1. Home
  2. News
  3. PREVIEW #72: Steelheads @ Grizzlies

PREVIEW #72: Steelheads @ Grizzlies

Saturday, April 16th
PREVIEW #72: Steelheads @ Grizzlies

IDAHO STEELHEADS (36-32-3) VS. UTAH GRIZZLIES (41-27-3)

SATURDAY, APR. 16, 2022 | 7:10 P.M. MTMAVERIK CENTER | WEST VALLEY CITY, UTRADIO: 95.3FM/1350AM KTIK | STREAM: FLOHOCKEY

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads close the regular season still with a chance at the playoffs against the Utah Grizzlies from Maverik Center.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads and Grizzlies close the door on a tight and competitive season series with the Grizzlies officially taking the series by points with one game remaining and owning a three-point lead, but the series remains at a one-win differential with Utah taking eight and the Steelheads holding seven. The Steelheads are 7-8-0 so far against the Grizzlies with a 2-4-0 record at Maverik Center, and all but one game has finished in regulation: January 7 in Boise (4-3 SO). The Steelheads hold a 115-59-26 record all-time against the Grizzlies while going 51-32-13 on the road.

Last Night: After a physical but scoreless first period, the Grizzlies garnered the first two tallies of the second period within the first half of the frame. The Steelheads took advantage of two different situations to answer back within 30 seconds of each other. Forward Will Merchant (11:07 2nd) knocked down a shot and found an open seam for a wide open attempt to kick off the push back followed on the next shift by forward Zach Walker (11:37 2nd) on a wrap-around goal to tie the game, 2-2. The Grizzlies found life with the initial go-ahead tally in the back half of the third period and added one more into an empty net for the 4-2 advantage. Defenseman Mitch Versteeg (EA, 19:17 3rd) pitched in a net-front tally late to give the team a chance, but the Steelheads fell short in the 4-3 result.

One More Time: The Steelheads enter the final game of the regular season still in a position to earn a postseason berth but need a little help to clinch that final spot in the Mountain Division. The Steelheads sit two points back of the Allen Americans with one game remaining, and thanks to holding tie-breakers against the Americans they can still tie in points and make the postseason. However, the Steelheads need to win against the Grizzlies tonight and have the Americans lose in regulation at the hands of the Iowa Heartlanders, who were sunk in overtime to the Americans last night. The Tulsa Oilers clinched their postseason berth last night while both the Utah Grizzlies and Rapid City Rush sealed their top-two spots in the opening round.

Road Run: The Steelheads will need to overcome some road adversity to keep their postseason chances alive in the closing game tonight. The Steelheads own an 11-22-2 road record this season, which is tied for the lowest number of road wins across the league this season despite having a share of the most home wins in the ECHL as well. The Steelheads have scored three goals or more in four of their last five games since March 12 but have been outscored 21-16 in that time while only taking wins in two of those six contests. The Steelheads still have a chance to split or win a road weekend for just the fourth time this season and earn a two-game weekend split for the first time since opening weekend on October 23 & 24.

Mackel Merch: Steelheads forward Will Merchant has kept the pedal down to the floor through the remainder of the season, adding another goal to his total in last night’s loss. The Eagan, Minn. native now has points in eight of his last 10 games since recording his hat-trick on March 23, boasting seven goals and 11 points in that time and sitting third in scoring during that time. His scoring run in the back half of the season moves him into a share of fourth on the ECHL-era goal list with Jefferson Dahl (‘14-’18, ‘19-’20) at 77 goals as well as one point behind Mark Derlago (‘09-’11) for career points with Merchant holding 172 points. On the season, Merchant owns 36 points (19-17–36) in 47 games.

The Boise Boi: Steelheads forward Zach Walker helped push back in the second period with the first wrap-around goal scored by the team this season within 30 seconds of the first tally. The Boise native has been part of two of the fastest goals on the season including last night’s 30-second spread as well as the 32-second split on January 7 against the Grizzlies during the opening minute of the third period. The goal also broke a six-game goal drought for Walker, who eclipsed the 10-goal mark for the first time in his career. In his first ECHL season, he owns 22 points in 62 games.

Bear Witnessed: The Utah Grizzlies claimed their first Mountain Division crown in team history with their win last night, suring up a strong campaign with a solid finish. After the first weekend of the season, the Grizzlies maintained a spot in the top-three in the Mountain Division for the remainder of the season and most recently have held their ground with back-to-back wins for the first time since March 12-18 as well as wins in five of their last eight games following a three-game losing skid. The Grizzlies return to the playoffs for the 13th time in 14 seasons where a postseason has been held, missing only the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs with a sixth place finish.

2021-22 MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
y-Utah Grizzlies 71 41 27 2 1 85 .599
x-Rapid City Rush 71 35 25 6 5 81 .570
x-Tulsa Oilers 71 36 29 3 3 78 .549
Allen Americans 71 34 28 8 1 77 .542
Idaho Steelheads 71 36 32 2 1 75 .528
Kansas City Mavericks 71 31 33 5 2 69 .486
Wichita Thunder 71 27 35 9 0 63 .444

Latest News

More News
STEELHEADS SEASON COMES TO A CLOSE IN OVERTIME LOSS
STEELHEADS SEASON COMES TO A CLOSE IN OVERTIME LOSS
STEELHEADS FACE ELIMINATION TOMORROW AFTER GAME FOUR LOSS
STEELHEADS FACE ELIMINATION TOMORROW AFTER GAME FOUR LOSS
THIRD PERIOD RALLY COMES UP SHORT AS MAVERICKS TAKE 2-1 SERIES LEAD
THIRD PERIOD RALLY COMES UP SHORT AS MAVERICKS TAKE 2-1 SERIES LEAD

Get Hockey Updates

Sign up for our email newsletter to be the first to know about news and upcoming games!