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PREVIEW #31: Steelheads vs. Grizzlies

Saturday, January 8th
PREVIEW #31: Steelheads vs. Grizzlies

IDAHO STEELHEADS (17-12-1) VS. UTAH GRIZZLIES (20-11-1)

SATURDAY, JAN. 8, 2022 | 7:10 P.M. MTIDAHO CENTRAL ARENA | BOISE, IDTV: SPARKLIGHT CH. 72RADIO: 95.3FM/1350AM KTIK | STREAM: FLOHOCKEY

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads close the home portion of their two-week stint against the Utah Grizzlies from Idaho Central Arena.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads gained the one-game edge in the first five games of the 16-game season set, taking wins in three of five games with two of those coming at Idaho Central Arena. The Steelheads and Grizzlies are in the midst of a six-game stretch over a two-week span, playing game three tonight to finish the Boise segment before heading to Utah next week. The Steelheads have won 12 of 16 games against the Grizzlies since the start of the 2019-20 season and own a 109-53-26 all-time record against the Grizzlies while going 60-24-13 at home.

Last Game: The Steelheads offense came alive in a 6-3 win over the Grizzlies. The Steelheads got off to a hot start and netted the opening tally within the first six minutes thanks to defenseman Casey Johnson (5:54 1st) to edge ahead, then forward Colton Kehler (PP, 12:20 1st) punched a loose puck through a net-front scramble for the 2-0 advantage. That momentum transitioned into the middle frame, and forward Chase Zieky (10:53 2nd) deflected a shot from the right circle to stretch the lead to 3-0. The Grizzlies pieced together the comeback bid with two tallies in the second period for a 3-2 game in the third frame. Within the first minute, forwards Kyle Marino (0:24 3rd) and Zach Walker (0:56 3rd) notch goals just 24 seconds apart to blow the game ahead, 5-2. Despite a Utah tally, Steelheads forward Luc Brown (EN, 19:48 3rd) sealed off the 6-3 victory.

Hello, Peter: The Steelheads posted their sixth game with at least five goals scored and their first since December 17 against Rapid City (5-2 W) to break a four-game losing skid. It’s also the second time the Steelheads have scored six goals or more and the most goals since Opening Night on October 22 when the Steelheads posted seven goals against Utah. Additionally, the Steelheads have won all three games against the Grizzlies with at least five goals scored. In the process, the Steelheads had their most spread out offense of the season with six different goal-scorers for the first time.

Closing It Out: The Steelheads head into the final game of the weekend looking to continue their streak of home weekend victories. After the team’s win last night, the Steelheads improved to a 4-2-0-0 record on the game following a weekend-opening loss that also stands at 4-0-0-0 in Idaho Central Arena. The Steelheads have won all four weekend series with three games at home and split their lone two-game weekend in October. On Saturday games, the Steelheads are 7-3-0-0 this season both at home and on the road, and in games where they can clinch a weekend series they are 6-1-0-0 including the three-in-three between Idaho and Utah in both states on Opening Weekend.

Dynamic Duo: Steelheads forwards Luc Brown and A.J. White have been a continual conversation topic for their point production, but Friday’s game put them at a new height for the season. The pair both recorded four-point games with Brown (1-3–4) netted the lone goal of the pair and White (0-4–4) earned four primary assists. The four point games are the first overall since Dec. 31, 2019 when Anthony Nellis’ hat-trick and assist helped in a 6-5 overtime win, however it’s also the first four-point game at home since Mar. 25, 2016 when Jefferson Dahl collected four assists in a 5-4 win over Colorado. White is the first Steelheads player to reach 30 points this season and leads in all scoring categories (11-21–32), and Brown not only shares the goal lead but also sits alone in second for scoring (11-15–26) on the team as well as among ECHL rookies, only trailing Utah’s Brandon Cutler by one point.

The Wolf Returns: Steelheads forward Kyle Marino returned to the lineup from his recall by the AHL’s Chicago Wolves and made an immediate impact, scoring the eventual game-winning goal and dropping the gloves in the first period. Out of three goals this season, all three tallies for the Niagara Falls, Ont. have been game-winners: November 24 against Allen (4-2 W), his first-career game-winner, and December 8 against South Carolina (3-0 W). Thanks to his production, Marino now owns a career-high in goals (3) and points (7) in just 11 games, breaking those marks from last year with Wheeling in 16 fewer games.

Back End Roar: The Grizzlies’ top defensive pair in Charle-Edouard D’Astous and Luke Martin have been putting up strong numbers all season, including this weekend. D’Astous extended his point streak to three games (1-3–4) thanks to two assists last night, and Martin’s two goals helped the Grizzlies stay in the game. The pair has a combined 45 points with at least 20 points for each player, which puts them in the top-four for active skaters. D’Astous leads all ECHL defensemen in goals (13) and points (25), and Martin is seventh in defensive scoring (20) and tied for 10th in scoring among ECHL rookies.

2021-22 MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Utah Grizzlies 32 20 11 1 0 41 .641
Idaho Steelheads 30 17 12 0 1 35 .583
Rapid City Rush 31 14 13 2 2 32 .516
Tulsa Oilers 27 14 12 0 1 29 .537
Allen Americans 25 13 9 3 0 29 .580
Kansas City Mavericks 29 14 14 1 0 29 .500
Wichita Thunder 30 10 16 4 0 24 .400

Next Game: The Steelheads  home weekend against the Utah Grizzlies on Saturday, Jan. 8 at 7:10 p.m. from Idaho Central Arena. Tickets are single-seats only but available by going to idahosteelheads.com or calling 208-331-TIXS. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on  95.3FM/1350AM "The Ticket" 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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