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PREVIEW #8: Steelheads @ Oilers

Sunday, November 7th
PREVIEW #8: Steelheads @ Oilers

IDAHO STEELHEADS (3-4-0) @ TULSA OILERS (4-1-0)

SUNDAY, NOV. 7, 2021 | 3:05 P.M. MTBOK CENTER | TULSA, OKRADIO: 1350 KTIK-AM | STREAM: FLOHOCKEYCLICK HERE FOR GAME NOTES

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads close the road portion of their season series with the Tulsa Oilers from BOK Center.

Head-To-Head: The Oilers have claimed wins in back-to-back games, already claiming the road portion of the season series for the Steelheads with one game remaining. A win by the Oilers will give them at least a share of the season set with three games remaining in Boise. The Steelheads have dropped eight of their last 10 meetings against the Oilers and six of seven contests at the BOK Center. The Steelheads own a 17-14-2 record all-time against the Oilers and a 10-8-1 record at the BOK Center.

Last Night: The Steelheads fell despite another strong offensive effort in a 4-1 loss to the Oilers on Saturday night from the BOK Center. While the Steelheads had more chances in the opening two periods, the Oilers found the back of the net three times in the middle frame coming off turnovers with one of those tallies on the man-advantage. The Steelheads outshot the Oilers 25-12 in the first two frames combined but did find the back of the net on the power play thanks to a put-back by forward Will Merchant (PP, 19:07 2nd) to answer and cut into the deficit, 3-1. A late power play for the Oilers notched their final tally of the night in the 4-1 result.

Slipping With Power: For the second time this season, the Steelheads have fallen in back-to-back games and for the first time in the same weekend series. Since winning their opening two games, the Steelheads have dropped four of their last five games with opponents earning points in all five games, and even though the team has been outscored 16-8 in that stretch, the Steelheads boast a strong offensive presence with over 30 shots per game in four-straight contests and outshooting opponents 75-35 in the first two periods during their last three games.

Still Specialties: The Steelheads fought off five power play attempts for the first time this season, conceding two goals in the penalty kill as well for the first time. The night breaks a six-game streak to start the season of allowing three power play attempts and marks only the second time the Steelheads have allowed a power play goal in a game this year. However, the Steelheads are still perfect in five of seven games and own the second-lowest penalty minutes (9.43) in the ECHL while only seeing four teams own less penalty kills: Greenville (13), Toledo (13), Atlanta (14) and Orlando (14).

The Merch Man: Steelheads forward Will Merchant netted the only goal for the team in last night’s loss, notching his second power play goal of the season. The Eagan, Minn. native has been heating up as of late, earning four points (3-1–4) over his last four games while earning all three of his season goals in that time. He shares the team lead for poitns in the most games so far, posting points in four of seven contests. He now owns 141 points (62-79–141) through 220 games with the Steelheads, and he shits fifth in goals, seventh in games played, eighth in points and 10th in assists in the team’s ECHL history.

Re-Whiting History: Steelheads forward A.J. White picked up one of the team’s lone two assists last night, helping his own march toward the top side of the team’s all-time ECHL list. While it’s the first point earned by the Dearborn, Mich. native since the opening two games of the season, his assist moves him into a share of seventh all-time in assists for the ECHL era with forward Mark Derlago (‘09-’11) with 86 assists. One more assist will break that and tie him with forward Scott Burt (‘03-’07) for sixth on the team’s all-time list. The three-year captain owns five points (4-1–5) on the season and 131 points (45-86–131) through 210 Steelheads games.

Besting The Barrons: The Tulsa Oilers have now won four-straight games with last night’s victory while opening their home schedule with back-to-back wins. The Oilers have limited damage efficiently throuhgout their win streak, holding opponents to three goals or less in all four games and at two goals or less in three-straight contests. Additionally, they’ve posted four or more goals in three of their four games even though they sit in the bottom six for shot attempts per game. The Oilers are off to one of their best starts in the ECHL era and are one of just two teams with only one loss while playing at least five games.

2021-22 MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Utah Grizzlies 8 6 2 0 0 12 .750
Tulsa Oilers 5 4 1 0 0 8 .800
Kansas City Maverick 5 3 2 0 0 6 .600
Idaho Steelheads 7 3 4 0 0 6 .429
Allen Americans 6 2 2 2 0 6 .500
Rapid City Rush 6 2 3 1 0 5 .417
Wichita Thunder 5 1 4 0 0 2 .200

Next Game: The Steelheads continue their six-game road trip with a three-game weekend against the Rapid City Rush beginning on Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 7:05 p.m. Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. on 1350AM KTIK and FloHockey.

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