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PREVIEW #22: Steelheads vs. Stingrays

Saturday, December 11th
PREVIEW #22: Steelheads vs. Stingrays

IDAHO STEELHEADS (13-7-1) VS. SOUTH CAROLINA STINGRAYS (9-8-2)

SATURDAY, DEC. 10, 2021 | 7:10 P.M. MTIDAHO CENTRAL ARENA | BOISE, IDTV: SPARKLIGHT CH. 72RADIO: 93.1 FM KTIK | STREAM: FLOHOCKEYTICKETS: CLICK HERECLICK HERE FOR GAME NOTES

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads conclude their lone three-game weekend against the South Carolina Stingrays on Teddy Bear Toss For Tots Night from Idaho Central Arena.

Head-To-Head: For the second-straight season, the Steelheads have claimed the season series in Boise after the first two games with only one remaining. The Steelheads have now won four of their last five meetings since the 2019-20 season as well as seven of 10 total contests, owning a 7-3-0 record since their inaugural meeting during their 2003-04 season in Idaho while now improving to a 4-3-0 record at Idaho Central Arena. The Steelheads are in their third of seven contests against South Division teams, and the Steelheads carry a 22-14-3 record against current South Division teams.

Last Night: The Steelheads scored in each period for a 3-1 win over the Stingrays on Friday night from Idaho Central Arena. For the third-straight game, the Steelheads struck first with this one coming in the opening frame. After a good offensive possession, defenseman Darren Brady (8:45 1st) took a one-time shot from the top of the slot to snag that early advantage. The Stingrays converted on their first power play late in the first period to knot the game, 1-1. At nearly the same time as in the first period, Steelheads forward Zack Andrusiak (8:44 2nd) buried his own rebound from the right circle to take the one-goal edge. That momentum carried into the third period, when forward Colby McAuley (0:54 3rd) scored on a breakaway to double the lead at 3-1, and the Steelheads locked down from there for the win.

Beary Strong: For the third-straight home series, the Steelheads have won the opening two games to not only take the series but also continue their trend of winning at least two-thirds of home games. The Steelheads have been exceptional in starting off series, owning a 7-1-0 record on both Wednesday and Friday at home with their lone loss coming on October 29 against Rapid City. The Steelheads have outscored their opponents 32-16 in those games and now possess wins in eight of 11 games at home this season while earning at least a share of the weekend set in all five attempts in 2021.

Fluffed Up House: Steelheads’ defensive strength has been a focal point not only of the team’s recent run but also the team as a whole. During the team’s three-game win streak, the Steelheads have outscored their opponents 11-1 in the last seven days but have held opponents to two goals or less in now seven of eight home games since November 17 against Adirondack. To further expand, the Steelheads have held opponents to three goals or less in 16 of 21 games (76.2%) as well as two goals or less in 13 of 21 games, leading them to the top of the ECHL in goals against per game (2.14) and the second-fewest goals allowed (45), only trailing Newfoundland by one goal with two extra games played.

Ready Teddy: Steelheads forward Colby McAuley returned to the lineup and was a large spark for the team and added a breakaway goal in the third period. The Sherwood Park, Alb. native missed the last three games due to injury but picked up where he left off, extending his scoring streak to three games since November 26 with three points and two goals. He has also been scoring more frequently as of late playing both at forward and defense, earning points in six of his last seven contests with six points (3 goals, 3 assists) dating back to November 17. McAuley is third on the team in goals (6) and is two goals from matching his previous season total of eight in 20 games with Allen. His career-best goals was 15 tallies in 2018-19 with Orlando.

Papa Bear Proud: Steelheads forward A.J. White is one of the hottest players across the ECHL, adding another assist in Friday’s win. The Dearborn, Mich. product has extended his point streak to a team-best seven games, posting eight assists (2 goals, 6 assists) since the run began two weeks ago on November 24 against Allen. This also expands his strong run of form throughout the previous month, earning points in now 11 of his last 12 contests with 14 points (4 goals, 10 assists) dating to November 12 in Rapid City. White is having a career start to the season, leading the team in all major scoring categories: goals (8), assists (11) and points (19). His point streak is tied for fifth in the ECHL among active players and his six-game assist streak ranks atop the ECHL for active players and tied for second in the league overall.

Can’t Bear It: Stingrays forward Andrew Cherniwchan has the only goal of the weekend so far for the road side coming on the power play in Friday’s loss. The Hinton, Alb. native recently broke a four-game point streak but has points in five of six contests with four of those games owning goals, boasting nine points (6 goals, 3 assists) including a hat-trick on December 3. The ninth-year pro has played 358 games for the Stingrays since the 2011-12 season, tallying 285 points (134-151–285) including 16 points in 14 games this year. He is on-pace for his second 50-point season in three years and leads the Stingrays in scoring.

2021-22 MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Idaho Steelheads 21 13 7 0 1 27 .643
Utah Grizzlies 21 12 8 1 0 25 .595
Tulsa Oilers 18 11 6 0 1 23 .639
Rapid City Rush 21 9 10 1 2 21 .477
Wichita Thunder 19 10 8 1 0 21 .553
Kansas City Mavericks 20 8 11 1 0 17 .425
Allen Americans 18 7 8 3 0 17 .472

Next Game: The Steelheads open their final three-game weekend before the holidays on Wednesday, Dec. 15 at 7:10 p.m. from Idaho Central Arena. Tickets are available at idahosteelheads.com. 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
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Friday, October 18th
Utah Grizzlies @ Idaho Steelheads
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM MDT
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Wednesday, October 23rd
Toledo Walleye @ Idaho Steelheads
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM MDT
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Friday, October 25th
Toledo Walleye @ Idaho Steelheads
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM MDT
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