1. Home
  2. News
  3. PREVIEW #43: Steelheads @ Thunder

PREVIEW #43: Steelheads @ Thunder

Saturday, February 5th
PREVIEW #43: Steelheads @ Thunder

IDAHO STEELHEADS (25-16-1) VS. WICHITA THUNDER (15-21-6)

SATURDAY, FEB 5, 2022 | 6:05 P.M. MTINTRUST BANK ARENA | WICHITA, KSRADIO: 95.3FM/1350AM KTIK | STREAM: FLOHOCKEY

Tonight's Game: The Steelheads play the mid-way game of their three-in-three weekend against the Wichita Thunder from INTRUST Bank Arena.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads took the first game of the seven-game season series against the Thunder and have now won four-straight games and have points in five-straight contests against the Thunder including back-to-back road contests since the start of the 2019-20 season. The only loss to the Thunder in that time came as an overtime loss on Oct. 25, 2019 in Wichita. The Steelheads play the second of four-straight road games in the season series with all four coming in February. The Steelheads are 9-4-4 against the Thunder all-time while going 5-2-3 on the road.

Last Night: Scoring started late in the first period with a power play strike for the Thunder before the Steelheads found an answer from forward Shawn McBride (16:28 1st) from the right side of the net to knot the game, 1-1. Early in the second, the Thunder found another go-ahead strike before McBride (PP, 17:56 2nd) punched home a rebound late in the frame for a second tying goal, 2-2. The Thunder pounced early in the third period with two quick strikes to take the early 4-2 advantage. The Steelheads comeback bid began with an unassisted takeaway from forward Zach Walker (7:38 3rd) and forced overtime with an angled shot from forward Colton Kehler (EA, 18:51 3rd) in a 4-4 game. In overtime, McBride (3:45 OT) put back a rebound to finish the hat-trick and comeback in the 5-4 win.

High Five: The Steelheads carried their positive results into the first game on the road this weekend, extending their win streak to a season-best five games and overtaking their four-game streak set from December 4-11. The Steelheads have scored three goals or more in all five games while averaging 4.80 goals per game in that time, netted power play goals in four of their last five games (7-for-22, 31.8%) and earned their first comeback win while also scoring with an extra attacker for the first time this year. The Steelheads have climbed to a season-best nine games over .500 and also have wins in two of their last three away from home dating back to January 22.

Tic-Tac-Toe: The Steelheads recorded their third hat-trick of the season to extend their win streak to five games. It’s the first time in Steelheads history that two-straight overtime wins have been earned by the hat-trick goal, joining the hat-trick by Yauheni Aksiantsiuk on November 26 in the 3-2 victory over the Allen Americans. It’s also the second time in the ECHL era that two-straight hat-tricks were involved in an overtime result and first since the 2015-16 season when Carson McMillan’s hat-trick was part of a 5-4 road win over Wichita on Feb. 21, 2016 and a hat-trick by Rob Linsmayer on Mar. 25, 2016 during a 5-4 overtime loss at home to the Colorado Eagles. All three hat-tricks have been scored by different players, and tonight’s was the 45th in the ECHL era.

Odds & Ends: Last night’s contest hit a couple of high marks for the Steelheads on the season and historically. The 101-combined shots marks the highest shot combination in the Steelheads ECHL era, breaking the 89-shot record set on Mar. 20, 2004 in Las Vegas (4-3 SOL) while also setting the season-high mark for shots for (48) and shots against (53). The road overtime result was the first since Dec. 31, 2019 against the Allen Americans (6-5 W), which was also the last time the Steelheads recorded a hat-trick on the road thanks to the Anthony Nellis overtime-winner. Finally, the 49-save night for Jake Kupsky was the most since the team’s ECHL record of 55 saves set by Jerry Kuhn Dec. 2, 2011 in Las Vegas (3-2 W).

Runaway McBride: Steelheads forward Shawn McBride helped spoil the Thunder’s return home with his first-career hat-trick, scoring the first two goals in the opening two frames followed by the overtime-winner. The Victoria, B.C. native also earned his first multi-goal game of his professional career as well as his fifth multi-point night of the season. Since the start of the second quarter (24 games), he has earned 21 of his 25 points including all nine goals and ranks third on the team during that time only behind Luc Brown (25 points) and A.J. White (25 points). McBride is three games away from his 100th professional game heading into tonight and owns the fourth-most points on the team (9-16–25).

Thunder Force: Despite not earning the win last night, the Wichita Thunder extended their recent run to three-straight games with points following the overtime loss and back-to-back wins prior for the second time since December 1. The Thunder have now earned points in four of their last five games (3-1-1 record) as well as points in five of seven games (3-2-2 record), and their wins stretch comes following losses in 19 of 21 games (2-15-4) spanning from December 5 through January 22. Their point run is their longest since recording points in nine-straight games from November 12 through December 1 (8-0-1 record).

2021-22 MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Utah Grizzlies 44 26 15 2 1 55 .625
Idaho Steelheads 42 25 16 0 1 51 .607
Tulsa Oilers 40 22 17 0 1 45 .563
Rapid City Rush 43 21 17 3 2 47 .547
Allen Americans 39 17 17 4 1 39 .500
Kansas City Mavericks 42 20 21 1 0 41 .488
Wichita Thunder 42 15 21 6 0 36 .429

Next Game: The Steelheads finish their three-in-three weekend against the Wichita Thunder on Sunday, Feb. 6 at 3:05 p.m. from INTRUST Bank Arena. Coverage begins at 2:45 p.m. on 95.3 The Ticket & FloHockey.tv.

Latest News

More News
STEELHEADS SEASON COMES TO A CLOSE IN OVERTIME LOSS
STEELHEADS SEASON COMES TO A CLOSE IN OVERTIME LOSS
STEELHEADS FACE ELIMINATION TOMORROW AFTER GAME FOUR LOSS
STEELHEADS FACE ELIMINATION TOMORROW AFTER GAME FOUR LOSS
THIRD PERIOD RALLY COMES UP SHORT AS MAVERICKS TAKE 2-1 SERIES LEAD
THIRD PERIOD RALLY COMES UP SHORT AS MAVERICKS TAKE 2-1 SERIES LEAD

Get Hockey Updates

Sign up for our email newsletter to be the first to know about news and upcoming games!