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IDAHO STEELHEADS WEEKLY – WEEK 20 – 3/7/24

Thursday, March 7th
IDAHO STEELHEADS WEEKLY – WEEK 20 – 3/7/24

IDAHO STEELHEADS WEEKLY – WEEK 20 – 3/7/24

The Idaho Steelheads picked up four out of a possible six points on home ice last week vs. the Utah Grizzlies as Everett Sheen collected his 167th win as Head Coach on Friday night moving into third place all-time in franchise history while Captain A.J. White played in his 400th career game in an Idaho uniform becoming one of just three skaters to do so. 

Idaho (37-15-2-1, 77pts, .700) enter this week second place in the Mountain Division, Western Conference, and entire ECHL trailing the Kansas City Mavericks by nine points with 17 games remaining (8 home, 9 away) as the club embarks on a six-game road swing in Canada. 

THIS WEEK’S GAMES
Friday, Mar. 8 at Newfoundland | 3:30 p.m. (MT) 
Saturday, Mar. 9 at Newfoundland | 3:30 p.m. (MT) 
Sunday, Mar. 10 at Newfoundland | 12:30 p.m. (MT) 

LAST WEEK’S GAMES

Wednesday, Feb. 28 vs. Utah | 3-1 WIN 

Highlights Full Recap Box Score
Francesco Arcuri (14thscored at 7:04 of the first period as the Steelheads led 1-0 after the first period despite being outshot 13-6. After a scoreless second period Brandon Cutler tied the game at 1-1 just 6:04 into the third period. On their third power-play opportunity of the night Idaho would finally cash in receiving a goal from Will Merchant (5thwith 3:44 to play in the game before Arcuri scored on the empty net with 34 seconds left giving Idaho a 3-1 win. For Arcuri it was his first multi-goal game of his career while Demetrios Koumontzis tallied two assists. Shots were 34-31 Idaho as Jake Kielly made 30 saves in his sixth straight start while Idaho finished 2-for-4 on the power-play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill. 

Friday, Mar. 1 vs. Utah | 8-7 Win

Highlights Full Recap Box Score
Idaho led 3-2 after the first period receiving goals from Jordan Kawaguchi (4th) and Lydnen McCallum (1st, 2nd). Just 32 seconds into the second period McCallum (3rdwould complete the hat-trick and then 42 seconds later Matt Register (7thwould increase the Steelheads lead to 5-2. Willie Knieirm (12th) at 4:43, 3:29 after Register’s score made it 6-2 making it three goals in a span of 4:15. After the Grizzlies got a late power-play goal at the end of the middle frame A.J. White (20thmade it 7-3 just 5:11 into the third period but the Grizzlies cashed in with three unanswered goals in a stretch of 2:25 to pull back within one. With 4:21 left in the game Demetrios Koumontzis (7th) gave Idaho back a two-goal lead making it 8-6 as the Grizzlies scored on the power-play with 68 seconds left in the game but the come-back would fall short. Shots favored Utah 40-29 as Jake Kielly made 33 saves in his seventh straight start as Idaho finished 1-for-3 on the power-play but just 1-for-5 on the penalty kill. 

Saturday, Mar. 2 vs. Utah | 3-1 Loss 

Highlights Full Recap Box Score
Idaho fell behind 1-0 at 8:42 of the first period but Parker Aucoin (3rd) extended his point-streak to eight games on a set-up from Matt Register’s 100th point as a Steelhead with 5:11 remaining in the stanza. Utah struck at 9:11 of the second period to capture a 2-1 lead and then received an empty-net goal with 25 seconds left to secure the 3-1 win. Shots favored Utah 31-28 as Jared Moe made 28 saves while Idaho finished 0-for-2 on the power-play and 1-for-1 on the penalty kill. 

THE WEEK AHEAD
Idaho heads north of the border for six straight games beginning in St. John’s vs. the Newfoundland Growlers for a 3:30 p.m. (MT) face-off on Friday and Saturday and then 12:30 p.m. (MT) on Sunday. It will be Idaho’s first trip in franchise history to Newfoundland and the first trip to Canada since the 2010-11 season. The Steelheads played the Victoria Salmon Kings in Canada 33 times from 2004-11 posting a (25-7-1) record. You can listen to all three games this week against Utah on the Steelheads flagship station 95.3 FM KTIK “The Ticket”  and watch on FloHockey and KTVB 24/7 (Channel 7.2)

The Steelheads (37-15-2-1, 77pts, .700) have a point in 12 of their last 14 games (11-2-1) since Jan. 31 and a record of (14-4-1) over their last 19 games dating back to Jan. 19. The Growlers (25-23-7-2, 59pts, 0.518) sit in third place in the North Division after dropping two of three games on home ice last weekend vs. Kalamazoo. 

