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PREVIEW #49: Steelheads @ Mavericks

Friday, February 18th
PREVIEW #49: Steelheads @ Mavericks

IDAHO STEELHEADS (27-18-3) VS. KANSAS CITY MAVERICKS (22-24-2)

FRIDAY, FEB 18, 2022 | 6:05 P.M. MTCABLE DAHMER ARENA | INDEPENDENCE, MORADIO: 95.3FM/1350AM KTIK | STREAM: FLOHOCKEY

Tonight's Game: The Steelheads begin a two-game road weekend against the Kansas City Mavericks from Cable Dahmer Arena.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads and Mavericks head into their final two games of their season series with the Steelheads earning points in all five games and winning four-straight contests, only falling in the series opener on December 3 in Kansas City (3-2 SOL). The Steelheads swept the home portion of the season series and officially have taken the set with two games remaining. The Steelheads are unbeaten in regulation in 10-straight games, going 8-0-2 since the start of the 2019-20 campaign, and have also won 16 of 22 meetings in the franchise series. The Steelheads are 16-4-2 all-time against the Mavericks and 4-3-2 on the road.

Last Game: The Steelheads opened the three-game road trip with a 3-2 loss to the Wichita Thunder on Wednesday night from INTRUST Bank Arena. After a scoreless but possessive first period for the Steelheads, the road size capitalized first in a back-and-forth middle frame. Forward Shawn McBride (EA, 2:26 2nd) threw out a baseball swing off the back glass from his own rebound to take the initial lead before the Thunder scored on the power play a few minutes later. Momentum came back to the Steelheads when forward Zach Walker (14:18 2nd) muscled a backhanded shot from the left post to take back the lead, 2-1, however a bad bounce off a Steelheads defenseman leveled the score in the final minute of the frame. More misfortune followed in the third period as a deflection bounced the wrong way, and a late surge wasn’t enough in the 3-2 result.

Ups & Downs: The Steelheads closed the road portion of their season set with the Thunder, faltering in back-to-back games on the road. While the loss breaks up a three-game point streak, the Steelheads still have points in nine of their last 11 games since January 26 with a 7-2-2-0 record. In that time, the Steelheads have outscored their opponents 40-27 and have closed the gap to the top spot in the Mountain Division to just four points. Additionally, the Steelheads have performed better on the road as of late, earning points in three of their last five road games dating back to January 22 in Rapid City with a 2-2-1 record. However, since their five-game win streak, the Steelheads are 2-2-2-0 though three of the four losses were on the road.

Big Mac: Steelheads forward Shawn McBride netted the first two goals of Wednesday’s game to finish off a strong run against the Thunder. The Victoria, B.C. product led the Steelheads with four goals in four games against the Thunder as well as six points (4-2–6), all of which came on the road, which follows a strong scoring trend fir the third-year forward. He leads the team in scoring since January 26, posting five goals and four assists and edging out both Luc Brown (3-5–8) and A.J. White (4-4–8) in the third quarter of the season so far (12 games). McBride is fourth on the team in scoring and tied for third in assists with 28 points (10-18–28).

Walk It Out: Steelheads forward Zach Walker had one of his best nights of his ECHL career, factoring in on both goals with an assist followed by a goal. The Boise native earned his third multi-point game of the season in the process, joining his two-assist night on November 10 in Rapid City as well as his tally and helper on February 4 in Wichita. All three of his multi-point nights were on the road, and his production has ticked up since January 22 with points in seven of his 12 games played, which includes a four-game point streak to start that stretch. Walker has three points in two games and 17 points (6-11–17) in 42 games. 

To A Trot: The Kansas City Mavericks have slipped more as of late coming off a five-game stretch against the Allen Americans over the last two weeks. The Mavericks have dropped four of their last five games with a 1-3-1-0 record, earning their lone win on February 11 while averaging 4.00 goals against per game, including 12 goals allowed over their last two games. Since their four-game road trip stretching through their last meeting with the Steelheads, the Mavericks haven’t seen the same success as previous stretches, dropping eight of 12 games (4-7-1-0 record) and being held to three goals or less in eight of those contests. The Mavericks are in the midst of an eight-game homestand but have dropped the first two outcomes.

2021-22 MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Utah Grizzlies 47 29 15 2 1 61 .649
Idaho Steelheads 48 27 18 2 1 57 .594
Tulsa Oilers 46 24 19 1 2 51 .554
Rapid City Rush 49 24 19 4 2 54 .551
Allen Americans 45 21 18 5 1 48 .533
Wichita Thunder 48 20 21 7 0 47 .490
Kansas City Mavericks 48 22 24 2 0 46 .479

Next Game: The Steelheads and Kansas City Mavericks close their season series on Monday, Feb. 21 at 3:05 p.m. MT from Cable Dahmer Arena. Coverage begins at 2:45 p.m. on 95.3 The Ticket & FloHockey.

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