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PREVIEW #54: Steelheads @ Americans

Friday, March 4th
PREVIEW #54: Steelheads @ Americans

IDAHO STEELHEADS (29-21-3) @ ALLEN AMERICANS (21-22-7)

FRIDAY, MAR. 4, 2022 | 6:05 P.M. MTCREDIT UNION OF TEXAS EVENT CENTER | ALLEN, TXRADIO: 95.3FM/1350AM KTIK | STREAM: FLOHOCKEY

Tonight's Game: The Steelheads open their final weekend series against the Allen Americans from Credit Union of Texas Event Center.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads officially dropped their season series with the Americans with two games left, holding a 2-4-0-0 record and dropping four-straight games including all three in Allen during their last meeting over New Year’s weekend. The Americans also have points in five of six games though the Steelheads did take two of three at home during this season. However, the Americans have won nine of their last 15 meetings head-to-head since the 2019-20 season. The Steelheads are 20-14-5 overall against the Americans while going 8-8-2 at Allen Event Center.

Last Game: The Steelheads fell 4-2 in the series finale against the Worcester Railers on Saturday night from Idaho Central Arena. The Steelheads came out of the gates in a strong way but allowed the opening tally off a turnover in the first period, falling behind 1-0 heading into the second period. The Railers added their second tally early in the next frame before the Steelheads pushed back. Forward Chase Zieky (12:50 2nd) was opened up off the left post on a crossing pass to cut the lead in half, and forward A.J. White (PP, 17:45 2nd) was fed net front while on a 5-on-3 power play for a one-time shot to tie the game, 2-2. However, the Railers finished their hat-trick early in the third period and added an empty net tally for the 4-2 result.

Marching On: The Steelheads closed out February on a sour note but kept their performance over the month in-check with the rest of the team’s performances. The Steelheads earned a 6-5-1-1 record in February, earning 14 points and a .538 win percentage during their 13-game month. The team equaled their highest point total for a month with November and January, and though it was the fourth-ranked month for percentage out of five it continued the team’s plus-.500 streak through five-straight months. The final full month of the regular season sees the Steelheads on the road a majority of the month with seven of 12 games away from home including this six-game road trip.

Powering Up: After struggling for consistency, the Steelheads power play has locked back in over their last two games with another tally added on Saturday. The Steelheads came into the Friday and Saturday of the weekend with a five-game scoreless streak through 15 attempts, but the Steelheads went 4-for-14 (28.6%) in their last two contests with a 5-on-3 power play goal on Saturday for the fourth time this year. It’s the most power play goals at home since the final weekend of January when the team scored six times in 16 attempts. The Steelheads maintained their power play conversion percentage over the week, now sitting at 22.3% heading into the road trip.

McAul To Action: Steelheads forward Colby McAuley added another assist in Saturday’s loss to the Railers but extended one of his best point stretches of his career. The Sherwood Park, Alb. native has points in six-straight games dating back to December 17, earning eight points (2-6–8) with a majority of those at defense. He’s now one game shy of tying captain A.J. White’s seven-game point streak from November 24 through December 10 as well as two games shy of his career-best eight-game point streak from Jan. 12, 2019 through Feb. 6, 2019 with the Orlando Solar Bears on an 11-point stretch (3-8–11). McAuley has points in 13 of 15 games since November 17, boasting 17 points (7-10–17) out of his 20 total points.

Back On It: Steelheads forward Chase Zieky tallied the team’s first goal in their finale against the Railers to lock in his best performance for a quarter this year. The Avon, Conn. native currently owns five goals and four assists with one game left in the third quarter, sitting tied for the second-most goals since January 23, only trailing forwards Mason Mitchell and A.J. White with six goals and sharing the mark with forwards Shawn McBride and Matt Tugnutt. While the goal broke a five-game scoreless streak, Zieky has turned it on in 2022 with nine goals and five assists for 14 points through 26 games since coming off the Injured Reserve list after only two goals in his first nine games prior.

Olympus Is Falling: The Allen Americans head into March on the outside looking in for the playoff picture and for wins in their recent run. The Americans enter the weekend on a five-game losing skid, going 0-4-1 while dropping all three last weekend in Cincinnati. While all but one game were only one-goal games, the Americans have allowed four goals in five of their last six games since February 16 and put together a 4-7-2 record in February. The Americans play 14 of their final 22 games against Kansas City, Tulsa and Wichita, which are all teams they are chasing for the final postseason spot in the Mountain Division

2021-22 MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Utah Grizzlies 53 31 19 2 1 65 .613
Idaho Steelheads 53 29 21 2 1 61 .575
Rapid City Rush 54 27 20 4 3 61 .565
Tulsa Oilers 52 25 23 2 2 54 .519
Kansas City Mavericks 54 26 25 2 1 55 .509
Wichita Thunder 54 23 23 8 0 54 .500
Allen Americans 50 21 22 6 1 49 .490

Next Game: The Steelheads close their season series with the Americans on Saturday, Mar. 5 at 6:05 p.m. MT from Credit Union of Texas Event Center. Coverage begins at 5:45 p.m. on 95.3 The Ticket & FloHockey.tv.

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