Steelheads: Game Day Storylines at Wichita
The Steelheads play their fifth consecutive road game on Friday night with their first visit of the season to INTRUST Bank Arena to play the Wichita Thunder. The Steelheads have split the first four games of their four-game road swing, starting the trip with a loss in Utah before taking two of three from the Rapid City Rush. The Thunder are winless in their last five games, sitting six points behind second place Idaho and five points in front of fourth place Tulsa in the Mountain Division.
Philippe Desrosiers made 21 saves on Saturday night in Rapid City for his second shutout of the season, and the fourth for the Steelheads this year, in a 3-0 victory over the Rush. Will Merchant scored the eventual game-winner for the Steelheads, giving him eight goals in nine games. Max French and Steve McParland also scored for the Steelheads, who earned their eighth win of the season over the Rush.
We Hardly Know Ye...
With 16 games left on the Steelheads' schedule, and 15 for the Thunder, there is still plenty of time for movement in the Mountain Division standings. Still, if the season ended today these teams would be meeting in the first round of the playoffs. While the Steelheads have played 49 games this season against divisional opponents, they have played the fewest against Wichita with only two meetings thus far. That pair at CenturyLink Arena in mid-December was a split, at the time tying the two teams in the standings with 36 points. The Steelheads also make just their second visit ever to INTRUST Bank Arena, having split a pair of overtime games in Wichita in February of 2016. The Steelheads and Colorado Eagles are tied for the best record against Mountain Division opponents with 63 points, while the Thunder hold the league's fifth-best points total on home ice with 39.
Rosie the Rampart...
Philippe Desrosiers capped a stellar month of February last Saturday with a shutout victory over the Rapid City Rush, Desrosiers' second shutout win in a span of five starts. In February, Desrosiers appeared in eight consecutive games (one in relief) and compiled a record of 5-2-0 along with a 1.85 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage. Desrosiers' 22 wins rank fourth among ECHL goaltenders. Goaltending and defense may be more critical for the Steelheads this weekend without Max French and Steve McParland, both called to AHL Texas earlier this week. French was in the midst of a four-game goal-scoring streak in which he had scored six goals, while McParland leads the team this season with 25 tallies.
Close Down Cuddemi...
With several of Wichita's other offensive leaders struggling to find the back of the net, Ralph Cuddemi has been the Thunder's go-to producer. The former Utah Grizzly enters Friday's action with a five-game point streak totaling four goals and ten points. Over his last nine games, Cuddemi has six goals and 14 points and has factored into 53.8 percent of Wichita's goals. The Steelheads are well aware of Cuddemi's capabilities, with the scorer netting a goal and an assist in the first two meetings with Wichita this year and two goals and five points in seven meetings last year when he was with Utah.
Idaho Leaders Thunder Leaders
Goals: Parizek (21) Goals: Cuddemi (23)
Assists: J. Dahl (35) Assists: Cuddemi/Bauer (26)
Points: J. Dahl (55) Points: Cuddemi (49)
Plus/Minus: Brassart/Sweetman (+14) Plus/Minus: Thibault (+11)
Power Play Goals: J. Dahl (8) Power Play Goals: Beaudry (6)
Goals-Against Average: Desrosiers (2.53) Goals-Against Average: Starrett (2.91)
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ECHL Stories from March 2, 2018
- Steelheads Hammer Thunder in Wichita - Idaho Steelheads
- 'Blades Hop in and out of Overtime In3-2 Win over Swamp Rabbits - Florida Everblades
- GAME REPORT: Eagles Snap Oilers Point Streak - Tulsa Oilers
- Mallards Claim Wild 7-6 Shootout Win - Quad City Mallards
- Day Chief, Cyclones Finally Solve Fuel - Indy Fuel
- Monarchs Rocked by Thunder, 6-1 - Manchester Monarchs
- Allen Takes Game One - Rapid City Rush
- Mavericks Come from Behind to Top Komets, 3-2 - Kansas City Mavericks
- Day Chief's Natural Hat Trick Propels Cyclones to Victory - Cincinnati Cyclones
- Swamp Rabbits Drop Heartbreaker in Overtime - Greenville Swamp Rabbits
- Dupont's Late Tally Lifts Admirals over Gladiators - Norfolk Admirals
- Driedger Stones Wings as Beast Win 2-1 - Brampton Beast
- IceMen Destroy Royals in Huge Win - Jacksonville IceMen
- Walleye Use Power Play to Top Stingrays, 4-2 - South Carolina Stingrays
- Royals Stymied in Jacksonville, 6-1 - Reading Royals
- Wings Drop Goalie Duel in Brampton - Kalamazoo Wings
- Slow Start Halts Glads in 3-2 Loss to Norfolk - Atlanta Gladiators
- Railers Take Weekend Opener - Wheeling Nailers
- Thunder Find Sixth Sense in Win over Manchester - Adirondack Thunder
- Steelheads: Game Day Storylines at Wichita - Idaho Steelheads
- ECHL Transactions - March 2 - ECHL
- Americans Hoping New Faces Will Change Luck - Allen Americans
- Predators Reassign Goaltender Matt O'Connor to Nailers - Wheeling Nailers
- Robin Press Named CCM/ECHL Player of the Month for February - Indy Fuel
- Indy's Press Named CCM/ECHL Player of the Month - ECHL
- Austin Ortega Named ECHL Player of Month - Utah Grizzlies
- Gameday - Adirondack (31-20-3-3) at Manchester (33-18-3-2) - