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PREVIEW #20: Steelheads vs. Stingrays

Wednesday, December 8th
PREVIEW #20: Steelheads vs. Stingrays

IDAHO STEELHEADS (11-7-1) VS. SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS (9-6-2)

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 482021 | 7:10 P.M. MTIDAHO CENTRAL ARENA | BOISE, IDTV: SPARKLIGHT CH. 72RADIO: 95.3FM & 1350AM KTIK | STREAM: FLOHOCKEYTICKETS: CLICK HERECLICK HERE FOR GAME NOTES

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads open a three-game weekend against the South Carolina Stingrays from Idaho Central Arena that also begins a six-game homestand.

Head-To-Head: This will be the second-straight season in which the Steelheads and Stingrays meet with their only three games coming at Idaho Central Arena. In the 2019-20 season, the Steelheads took two of three games as the final weekend before the pandemic-shortened season concluded, extending their record to 5-3-0 since their first meeting in the 2003-04 season despite owning a 2-3-0 record at home. This is the first of seven games against the South Division this season, and the Steelheads are 20-14-3 combined against current members of that division.

Last Night: The Steelheads shut out the Kansas City Mavericks on their Teddy Bear Toss Night, 5-0, on Saturday night at Cable Dahmer Arena. Though there wasn’t scoring in the first period, the Steelheads struck iron in the second period with a pair of goals starting with forward Luc Brown (2:01 2nd) on the second shift of the frame to take the 1-0 lead. Forward Matt Tugnutt (8:49 2nd; 5:55 3rd) scored not only his first professional goal off a Mavericks skate but also added his second pro goal early in the third period off the crossbar to stretch the advantage to 3-0. Brown (PP, 7:31 3rd) extended the team’s scoring streak on the power pay to six games with his second of the night, and forward Zack Andrusiak (18:21 3rd) added one of his own to cap off the scoring and the 5-0 win. Jake Kupsky halted all 27 shots in the shutout victory.

A Blanketing Night: The Steelheads earned their second shutout of the season with both coming on Saturday nights on the road. The Steelheads have yet to have a season in the ECHL era without a shutout or multiple shutouts in the same year thanks to Jake Kupsky, who has both team shutouts on a combined 41 shots against and is just one of three goaltenders with two shutouts in the ECHL this year. The last goaltender with two road shutouts came from Tomas Sholl in Nov. 2, 2019 in Utah (1-0 W) and Dec. 19, 2019 in Norfolk (2-0 W). The Steelheads have 85 shutouts in the ECHL era with 45 of those coming away from Boise.

Power Surge: The Steelheads power play has been lights out heading into the thick of December with another tally on Saturday, extending their goal streak to six-straight contests. In that time, the Steelheads are 7-for-28 (25.0%) on the man-advantage while earning their first multi-power play goal game on Friday for the first time since Opening Night on October 22. This run also extends their overall prowess to start the season, scoring in 14 of 19 games (73.7%) with two different streak of four games or more. The Steelheads rank fifth in the ECHL on the power play.

White Christmas: Steelheads forward A.J. White has been one of the most consistent skaters crossing into the second quarter of the season thanks to another assist on Saturday. That moves him to a five-game point streak for the first time this season, boasting six points (2 goals, 4 assists) in that stretch. However, since November 12 in Rapid City, the Dearborn, Mich. native has points in nine of 10 contests with three multi-point games and 12 points (4 goals, 8 assists) while vaulting to the team lead in scoring at 17 points (8 goals, 9 assists) and sharing the lead in goals and assists. He also shares the most power play points (3-4–7) with teammate Luc Brown, who tallied a team-high four-point weekend (3 goals, assist).

Advantage, Dealer: Steelheads forward Shawn McBride had a dynamite distribution night on Saturday in Independence, posting three primary assists on the team’s first three goals. The Victoria, B.C. native owns the only three-assist night of the season after nine different two-assist nights across the first 18 games team-wide, and it’s the fifth time this season a skater has earned three points in a contest and the first since November 26. McBride has yet to score in 39 ECHL contests, but his eight assists this season sets a career-best for both helpers and points at a single level, breaking his seven assists with the Norfolk Admirals in 2019-20. McBride sits in a share of the second-most assists on the team through 19 games.

Just Keep Swimming: The South Carolina Stingrays have been on a tear heading into this weekend set, earning points in six-straight contests since November 26. In that time, the Stingrays own a 4-0-2 with both losses coming against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits and posted three goals or more in four of those six contests with two of those coming in losses. This follows a stretch with four-straight losses and dropping five of six contests to shoot the Stingrays within striking distance of the top South Division teams. However, the Stingrays only played the Swamp Rabbits and Atlanta Gladiators in their point streak and own a 6-2-2 record against those two teams while going 3-4-0 against all other teams.

2021-22 MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Idaho Steelheads 19 11 7 0 1 23 .605
Utah Grizzlies 19 11 7 1 0 23 .605
Tulsa Oilers 16 10 5 0 1 21 .656
Wichita Thunder 17 10 6 1 0 21 .618
Rapid City Rush 20 8 9 1 1 19 .474
Kansas City Mavericks 19 7 10 1 0 15 .417
Allen Americans 16 5 8 3 0 13 .406

Next Game: The Steelheads continue their weekend against the South Carolina Stingrays on Friday, Dec. 10 at 7:10 p.m. from Idaho Central Arena on Military Night. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on KTIK "The Ticket" (95.3FM/1350AM) as well as 7:00 p.m. on Sparklight Ch. 72 & FloHockey.

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Utah Grizzlies
Idaho Steelheads
Friday, October 18th
Utah Grizzlies @ Idaho Steelheads
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM MDT
Idaho Central Arena
Utah Grizzlies
UTA Utah Grizzlies
at
Idaho Steelheads
IDH Idaho Steelheads
Idaho Central Arena
Toledo Walleye
Idaho Steelheads
Wednesday, October 23rd
Toledo Walleye @ Idaho Steelheads
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM MDT
Idaho Central Arena
Toledo Walleye
TOL Toledo Walleye
at
Idaho Steelheads
IDH Idaho Steelheads
Idaho Central Arena
Toledo Walleye
Idaho Steelheads
Friday, October 25th
Toledo Walleye @ Idaho Steelheads
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM MDT
Idaho Central Arena
Toledo Walleye
TOL Toledo Walleye
at
Idaho Steelheads
IDH Idaho Steelheads
Idaho Central Arena

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