close out a three-game weekend. The Steelheads held strong in the first period, but in the second period the Grizzlies broke through with the first and decisive goal of the game just past the midway point of the contest. The 1-0 game trailed into the third period before the Grizzlies added a second tally. With the goaltender pulled late, the Grizzlies scored two more, including one shorthanded in the 4-0 result. Adam Scheel (1-1-0) halted 32 of 34 shots in the loss.

One Week Down: The Steelheads find themselves atop the Mountain Division after the first weekend of the season thanks, in part, to being only one of two teams to play three times. Despite the advantage, the Steelheads have been strong in multiple areas thus far. The team leads the ECHL in power play goals (5) and shares the second-best conversion rate (5-for-15, 33.3%) in the league even with the second-most opportunities while also being one of nine teams to stay perfect on the penalty kill. The team has the fifth-lowest penalty minutes per game (10.33) while owning the fourth-most goals scored (12) heading into the second weekend.

Shut Down: For the first time this season, the Steelheads were held without a goal and it came on the final day of a three-game, three-day weekend. While it’s one of the earliest times the Steelheads have been blanked, it’s not the earliest, which is Oct. 16, 2010 against the Victoria Salmon Kings in a 4-0 loss, which was the second game of the season. The Steelheads were shut out only three times in 2019-20 with the first coming against Rapid City on Nov. 9, 2019 (1-0 L), and it’s the seventh time the Grizzlies have performed the feat since 2009. The organization has nearly double the number of shutouts for compared to against (83 for, 48 against) in the ECHL era (2003-present).

Early Leaders: Individually, the Steelheads have a few players sitting near or atop the ECHL in a few categories heading into the weekend. Captain A.J. White shares the league lead in goals (4) with Reading’s Patrick Bajkov and also is one of three players in the ECHL with two power play goals, including Steelheads forward Zack Andrusiak and Norfolk’s Daniel Brickley. Forward Luc Brown shares the fourth-most shots (15), and defenseman Michael Prapavessis sits with Brickley and Norfolk’s Eric Williams for the most assists by defensemen (4) in the league.

Return Of The Burt: Rush Head Coach Scott Burt makes his return to Idaho Central Arena for the first time since being named to lead the Rush bench. Burt was introduced to his current position on July 7 following one season as the Steelheads Assistant Coach. He led the team’s defensive core and penalty killing units, each of which were among the top-five across the ECHL in overall rating with the third-best penalty kill unit and fourth-best goals against per game. He played 403 games with the Steelheads over seven seasons from 2000 through 2007, tallying 250 points (111 goals, 139 assists) and 730 penalty minutes while helping the team to two Kelly Cup Championships.

Movement & Missing: The Rush have seen some key changes to their lineup since opening the season last weekend against the Tulsa Oilers. In net, the team saw goaltender David Tendeck earn a call-up to the Tucson RoadRunners on Tuesday after playing in both games for the Rush on opening weekend against Tulsa and stopping 73 of 79 shots in two games. This sets up the Rush debut for either Lukas Parik or Cole Kehler. Additionally, forward Hudson Elynuik was also recalled to AHL Tucson on Wednesday after a three-point weekend (1-2–3) including a goal and an assist on Opening Night.

2019-20 MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Idaho Steelheads 3 2 1 0 0 4 .667
Wichita Thunder 2 1 1 0 0 2 .500
Rapid City Rush 2 1 1 0 0 2 .500
Tulsa Oilers 2 1 1 0 0 2 .500
Kansas City Mavericks 2 1 1 0 0 2 .500
Allen Americans 2 1 1 0 0 2 .500
Utah Grizzlies 3 1 2 0 0 2 .333

Next Game: The Steelheads close their two-game home weekend against the Rapid City Rush on Saturday, Oct. 30 at 7:10 p.m. from Idaho Central Arena. Tickets are available at idahosteelheads.com or by calling 331-TIXS. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on 1350AM KTIK as well as 7:00 p.m. on Sparklight Ch. 72 & FloHockey.

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