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PREVIEW #12: Steelheads vs. ADK Thunder

Wednesday, November 17th
PREVIEW #12: Steelheads vs. ADK Thunder

IDAHO STEELHEADS (6-5-0) VS. ADIRONDACK THUNDER (4-4-1)

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 17, 2021 | 7:10 P.M. MTIDAHO CENTRAL ARENA | BOISE, IDTICKETS: CLICK HERETV: SPARKLIGHT CH. 72RADIO: 1350AM & 95.3FM KTIK | STREAM: FLOHOCKEYCLICK HERE FOR GAME NOTES

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads meet the Adirondack Thunder for the first of three games this week and host their first of two series against East Division opponents at Idaho Central Arena this season.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads have met the Thunder just once before in the 2016-17 season nearly five years to the date on Nov. 9-12, 2016. The Thunder earned the first game, 6-3, but the Steelheads won back-to-back results with a 4-3 shootout win and 4-2 regulation victory. The Steelheads went 58-29-9 overall and 28-9-3 when the Thunder were in Stockton, and the Steelheads also are 7-4-1 all-time against East Division opponents with another three-game series against the Worcester Railers later this year.

Last Game: The Steelheads overpowered and shut down the Rapid City Rush with a 3-0 win on Saturday night from Monument Ice Arena. The Steelheads struck early thanks to the patience in front of the net shown by forward Colton Kehler (1:31 1st) netting the earliest goal to start a game this season for the 1-0 lead. The Steelheads held the Rush to no more than five shots in each period and had over 10 shots in each period offensively and added their second tally of the night late in the second period from forward Chase Zieky (17:41 2nd) for his first professional goal and a 2-0 lead. The final insurance tally came on a clear from defenseman Clint Filbrandt (EN, 18:03 3rd) to seal the 3-0 result. Jake Kupsky (1-0-0) stopped all 14 shots in the win.

All Too Well: The Steelheads completed their longest road trip of the season by days and tied for longest by games on Saturday. The Steelheads come out of the trip with not only an even 3-3-0 record but also wins in three of four games in a seven-day stretch last week. The team held opponents to two goals or less in four of six games while outscoring their opponents 13-12 and averaging 31.50 shots per game compared to allowing 24.33 shots per game. On special teams, the Steelheads converted on the power play in four of six games while also staying perfect in four of six as well as holding opponents to two chances or less in the same ratio of contests. The Steelheads open a six-game homestand and a stretch with 12 of 14 games at Idaho Central Arena.

Blank Space: The Steelheads earned their first shutout of the season thanks to a 14-save effort by Jake Kupsky in his first start of the year. The shutout had the lowest number of saves in a shutout during the ECHL era, beating the 15-save shutout recorded by Matt Climie on Mar. 25, 2009 in a 3-0 win over the Ontario Reign at home. It’s also the first shutout in 13 games dating back to Mar. 4, 2020 when Tomas Sholl halted 25 shots in a 1-0 win over South Carolina. The Steelheads posted six shutouts in the 2019-20 season and now own 84 across 18 ECHL seasons with 44 of those on the road.

I Knew You Were Trouble: Steelheads forward Zack Andrusiak earned his third multi-point game of the year on Saturday with a two-assist night. The Armstrong, B.C. native has one of the team’s first three-game point streaks of the season, tallying four points (goal, 3 assists) in the series with Rapid City while adding his third power play goal of the season. Andrusiak’s three goals have all come on the power play, and his recent surge comes close to his five points (2 goals, 3 assists) in a four-game stretch to open the year. He now sits tied for second on the team in scoring and sits second in assists with nine points (3 goals, 6 assists).

Mr. Perfectly Fine: Steelheads defenseman Casey Johnson has come into his own over the team’s two-week trip, earning assists in three-straight games as well as plus-four rating in that three-game stretch. The Grand Forks, N.D. native is off to a strong start in his first full ECHL season, totaling four assists in 11 games and is on-pace to surpass his 10-assist total in 39 games between SPHL Macon (33 games) and South Carolina (6 games) as well as eclipse his career-best 13 points through the entirety of the 2021-22 season. Johnson tallied nine assists and 13 points in 106 collegiate games with the University of North Dakota.

You Need To Calm Down: The Adirondack Thunder head on the road for just their second weekend away from Glens Falls, N.Y. following wins in two of three games against the Utah Grizzlies at home. The Thunder have yet to win back-to-back games this year but have scored five or more goals in three of their four wins on the year including a 5-4 comeback victory on Friday over the Grizzlies. They enter the week with the most power play goals in the ECHL (12), leading the second-place Steelheads (10) as the only two teams in double-digits thanks to a 5-for-18 (27.8%) effort against the Grizzlies last weekend. 

2021-22 MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Utah Grizzlies 11 7 4 0 0 14 .636
Tulsa Oilers 8 6 2 0 0 12 .750
Idaho Steelheads 11 6 5 0 0 12 .545
Kansas City Mavericks 10 5 5 0 0 10 .500
Wichita Thunder 9 4 5 0 0 8 .444
Rapid Cityt Rush 9 3 5 1 0 7 .389
Allen Americans 9 2 5 2 0 6 .333

Next Game: The Steelheads continue their three-game home weekend against the Adirondack Thunder on Friday, Nov. 19 at 7:10 p.m. from Idaho Central Arena. Tickets are available by calling 331-TIXS or going to idahosteelheads.com. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on 1350AM & 95.3FM KTIK as well as 7:00 p.m. on Sparklight Ch. 72 & FloHockey.

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