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PREVIEW #69: Steelheads vs. Grizzlies

Friday, April 8th
PREVIEW #69: Steelheads vs. Grizzlies

IDAHO STEELHEADS (35-30-3) VS. UTAH GRIZZLIES (39-26-3)

FRIDAY, APR. 8, 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 meet the Utah Grizzlies at Idaho Central Arena for the second of five-straight games in the last two weeks.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads and Grizzlies have split their first 12 games of their 16-game series down the middle with each team earning six wins against the other, however the Grizzlies do own one more point than the Steelheads thanks to a shootout result on January 8. The Steelheads have won four of seven home games this year with two remaining this weekend. The Steelheads and Grizzlies are in the midst of their third stretch with more than five games head-to-head in-a-row, including the opening two weekends and two weekends in January. The Steelheads are 114-57-26 against the Grizzlies all-time as well as 63-26-13 at home.

Last Game: The Steelheads fell 4-1 to the Utah Grizzlies to open their five-game stretch on Wednesday night from Idaho Central Arena. The Grizzlies came out strong to start the game and were rewarded with a pair of goals in the opening period to jump out early, 2-0. Over the next two periods, the Steelheads worked further into the Grizzlies’ possessive game and started to chip away for opportunities. However, the Grizzlies still earned one goal in each of the next two frames to balloon the lead to 4-0. The Steelheads snuffed out the shutout bid on a 2-on-1 thanks to forward Jack Becker (SH, 19:40 3rd) crashing the net, but the team still fell in the 4-1 result.

The Final Four: Despite the result on Wednesday, the Steelheads are still entrenched in a heated battle between five teams for all four positions in the postseason. The Steelheads slipped to fifth place for the first time this season but still have a way to not only clinch the playoffs but also climb to earn home ice advantage in at least the first round. All five teams changed positions in the process of Wednesday’s games with the Grizzlies taking back first place thanks, in part, to an idle Rapid City team. Allen leapt to third place over Tulsa after the Oilers earned the spot during the morning set of games. All five teams have between four and six games left this season.

Bounceback Kids: Despite holding off the Grizzlies from adding a shutout late in the game, the Steelheads followed a trend over the season in regards to mid-week and series-opening games. The Steelheads have dropped six of their last seven games to start at least a two-game weekend series since mid-February and moving their record to 10-13-1 in the first game of a series this season while also owning a 7-6-0 record on Wednesday nights. However, the Steelheads have done well to rebound following that opening game, going 10-4-0 in the following game including three-straight series and also are a perfect 5-0-0 on the Friday following a Wednesday night loss. 

D-Molition Man: Steelheads forward Ryan Dmowski earned the assist on the team’s lone goal on Wednesday to extend his impressive scoring run. Recently, the East Lyme, Conn. native is on a three-game point streak (1-2–3) for the second time since joining the Steelheads with helpers on each of the team’s two previous tallies, and he’s factored in on three of five goals over their last three contests. Since joining the team from South Carolina on March 16, he has points in seven of his first nine contests and leads the team in scoring with 17 points (10-7–17) during that stretch. On the season, Dmowski reached the 40-point mark (26-14–40) through 33 games this season, leading the Steelheads in goals and sitting third in scoring.

Dynamic Duo: Grizzlies forwards Benjamin Tardif and Trey Bradley combined for two goals in Wednesday’s win while expanding their partnership opening up March. In three games to start April, the duo has combined for 15 points in just a three-game span with Tardif (3-5–8) leading the way with a one-point edge over Bradley (2-5–7), and the forwards have also factored in on nine of the team’s 12 goals to kick off the month with the specific Bradley-to-Tardif combination happening in all three Tardif tallies. Bradley missed 15 games on the Injured Reserve from February 18 through March 23 but still has the best point-per-game ratio (1.24) on team with 46 points (18-28–46) through 37 games. Tardif now shares the team lead in scoring with defenseman Charle-Edouard D’Astous at 57 points (20-37–57) through 50 games while leading the team in assists.

2021-22 MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Utah Grizzlies 68 39 26 2 1 81 .596
Rapid City Rush 67 34 22 6 5 79 .590
Allen Americans 66 32 26 7 1 72 .545
Tulsa Oilers 68 34 28 3 3 74 .544
Idaho Steelheads 68 35 30 2 1 73 .537
Kansas City Mavericks 68 29 32 5 2 65 .478
Wichita Thunder 66 25 32 9 0 59 .447

Next Game: The Steelheads play their final home game of the regular season on Saturday, Apr. 9 at 7:10 p.m. from Idaho Central Arnea against the Grizzlies. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on 95.3 The Ticket as well as 7:00 p.m. on Sparklight Ch. 72 & FloHockey.tv.

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