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PREVIEW #6: Steelheads @ Oilers

Thursday, November 4th
PREVIEW #6: Steelheads @ Oilers

IDAHO STEELHEADS (3-2-0) @ TULSA OILERS (2-1-0)

THURSDAY, NOV. 4, 2021 | 6:05 P.M. MTBOK CENTER | TULSA, OKRADIO: 1350 KTIK-AM | STREAM: FLOHOCKEYCLICK HERE FOR GAME NOTES

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads open a three-game weekend against the Tulsa Oilers from the BOK Center as well as a six-game, 12-day road trip.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads open a six-game season series against the Oilers in their lone road meeting of the season. In their last season meeting in 2019-20, the Oilers claimed the season series, winning six of eight games and giving the Steelheads a 2-5-1 record while falling in four of five meetings on the road. This is the first of a six-game season series and the only trip to Tulsa this season. The Steelheads own a 17-12-2 record all-time against the Oilers as well as 10-6-1 at the BOK Center.

Last Game: The Steelheads battled and earned their first post-regulation win in a 2-1 overtime victory over the Rapid City Rush on Saturday night from Idaho Central Arena. The Steelheads pressed hard offensively throughout the game though the Rush tallied the opening goal in the first period to take a 1-0 led. The home side hit three posts in the first period and outshot the Rush throughout all three periods, though it took almost two frames to tie the game. Steelheads forward Yauheni Aksiantsiuk (17:40 2nd) pushed one through the legs of the netminder to tie the game, 1-1. After a scoreless third period, Aksiantsiuk (0:07 OT) only needed seven seconds to take the extra point and the 2-1 overtime win.

OT Magic: The Steelheads notched their first overtime win of the season in just seven seconds against the Rush on Saturday. The overtime winner by Yauheni Aksiantsiuk was the fastest overtime goal in the Steelheads ECHL era, eclipsing the mark set by Marty Flichel on Nov. 14, 2007 in a 5-4 overtime win over the Las Vegas Wranglers. The goal is tied for the third-fastest overtime goal in ECHL history, falling behind the record of just four seconds by Grant Besse of the South Carolina Stingrays on Jan. 30, 2019 against Norfolk. The former record was five seconds by Kane Davyduke with the Mississippi RiverKings on Dec. 8, 2002 vs. Louisiana. The Steelheads were 9-3 in overtime games in the 2019-20 season.

Top Of The Class: Steelheads forward Yauheni Aksiantsiuk closed out his first month of North American professional hockey on a high note, posting two goals on Saturday and five points in two games against the Rush. For his efforts in October, the Belarus native was named ECHL Rookie of the Month after posting a league-leading nine points (4 goals, 5 assists) in just five games and leading all ECHL rookies in all major scoring categories. It’s the first monthly honor for a Steelheads rookie since Jason Bast earned two honors in January 2015 and October 2014 as well as the seventh different player to earn the award. Aksiantsiuk owns four multi-point games to open the season.

Make A Prap Bet: Steelheads defenseman Michael Prapavessis has enjoyed a consistent offensive performance from the blue line in his first five games of the season, posting assists in four of five contests. His six assists leads all ECHL defensemen as well as shares the assist lead among all ECHL players in the early stretch of the season. He is on-pace to shatter his career highs in both assists (12) and points (13) set last season between the Orlando Solar Bears, Utah Grizzlies and Wheeling Nailers. 

Moving On Up: Steelheads defenseman Evan Wardley earned the call to the AHL on Wednesday by the Syracuse Crunch, marking his first AHL call-up of his career. The Vulcan, Alb. native is one of the team’s assistant captains and owns 15 penalty minutes in just two games this season with the Steelheads. He has played 11 games with the Steelheads over two seasons and owns 44 penalty minutes while totaling one goal and four assists for five points in 47 ECHL games between the Steelheads and Wheeling Nailers.

Reset The Rig: After falling in their season-opening game with the Rush, the Tulsa Oilers won back-to-back games to snag wins in two of three games ahead of their new home opener. The Oilers are looking to rebound from last season’s performance, finishing the season with a 30-28-11-3 record with 74 points and missing the postseason by seven points with a fifth place finish in the Western Conference. Currently, there are only three players returning from last year’s team: forwards Alex Kromm, Mike McKee and Adam Pleskach. 15 players have professional experience with five players owning ECHL experience last year.

2021-22 MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Utah Grizzlies 6 4 2 0 0 8 .667
Idaho Steelheads 5 3 2 0 0 6 .600
Rapid City Rush 4 2 1 1 0 5 .625
Tulsa Oilers 3 2 1 0 0 4 .667
Kansas City Mavericks 4 2 2 0 0 4 .500
Allen Americans 4 1 1 2 0 4 .500
Wichita Thunder 4 1 3 0 0 2 .250

Next Game: The Steelheads play the second of a three-game weekend against the Oilers on Saturday, Nov. 6 at 6:05 p.m. MT from the BOK Center. Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. on 1350AM KTIK and FloHockey.

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