IDAHO STEELHEADS (30-27-3) VS. UTAH GRIZZLIES (36-21-3)
SATURDAY, MAR. 19, 2022 | 7:10 P.M. MTIDAHO CENTRAL ARENA | BOISE, IDTICKETS: SOLD OUTTV: SPARKLIGHT CH. 72RADIO: 95.3FM/1350AM KTIK | STREAM: FLOHOCKEY
Tonight's Game: The Steelheads close their two-game weekend against the Utah Grizzlies from Idaho Central Arena.
Head-To-Head: The Steelheads and Grizzlies are now level in the first 10 games of their season series with five wins each and just six games remaining, though the Grizzlies have the point edge with one extra point thanks to a shootout result on January 8 in Boise (4-3 SO). The Steelheads and Grizzlies split their six-game stretch in January with three wins each after the Steelheads took two of the first three to open the season, not including the two preseason victories. This is the only series that is not five or six games in length this year. The Steelheads are 113-56-26 against the Grizzlies all-time while going 62-25-13 at home.
Last Night: The Steelheads were tenacious throughout the game from the drop of the puck. After killing off an early five-minute major penalty, they held the Grizzlies under six shots in each period, including just three attempts in the second frame. The Steelheads had four breakaways and hit the post four times with three coming in the third period, but the bounces did not fall their way. A deflection within the final seven minutes fell through for the Grizzlies, and an empty net tally sealed off the 2-0 result.
Shots A-Plenty: The Steelheads generated the opportunities they needed and worked on both ends of the ice to be a difficult team to play against. The Steelheads held the Grizzlies to just 14 shots, marking a share of the lowest shots allowed in a game with their 14 shots against on November 13 in Rapid City in a shutout (3-0) going the other direction. The three shots allowed in the second period are tied for the fewest in a period with the first period on November 4 in Tulsa. Despite the shot disparity, the Steelheads have been held to two goals or less in six of eight games and have dropped seven of eight contests.
Shut Down: For only the second time this season, the Steelheads were held without a goal in a game during last night’s loss. The only other time the Steelheads did not score was also against Trent Miner (21 saves) and the Grizzlies during the third game of the season on October 24 in a 3-0 loss in Utah. It’s the first time the Steelheads have been shutout in Boise since Nov. 20, 2019 in a 3-0 loss to Orlando, breaking a 58-game streak between home shutout losses. On the flip side, the Steelheads have seven shutout victories this season, and while this was the 48th shutout against since 2003-04 the Steelheads have recorded 90 shutouts in that same span on the positive end.
Homie Thome: Steelheads goaltender Peter Thome had a strong home debut on limited opportunities during last night’s loss. He stopped 12 of the 13 shots made by Utah with the lone goal beating him on a net-front deflection later in the third period. While it’s the first time he did not stop 32 shots in three starts, the Minneapolis native earned his best goals-against result after conceding three goals in each of his first two games between the pipes. Thome has done well with a small sample size, carrying a 2.37 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage in three games to start his professional career.
No Hibernation: After a difficult run heading into last weekend, the Grizzlies have come out in a strong way with their fourth-straight win thanks to their blanking of the Steelheads last night. The win streak is the longest since their four-game stretch from January 17-23 starting with their last meeting against Idaho, and it’s two games shy of their season-high six-game win streak from October 24 through November 6, which also started with a win over the Steelheads. In their recent run, the Grizzlies have outscored their opponents 16-8, all three goaltenders have earned a start and a win, and the only game in which an opponent scored more than three goals was the 5-4 overtime win on March 9 over Kansas City that started the streak. The Grizzlies have only four road games left, all against the Steelheads.
Mining For Eggs: Grizzlies goaltender Trent Miner was at his best on Friday night, notching his fifth shutout of the season and second against the Steelheads. It’s the first shutout for Miner since December 15 against Wichita in a 28-save effort as part of the team’s longest win streak of the season. With the 30-save shutout last night, the 21-year-old tied a team record for the most single-season shutouts with Mike Bales, who also posted five shutouts in the 2000-01 season as part of the International Hockey League (IHL) iteration of the Grizzlies. After allowing seven goals in his ECHL debut on October 22, he shut out opponents in back-to-back starts and now five of his 12 wins have all been blankings.
2021-22 MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:
|Rapid City Rush
|Kansas City Mavericks
Next Game: The Steelheads host the Wichita Thunder on Wednesday, Mar. 23 at 7:10 p.m. from Idaho Central Arena. Tickets are available by going to idahosteelheads.com or calling 208-331-TIXS. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on 95.3 The Ticket as well as 7:00 p.m. on Sparklight Ch. 72 & FloHockey.