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PREVIEW #62: Steelheads vs. Thunder

Wednesday, March 23rd
PREVIEW #62: Steelheads vs. Thunder

IDAHO STEELHEADS (31-27-3) VS. WICHITA THUNDER (24-28-8)

WEDNESDAY, MAR. 23, 2022 | 7:10 P.M. MTIDAHO CENTRAL ARENA | BOISE, IDTICKETS: CLICK HERETV: SPARKLIGHT CH. 72RADIO: 95.3FM/1350AM KTIK | STREAM: FLOHOCKEY

Tonight's Game: The Steelheads open their lone three-game home weekend against the Wichita Thunder from Idaho Central Arena.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads and Thunder will finish their season series this weekend, and the Thunder have already taken three of four games with a chance to win the series by earning one win in any of the next three games. The Steelheads are 1-2-1 against the Thunder in four road games with their lone win in overtime on February 4, and their last meeting was on February 16 in a 3-2 loss. The Steelheads have points in six of eight games since the start of the 2021-22 season while going 9-5-6 all-time against the Thunder as well as 4-2-1 at Idaho Central Arena.

Last Game: The Steelheads’ offense exploded ahead in a 6-1 win over the Utah Grizzlies on Saturday night from Idaho Central Arena. The Steelheads boasted four goals in the first period, capitalizing on the first shift of the game with a deflection from forward Ryan Dmowski (0:48 1st) to take the early 1-0 lead. While in a 4-on-4 sequence, the team added their second when defenseman Will Cullen (5:02 1st) blasted a shot from the blue line to double the advantage, 2-0. Dmowski (7:39 1st, 9:50 1st) then added two more to complete the first-period hat-trick and take a 4-0 lead into the intermission. Though the Grizzlies added their lone goal in the second period, the Steelheads earned two more in the final frame with two tallies from Dmowski (7:31 3rd, 7:50 3rd) within 19 seconds to bloat the lead to its final result, 6-1.

Early Scoring: The Steelheads’ success on Saturday night was due to a hot, early start unlike what the team has seen this season. The Steelheads started the game with their first goal just 48 seconds into the game, trailing their 24-second start on November 26 against Allen, however the four goals scored in the first 10 minutes is the most goals scored in the opening period this season, blasting by their previous mark of three goals on December 11 against South Carolina during Teddy Bear Toss Night. The Steelheads have scored at least three goals in each of the period separately in three of their last four games, and the Steelheads have also taken wins in two of three games in a seven-day span while outscoring opponents 11-6, including getting shut out on Friday.

D-Molished: Steelheads forward Ryan Dmowski had a historic night in just his second game since being acquired via trade on Wednesday. The East Lyme, Conn. native scored five goals and earned one assist in Saturday’s win, tying the Steelheads franchise record for most goals in a game shared by forward Cal Ingraham from Jan. 9, 2000 against Anchorage in the WCHL era when he also earned six points. He also set the new goals bar in the ECHL era, surpassing the four goals set both by forward Mark Derlago on Mar. 5, 2011 against Las Vegas as well as forward Tristan King on Oct. 17, 2012 in Colorado. Dmowski’s six-point night was also the most in a single game since Marty Flichel’s team-record seven points (1-6—7) on Mar. 1, 2008 against Bakersfield. Dmowski became the 34th player in ECHL history to score at least five goals in a game and earned his first professional hat-trick in the process on his way to ECHL Player of the Week honors.

Cap Attack: Steelheads captain A.J. White also had a historic night for his own career on Saturday that came on the helping side. The five assists earned by White on all five goals by Ryan Dmowski set both a new career-best for points and assists in a single game and was one assist shy of the ECHL team record set by Marty Flichel on his six-assist, points record night on Mar. 1, 2008 against Bakersfield in an 8-3 win. In the process, the Dearborn, Mich. product thrashed his career points mark, only needing one point to set the mark that now stands at 56 points. His 22 goals is already a career-best, but his 34 assists is now one shy of his individual best from the 2018-19 season (35). White is 14th in the ECHL scoring race and leads the Steelheads in all major categories.

Valley Rumbles: The Wichita Thunder continue their roller coaster of a season heading into their final 12 games of the season but on the wrong end of a streak. The Thunder have now dropped four-straight games for the third streak of that length or longer this season following an 11-game point streak from January 29 through February 19. In their recent skid, the Thunder have been outscored 21-9, averaging 5.20 goals-allowed per game and only reaching more than two goals once: last Friday against Allen (8-5 L). The slip has been on for a bit longer with losses in eight of their last 10 games since February 23, owning a 2-7-1-0 record with four of those games against non-divisional opponents. After this week, the Thunder face all three teams they’re chasing in the Mountain Division: Allen (2), Tulsa (3) and Kansas City (4).

2021-22 MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Utah Grizzlies 61 36 22 2 1 75 .615
Rapid City Rush 60 32 21 4 4 70 .583
Idaho Steelheads 61 31 27 2 1 65 .533
Allen Americans 58 27 24 6 1 61 .526
Tulsa Oilers 61 29 27 3 2 63 .516
Kansas City Mavericks 64 29 30 4 1 63 .492
Wichita Thunder 60 24 28 8 0 56 .467

Next Game: The Steelheads and Thunder meet again on Friday, Mar. 25 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.

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Tulsa Oilers
Idaho Steelheads
Wednesday, March 20th
Tulsa Oilers @ Idaho Steelheads
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM MDT
Idaho Central Arena
Tulsa Oilers
TUL Tulsa Oilers
at
Idaho Steelheads
IDH Idaho Steelheads
Idaho Central Arena
Tulsa Oilers
Idaho Steelheads
Friday, March 22nd
Tulsa Oilers @ Idaho Steelheads
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM MDT
Idaho Central Arena
Tulsa Oilers
TUL Tulsa Oilers
at
Idaho Steelheads
IDH Idaho Steelheads
Idaho Central Arena
Tulsa Oilers
Idaho Steelheads
Saturday, March 23rd
Tulsa Oilers @ Idaho Steelheads
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM MDT
Idaho Central Arena
Tulsa Oilers
TUL Tulsa Oilers
at
Idaho Steelheads
IDH Idaho Steelheads
Idaho Central Arena

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