IDAHO STEELHEADS (24-16-1) VS. WICHITA THUNDER (15-21-5)
FRIDAY, FEB 4, 2022 | 6:05 P.M. MTINTRUST BANK ARENA | WICHITA, KSRADIO: 95.3FM/1350AM KTIK | STREAM: FLOHOCKEY
Tonight's Game: The Steelheads enter the road portion of their four-game, five-day week with the first of three contests against the Wichita Thunder from INTRUST Bank Arena.
Head-To-Head: The Steelheads meet the Thunder for the first of seven games this season and four-straight road games in February. Back in 2019-20, the Steelheads earned points in all four meetings that season, only dropping their first road game on Oct. 25, 2019 in overtime. This is the third three-game, three-day series in two months and will join their February 16 single-game meeting as the only four road meetings this season. Overall, the Steelheads own an 8-4-4 record against the Thunder while earning points in seven of nine road games with a 4-2-3 record.
Last Game: The Steelheads finished their homestand with a 3-0 win over the Jacksonville Icemen on Wednesday night from Idaho Central Arena. The work put in through the first two periods allowed for the quick strikes early in the third period to come through. Forward David Norris (1:10 3rd) followed up a pass and shot to punch in a backhanded rebound for the eventual game-winner and the 1-0 lead. Nice passing and stick work led to forward Chase Zieky (4:26 3rd) fighting off a stick check minutes later to spread out the lead and provide the first insurance goal. Captain A.J. White (6:10 3rd) then won a puck battle net-front to create a backhanded chance to broaden the lead, 3-0. With a strong goaltending effort by Colton Point, the Steelheads wrapped up their sixth shutout of the season.
Mambo No. 6: The Steelheads earned their second shutout of the calendar year and sixth on the season to round out the four-game homestand. In the last 60 calendar days, the Steelheads have posted five shutouts with two coming in the calendar year with both by Colton Point in consecutive months. Steelheads goaltenders have earned consecutive shutouts now three times this season with Jake Kupsky earning the first two followed by two from Matt Jurusik and now two by Point. The Steelheads now have back-to-back six shutout seasons and have earned at least six shutouts in 10 of their last 13 seasons.
Connect Four: The Steelheads swept through their four-game homestand to stretch into a new month thanks to their win on Wednesday. The four-game win streak matches the team’s longest of the season set from December 4-11, which included a road win in Kansas City and three home wins over South Carolina. In their recent run, the Steelheads averaged 4.75 goals per game while outscoring their opponents 19-7 as well as holding opponents to two goals or less in three-straight games. Additionally, the Steelheads have won a season-high six-straight at Idaho Central Arena since January 7, scoring three goals or more in all four contests and improving their home wins to 17, which sits atop the ECHL.
Double-Oh-Nine: Steelheads forward David Norris has been in a solid run of form as of late, adding the game-winning tally and an assist in Wednesday’s win. The Calgary, Alb. native notched his second multi-point game of the season, joining his three-point night (1-2–3) on November 10 in Rapid City, and also earned his first game-winning goal since his Steelheads debut on October 23. Recently, Norris has points in three of his last four games with four points (2-2–4) since the start of their previous homestand on January 26. He owns now 14 points (5-9–14) through 31 games in his first professional season in North America.
Streaky Zieky: Steelheads forward Chase Zieky struck gold with another goal in Wednesday’s victory, adding to his strong scoring touch since opening the New Year. Since returning from the injured reserve on January 2, the Avon, Conn. product has posted points in seven of 13 games with goals in six of 11 contests, tallying seven of his nine goals in just that span alone. Since January 2, he shares the team lead in goals with forward Yauheni Aksiantsiuk at seven goals, and his three goals over five games is tied for the most on the team with captain A.J. White. Zieky has 10 points in 23 games this season with nine of those points coming as goals, and he now sits fourth on the team in goals.
Rumbling Back: The Wichita Thunder have had a roller coaster of a season heading into the weekend while also in the midst of their own four-game, five-day stretch. The Thunder have won back-to-back games for just the second time since December 1 and also have both wins in three of four games and points in four of six contests, boasting a 3-2-1 record in that time. The Thunder were as high as second place in the Mountain Division and a nine-game point streak (8-0-1 record) on December 1 before a historic 14-game losing skid (0-11-3 record) from December 5 through January 7 until their last back-to-back wins on January 8. The Thunder are coming off a five-game losing streak before their three-of-four win stretch
2021-22 MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:
|Rapid City Rush
|Kansas City Mavericks
Next Game: The Steelheads continue their three-in-three weekend against the Wichita Thunder on Saturday, Feb. 5 at 6:05 p.m. from INTRUST Bank Arena. Coverage begins at 5:45 p.m. on 95.3 The Ticket & FloHockey.tv.