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PREVIEW #41: Steelheads vs. Icemen

Wednesday, February 2nd
PREVIEW #41: Steelheads vs. Icemen

IDAHO STEELHEADS (23-16-1) VS. JACKSONVILLE ICEMEN (22-12-3)

WEDNESDAY, FEB 2, 2022 | 7:10 P.M. MTIDAHO CENTRAL ARENA | BOISE, IDTICKETS: CLICK HERETV: SPARKLIGHT CH. 72RADIO: 95.3FM/1350AM KTIK | STREAM: FLOHOCKEY

Tonight's Game: The Steelheads finish their four-game homestand and kick off a four-game, five-day stretch with a single meeting against the Jacksonville Icemen from Idaho Central Arena.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads and Icemen have met just two times in their franchise history back in the 2018-19 season with the Steelhead taking both games at home: a 4-1 win on Nov. 30, 2018 and a 3-2 overtime victory on Dec. 1, 2018 finished by a Spenser Naas goal at 4:05 into the extra period. This is the fourth of seven games against the South Division this season with the Steelheads taking all three games thus far in a home sweep of the South Carolina Stingrays in December. Historically, the Steelheads are 28-17-3 against current South Division teams while going just 12-11-1 at Idaho Central Arena.

Last Game: The Steelheads capped off a three-game sweep of the Kansas City Mavericks with a 3-2 win on Saturday night from Idaho Central Arena. The Steelheads garnered an early power play and made the most of it to hop in front for the third-straight game. Five seconds into the power play, captain A.J. White (PP, 2:32 1st) deflected a shot from the right point to earn their first lead of the night, 1-0. The Mavericks came alive in the second period and answered with two-straight tallies through the middle of the frame to take their first lead of the weekend at 2-1. White (16:49 2nd) earned his second of the night on a breakaway set up by a blocked shot to level the scoring, 2-2, into the third period. A costly turnover by the Mavericks netminder allowed forward Luc Brown (7:04 3rd) to walk in and place a shot into an open net, completing the comeback and snagging the 3-2 win.

Up & Down New Year: The Steelheads finished a contentious month on a strong note in their second of two home weekend series. Thanks to their three-game sweep of the Mavericks, the Steelheads closed January with an even 7-7-0 recorded including five-straight home wins and a 5-1-0 record at Idaho Central Arena. At home, the Steelheads averaged 4.50 goals per game with four goals or more in four of six games have have scored in five-straight on the power play (9-for-21, 42.9%). However, the Steelheads dropped six of eight games on the road and only earned wins in the second game of both series in their six-game road trip. The Steelheads own an even record in all four months so far and play a 13-game schedule in February with seven of those contests in Boise.

Rookie Cooking: Steelheads forward Luc Brown capped off January as one of the hottest players across the ECHL with another multi-point game on Saturday. The Napanee, Ont. native earned three-straight multi-point games last week, compiling six points (2 goals, 4 assists) with the game-winner on Saturday to add to his already stellar month, posting 19 points (5-14–19) through 14 games to lead the Steelheads in scoring and assists in January. Moreover, his performance was one of the best across the ECHL, sitting third in points and trailing Allen’s Chad Costello (9-11–20) and Iowa’s Jake Smith (10-10–20) by just one point. Brown leads all rookies in scoring (14-23–37) through 40 games this season.

White Blank Space: Steelheads captain A.J. White also had a strong weekend at home to round out the month thanks to a pair of goals in the Saturday win. With a five-point weekend, the product of Dearborn, Mich. became the first player on the team to break the 40-point plateau and now shares the team lead in goals (16) while leading in assists (24) and power play goals (8). He is having a historic season, playing at a one point-per-game clip and is on-pace to not only break the 60-point mark for the first time in his career but also record 72 points this season, which would be the ninth-most for a single-season in the ECHL era. He sits in the Steelheads ECHL top-10 in all major categories: goals (57, T-6th); assists (109, 5th); points (166, 6th); and games played (243, T-4th).

Tundra Series: The Jacksonville Icemen have been one of the best defensive teams across the ECHL entering their trek through the Mountain Division this week. The Icemen are the only team to rank better than the Steelheads in goals allowed per game (2.38 to 2.40) and shots allowed per game (25.84 to 27.58) while also leading the ECHL in penalty kill (86.1%), sitting as one of just four teams to allowe fewer than 20 goals (17) and have allowed the 10th-fewest opportunities (122). Despite sitting atop the South Division with a .635 win perecentage, the Icemen have dropped three-straight games to open their six-game road trip while being outscored 11-5 thus far.

2021-22 MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Utah Grizzlies 42 26 13 2 1 55 .655
Idaho Steelheads 40 23 16 0 1 47 .588
Rapid City Rush 42 21 16 3 2 47 .560
Tulsa Oilers 39 21 17 0 1 43 .551
Allen Americans 37 17 15 4 1 39 .527
Kansas City Mavericks 41 19 21 1 0 39 .476
Wichita Thunder 40 14 21 5 0 33 .413

Next Game: The Steelheads begin a three-game, three-day weekend against the Wichita Thunder on Friday, Feb. 4 at 6:05 p.m. from INTRUST Bank Arena. Coverage begins at 5:45 p.m. on 95.3 The Ticket & FloHockey.tv.

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