Idaho is 1-1-0-1 vs. Newfoundland this season after welcoming the Growlers into Boise late in November for the first ever meetings in franchise history. Newfoundland collected a 5-4 shootout win on Nov. 29 before the Steelheads rebounded for an 8-3 win two nights later. In the series finale on Dec. 2 Idaho fell 5-4 in a game where the Growlers scored three unanswered goals in a stretch of 2:17 in the second period to take a 4-3 lead. 

Special teams are certainly going to be an intriguing story line heading into the series as Idaho has the top ranked power-play in the ECHL (54-for-185, 29.2%) and first on the road (29-for-84, 34.5%) while Newfoundland ranks sixth (56-229, 24.5%) having received more power-plays than any other team in the league. In the three games back in Boise earlier this season Idaho was 6-for-13 on the man advantage while Newfoundland was 6-for-14. 

There are four players who have direct ties to St. Johns, Newfoundland. Jake Kielly’s parents were both born and raised in St. John’s while he still has extended family living in the area. Lincoln Erne began the season with the Growlers playing in 23 games recording six assists before being acquired by Idaho for cash considerations on Jan. 3. Ty Pelton-Byce played 17 games for Newfoundland back during his rookie season in 2021-22 registering nine points (3G, 6A) in 17 games. Matt Register played the Growlers in the 2019 Kelly Cup Finals as a member of the Toledo Walleye where the Walleye lost in six games. Register tallied seven assists in the series and three in St. John’s.

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS
1. X - Kansas City Mavericks (41-10-3-1, 86pts, 0.782)
2. Idaho Steelheads (37-15-2-1, 77pts, 0.700)
3. Tulsa Oilers (25-26-5-1, 56pts, 0.491)
4. Allen Americans (25-25-2-1, 53pts, 0.500)
5. Utah Grizzlies (25-29-1-0, 51pts, 0.464)
6. Wichita Thunder (20-28-7-1, 48pts, 0.429)
7. Rapid City Rush (20-33-2-0, 42pts, 0.382)

INDIVIDUAL NOTES
#2 Trevor Zins has a point in two his last four games (1G, 1A) and in six of his last 11 games (2G, 4A). 

#3 Nicholas Canade is eight games shy of 100 as a Steelhead.  

#6 Wade Murphy has missed the last eight games with an upper body injury and was placed on the injured reserve list on Mar. 2 (effective Feb. 15)… His 56 points and 22 goals are tied for ninth in the league while his +28 rating is tied for second.  

#7 Jack Jensen made his professional debut Feb. 23 after signing an ECHL contract on Feb. 20 out of Augustana University… He picked up his first pro point with an assist on Feb. 24… He has played five games and was placed on the injured reserve list on Mar. 5. 

#11 Parker Aucoin has a point in all eight games this season (3G, 7A) after signing an ECHL contract out of Carleton University on Feb. 15… He scored his first professional goal on Feb. 16 while also recording an assist. 

#13 Francesco Arcuri saw a career high six-game point-streak (2G, 5A) on Feb. 17… He has a point in 17 of his last 25 games (9G, 14A) dating back to Dec. 29.

#18 A.J. White saw a season long seven game point-streak end on Feb. 28 (4G, 7A)… He scored his 12th power-play goal of the season on Feb. 28 which is tied for the league lead and is a personal season high, he scored 11 in 2021-22 and just four last season… He has 52 points (20G, 32A) in 55 games this season after tallying 49 points (20G, 29A) last season in 70 games… He scored his 20th goal of the season Mar. 1 his third straight year with 20+ goals. He skated in his 400th game as a Steelhead on Mar. 2 joining Marty Flichel (180), Cal Ingraham (175), and Scott Burt (111) as the only four skaters to accomplish the feat in team history. He is four points shy of 300 as a Steelhead.  

#19 Lynden McCallum made his Idaho debut Feb. 23 appearing in his first game since Jan. 13, 2023… He scored his second professional hat-trick while adding two assists for a career high five points on Mar. 1… His other hat-trick came with Fort Wayne back on Apr. 9, 2022 at Kalamazoo. 

#23 Demetrios Koumontzis saw a career best five-game point-streak (2G, 5A) end Mar.2. He has point in eight of his last 11 games (5G, 7A) since Feb. 9. 

#28 Will Merchant has a point in five of his last seven games (2G, 3A) and in nine of his last 12 games (3G, 6A) dating back to Feb. 3. Since re-joining the club from Europe back on Jan. 3 he has appeared in 25 games totaling 17 points (5G, 12A). 

#29 Willie Knierim has appeared in three straight games after missing the previous six games with an upper body injury… He has a goal in two of his last four games after scoring last night.  

