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PREVIEW #65: Steelheads @ Everblades

Wednesday, March 30th
PREVIEW #65: Steelheads @ Everblades

IDAHO STEELHEADS (34-27-3) @ FLORIDA EVERBLADES (35-18-10)

WEDNESDAY, MAR. 30, 2022 | 5:30 P.M. MTHERTZ ARENA | ESTERO, FLRADIO: 95.3FM/1350AM KTIK | STREAM: FLOHOCKEY

Tonight's Game: The Steelheads begin their final non-divisional weekend with the first of three games against the Florida Everblades from Hertz Arena.

Head-To-Head: This is the fourth series in franchise history between the Steelheads and Everblades with their last meeting coming in Estero on Nov. 13-14, 2015 in back-to-back Everblades wins (4-3 OT, 3-0). The two teams first met during the 2004 Kelly Cup Final with the Steelheads taking the series 4-1 for their first championship. The Steelheads are 5-5-1 in the regular season against the Everblades as well as 2-2-1 on the road. The team’s only South Division meeting this year was a three-game sweep of the South Carolina Stingrays in December.

Last Game: The Steelheads roared ahead with a 9-1 win over the Wichita Thunder on Saturday night from Idaho Central Arena. The Steelheads wasted no time in getting on the board with four goals in the first period. Their first of five power play goals came on their first chance thanks to defenseman Will Cullen (PP, 2:56 1st) for the opening strike followed up by a saucy opening for captain A.J. White (4:47 1st) to double the lead, 2-0. Forward Austin Alger (8:41 1st) scored his first professional goal from the mid-slot, and forward Zach Walker (14:02 1st) finished off the early scoring for a 4-0 lead. The Steelheads scored two more before the Thunder answered back: forward Willie Knierim (PP, 6:30 2nd) and White (PP, 13:09) with back-to-back power play tallies for the eventual 6-1 lead following the Thunder goal. Three more came for the Steelheads with forward Ryan Dmowski (19:02 2nd) cashing in before the end of the frame followed by forward Colton Kehler (PP, 6:05 3rd) and Dmowski (PP, 7:37 3rd) on the same power play, finishing off the 9-1 win.

Connect Four: The Steelheads finished their five-game homestand in a strong way, earning a four-game win streak through a firepower offense. The Steelheads have earned their longest win streak since their season-best five-game stretch from January 26 through February 5, scoring six or more goals in three of those four games while outscoring the opposition 25-8, which is the most goals scored in a four-game span this season. The Steelheads also excelled in the first period, scoring 12 goals and only allowing two tallies, and the team has 40 or more shots in three-straight games. Since their six-game losing skid, the Steelheads are 5-1-0-0 heading into their final eight games of the season.

All Powered Up: The Steelheads power play was on fire last Saturday night, posting a whopping five goals on nine attempts in the nine-goal win. The performance by the power play is not only the most goals in a game this season but also the best conversion percentage (55.5%) in a game with a minimum of four chances, breaking the previous goal total set on opening night (4-for-11, 36.4%) and the 3-for-6 (50.0%) effort during the last nine-goal night on January 26 at home against Kansas City. As of late, the Steelheads power play has not achieved consistency, scoring in only three of their last 11 games (6-for-41, 14.6%), however lately the Steelheads have five power play goals in three games (5-for-17, 29.4%).

Prap Daddy: Steelheads defenseman Michael Prapavessis was on a helping tear on Saturday night, posting a team-high five assists as part of the win. The five-assist night is his best performance of his career individually, and it overtakes his previous best of three assists in a game done just twice since beginning his collegiate career: Nov. 27, 2015 with RPI against Western Michigan (4-1 W) and on March 23 against Wichita (7-4 W). It’s also tied for the second-most assists in team history, a mark now shared with teammate A.J. White done the Saturday prior against Utah. Prapavessis also added three power play assists, now moving him to a share of the team lead (10) in that category, and his 26 assists on the year is second on the team.

Gator Danger: The Florida Everblades are in the midst of a playoff battle atop the South Division while getting a rare dose of non-divisional play with nine games remaining. The Everblades are one of the best defensive teams in the ECHL, joining both Idaho and the Jacksonville Icemen as the only three teams to sit in the top-five for fewest goals allowed per game and shots allowed per game. Recently, the Everblades have held opponents to three goals or less in regulation in five-straight games, and the team has points in seven of their last eight games (5-1-2-0). The Everblades took down the Utah Grizzlies 5-2 on January 26, their only Mountain Division game so far. In non-divisional games, the Everblades are 4-3-0-0 with six of seven against the North Division.

2021-22 MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Utah Grizzlies 64 37 24 2 1 77 .602
Rapid City Rush 63 32 21 5 5 74 .587
Idaho Steelheads 64 34 27 2 1 71 .555
Allen Americans 61 28 25 7 1 64 .525
Tulsa Oilers 64 31 28 3 2 67 .523
Kansas City Mavericks 64 29 30 4 1 63 .492
Wichita Thunder 63 24 30 9 0 57 .452

Next Game: The Steelheads and Everblades continue their three-game weekend on Friday, Apr. 1 at 5:30 p.m. MT from Hertz Arena. Coverage begins at 5:15 p.m. on 95.3 The Ticket & FloHockey.

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Utah Grizzlies
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Friday, October 18th
Utah Grizzlies @ Idaho Steelheads
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM MDT
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Wednesday, October 23rd
Toledo Walleye @ Idaho Steelheads
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM MDT
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Toledo Walleye
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Friday, October 25th
Toledo Walleye @ Idaho Steelheads
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM MDT
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TOL Toledo Walleye
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