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PREVIEW #7: Steelheads @ Oilers

Saturday, November 6th
PREVIEW #7: Steelheads @ Oilers

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

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

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads continue their three-game weekend against the Tulsa Oilers from the BOK Center in game two of their six-game road trip.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads slipped in their first game of the six-game season series, and with only three road games on the schedule the Oilers have a chance to take their home side of the season set. The Oilers have now won seven of their last nine meetings against the Steelheads as well as five of six contests at the BOK Center. The Steelheads still hold the overall franchise series with a 17-13-2 record all-time as well as 10-7-1 at the BOK Center.

Last Game: The Steelheads slipped in a high-octane effort in a 2-1 loss to the Oilers on Thursday night from the BOK Center. The Steelheads put on a strong offensive showing throughout most of the game, and their persistence paid off with the opening tally. Forward Colby McAuley (16:00 1st) put back a Shawn McBride rebound to snag the initial 1-0 lead. The Oilers found favor on an odd-angle shot in the second period to tie the game then took the lead early in the third frame. The Oilers turned up the defensive play and held off the Steelheads for the victory.

Unlucky Starts: The Steelheads have found success playing from behind but haven’t been able to win when getting out of the gates first. In their first two attempts scoring the game’s first goal, the Steelheads have yet to win, falling on Thursday against the Oilers as well as on October 29 against Rapid City. In both games, the Steelheads earned first period tallies and posted exactly 31 shots while outshooting their opponents. However, the Steelheads are 3-1-0-0 when conceding the opening goal, using a strong second period effort to come alive offensively.

D Side, Strong Side: Despite the loss, the Steelheads have maintained a strong defensive presence to hold off opponents from scoring chances. The Steelheads have held opponents to under 30 shots for three-straight games and have only allowed a combined 23 shots in the first and second periods over the last two games (12 shots on October 30 vs. Rapid City; 11 shots on Thursday @ Tulsa). In the same span, the Steelheads have posted over 30 shots per game though only notching six goals and converting on 6.12% of shots.

Specially Disciplined: The Steelheads have been one of the most disciplined teams in the ECHL heading into the third weekend of the season. Though a small sample size, the Steelheads have only allowed 10 power play opportunities for opponents, which ranks as the second-lowest in the ECHL only behind the Fort Wayne Komets with nine penalty kills in three fewer games. The team has the lowest penalty kills per game (1.67) and now owns the lowest penalty minutes per game (9.00) for one of the first times in the team’s ECHL history. Their power play to penalty kill ratio (2.7:1) is one of the best in the league.

McAul of the Wild: Steelheads forward Colby McAuley scored the lone goal in Thursday’s loss to the Oilers and continues two different trends for his goals this year. Both goals scored by the Sherwood Park, Alb. native have been scored off rebounds from the right side, and both tallies have also come in the first game of the month for the Steelheads, though his first strike on Opening Night was the game-winning tally. In 143 ECHL games, McAuley is now seven points away from 100 in his ECHL career, boasting 93 points (44-49–93) between the Steelheads and Allen Americans.

Oil Flowing: The Tulsa Oilers have been churning coming into their first home weekend series, winning now their third-straight game following Thursday’s victory. The Oilers have been held under 30 shots in all three of their wins while also progressing with fewer shots in each win (29, 24, 16) while averaging nearly four goals per game (3.67) and converting on 15.9% of their shots in that time. Their recent string of success has come over the span of 12 days for three games, and this weekend is part of the closest three-game stretch the team has had so far this year.

Happy Gilmour: Oilers forward Alex Gilmour has stepped into a leading role in his first four games of the season, adding a pair of points including the opening tally of Thursday night’s win over the Steelheads. In his first ECHL games, the Uxbridge, Ont. native has a pair of multi-point games and points in three of four contests, adding three points in two games over Rapid City and two points against the Steelheads. With his five points (2-3–5), he moves into second on the team in scoring while also sitting tied for the team lead in assists with forwards Mike McKee and Dylan Sadowy.

2021-22 MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Utah Grizzlies 7 5 2 0 0 10 .714
Tulsa Oilers 4 3 1 0 0 6 .750
Idaho Steelheads 6 3 3 0 0 6 .500
Allen Americans 5 2 1 2 0 6 .600
Rapid City Rush 5 2 2 1 0 5 .500
Kansas City Mavericks 4 2 2 0 0 4 .500
Wichita Thunder 5 1 4 0 0 2 .200

Next Game: The Steelheads close their three-game weekend against the Oilers on Sunday, Nov. 7 at 3:05 p.m. MT from the BOK Center. Coverage begins at 2:45 p.m. on 1350AM KTIK and FloHockey.

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