#30 Bryan Thomson remains on the injured reserve list having missed nine straight games. 

#34 Colton Kehler has a point in three of his last six games (1G, 2A). He is three games shy of 200 professional games.  

#35 Jake Kielly has started in seven of Idaho’s last eight games in between the crease posting a (6-1) record since signing on Feb. 11 and making his Idaho debut on Feb. 16.  

#43 Matt Register is second amongst ECHL defensemen with 48 points and 41 assists while his assists are fourth amongst all league skaters. He is seven points shy of setting a single season record for most points by a defender in the Steelheads ECHL era while he is three assists shy of setting a single season record for most assists by a Steelheads ECHL defensemen. He is five games shy of 600 career ECHL games, only 13 players in league history have played in 600+ games including just one defenseman.   

#77 Jordan Kawaguchi has a point in five of his last six games (2G, 6A) and in nine of 13 games (4G, 10A) since making his season debut on Feb. 2 after signing on Jan. 17. 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

 Cody Haiskanen was released from his PTO with the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda last Friday after appearing in four games. He played in Idaho’s 3-1 loss Saturday vs. Utah finishing with four shots and a minus-one rating before singing his fourth different PTO of the season Monday, his first with the Texas Stars. He has played in 22 AHL games this season (18 Ontario, 4 San Jose) recording three points (1G, 2A) with a minus-three rating, six penalty minutes, and 23 shots. With Idaho he has skated in 28 games tallying 13 points (2G, 11A) with a +14 rating. 

Patrick Kudla returned to Idaho on Tuesday after being released from his PTO with the Calgary Wranglers where he appeared in two appeared in two games recording one shot with a minus-one rating, he had signed with Calgary on Feb. 17. It was his second call-up to the AHL this season after singing a PTO with the Syracuse Crunch on Jan. 8 where he played four games before being released on Jan. 25. In 43 games for the Steelheads this year his 41 points are tied for fourth amongst ECHL defensemen while his 34 assists are fourth.

Colin Van Den Hurk, 24, was traded to the Wheeling Nailers for future considerations on Tuesday. He signed with Idaho on Feb. 21 out of Lakehead University (USports) and made his pro debut on Feb. 23 in Tulsa. In six games for the Steelheads, he finished with two assists, four shots, and a +4 rating. The 5-foot-11 190lb right-handed shooter played three seasons for the Thunderwolves appearing in 68 career games totaling 53 points (14G, 39A). 

Bailey Conger, 26, was released from his ECHL contract on Tuesday. He signed with Idaho on Jan. 10 and registered eight points (3G, 5A) in 13 games. In parts of four seasons in the ECHL the Boise native has accumulated 34 points (15G, 19A) in 65 career games. 

Ben Zloty returned to Idaho on Wednesday after being re-called from his loan assignment on Feb. 18. He played in four games for the Stars recording two shots with a minus-one rating making his AHL debut on Mar. 27. He signed a signed a one-year AHL contract on Jul. 31 and has totaled 19 points (7G, 12A) in 34 games with the Steelheads this season. 

Ty Pelton-Byce returned to Idaho after signing a PTO with Henderson on Feb. 22 and played four games with the Silver Knights finishing with three shots and a minus-one rating. It was his third call-up to the AHL this season having singed PTO’s with Texas, San Jose, and Henderson appearing in six total games with four shots, two penalty minutes, and a minus-two rating. In 41 games with Idaho this season he has totaled 47 points (13G, 34A) and had a career long 10 game point-streak (4G, 11A) from Jan. 19-Feb. 16. 

Bryan Thomson was activated from the injured reserve list on Mar. 6 and re-called by the Texas Stars. He signed a two-year AHL contract with the Texas Stars in Jul. 27, 2023 after spending parts of five seasons in the WHL with the Lethbridge Hurricanes. He has appeared in 27 games for Idaho this season posting a (16-7-1-1) record with a 2.88 goals against average and 0.908 save percentage while pitching his first pro shutout on Dec. 9 in a 1-0 win at Kansas City making 26 saves. The Moose Jaw, SK native has been on the injured reserve list since Feb. 11.  

TEAM NOTES

GOAL SCORING AT A PREMIUM
Idaho leads the league averaging 4.35 goals for per game having scored a league high 239 through 55 games… Kansas City is the next closest with 232 in 55 games. The Steelheads have scored four or more goals in 41 of 55 games including 11 of their last 14 games while posting a record of 36-3-1-1 when doing so. Eight different skaters have hit double digits in goals. Last night was the fourth time this season scoring eight goals in a game.

Idaho has scored eight goals four times this season after their 8-7 win last Friday… while they have scored one goal just three times after a 3-1 loss Saturday. 

SHOOTING GALLERY 
Idaho is second in the league averaging 36.51 shots for per game this season. They’re 25-10-1-1 when outshooting their opponent and 11-4-1-0 when being outshot. They have tallied 40 or more shots in 20 of 55 games while only not hitting 31 shots 14 times this year, but they’ve been held under 30 in six of their last eight games. Defensively speaking Idaho has given up 40 or more shots in four of their last seven games having been outshot in six of their last seven games.  

SURGING POWER-PLAY
Idaho has scored a power-play goal in four of their last five games (5-for-14, 35.7%) and in 10 of 13 games (13-for-35, 37.1%). They lead the league (54-for-185, 29.2%) and are first on the road (29-for-84, 34.5%) while sitting fourth on home ice (25-for-101, 24.8%). On the road they have scored a man advantage goal in six of their last seven games (10-for-27, 37%) and in 11 of their last 13 games (11-for-33, 33.3%). On home ice they have scored in five of their last six games (7-for-18, 38.9%). Overall, the Steelheads are 26-7-1-1 when scoring a power-play goal and 10-2-1-1 when scoring two or more-man advantage goals in a decision. A.J. White is tied for the second in the ECHL with 12 goals and leads Idaho with 22 points while Matt Register is fourth amongst league defenders with 19 points (3G, 16A).

HOME COOKING
Idaho is third home wins this year with a 17-8-2-1 record. They have sold out in 27 of 28 games including 25 straight having scored four or more goals in 19 outings. They have won five of their last seven games (5-1-1) dating back to Jan. 31. 

ROAD WARRIORS
Idaho is 20-7 on the road this season having won six of their last seven games and 13 of their last 18 games. The 20 road victories are second in the league behind Kansas City (22-2-0-1).

SCORING FIRST
Idaho is tied for second in the league with 31 first goals posting a record of (26-3-1-1).

IN THE AHL 
There have been 18 different PTO’s signed by an Idaho skater this season which includes seven different skaters and five teams. 

Jack Becker scored his first AHL goal while recording his first fighting major with the Texas in a 6-2 loss at Manitoba on Mar. 3. The forward has appeared in 14 games for the Stars this season with a goal and an assist, minus-two rating, 13 penalty minutes, and 12 shots. In 39 games with Idaho this season he has totaled 37 points (16G, 21A) with his last game coming back on Jan. 28.  

Mark Rassell scored two goals for Texas on Mar. 2 in a 7-3 loss at Manitoba for his first career AHL multi-goal game. This season he has appeared in six games with the Stars scoring three goals while skating in eight games earlier this season with Calgary scoring two goals and adding an assist. In 39 games for Idaho this season he has collected 43 points (29G, 14A) leading the club in overall goals and seven multi-goal games. His last game for the Steelheads came back on Feb. 17. 

Dawson Barteaux (Manitoba), Keaton Mastrodonato (Texas), Jake Murray (Texas), and Dylan Wells (Tucson) who have all been with Idaho this season remain in the AHL. All five skaters are under AHL contracts. 

ACTIVE STATISTICAL LEADERS
Goals: Wade Murphy (22) 
Assists: Matt Register (41)
Points: Wade Murphy (56)
Plus/Minus: Wade Murphy (+28) 
PIMs: Nick Canade (80) 
PPGs: A.J. White (12) 
GWGs: Wade Murphy (5) 
Shots: Wade Murphy (176) 
Wins: Jared Moe (7) 
GAA: Jared Moe (3.46)
SV%: Jake Kielly (.902) 

Stay up to date with all things Steelheads on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. Watch all Steelheads home games on FloHockey and KTVB 24/7 (Channel 7.2) and listen on the Steelheads flagship station 95.3 FM KTIK “The Ticket”

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Allen Americans @ Idaho Steelheads
Monday, April 22nd
Allen Americans @ Idaho Steelheads
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM MDT
Idaho Central Arena
Allen Americans
ALN Allen Americans
at
Idaho Steelheads
IDH Idaho Steelheads
Idaho Central Arena
Allen Americans @ Idaho Steelheads
Wednesday, April 24th
Allen Americans @ Idaho Steelheads
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM MDT
Idaho Central Arena
Allen Americans
ALN Allen Americans
at
Idaho Steelheads
IDH Idaho Steelheads
Idaho Central Arena
Allen Americans @ Idaho Steelheads
Tuesday, April 30th
Allen Americans @ Idaho Steelheads
Puck Drops:
7:10 PM MDT
Idaho Central Arena
Allen Americans
ALN Allen Americans
at
Idaho Steelheads
IDH Idaho Steelheads
Idaho Central Arena

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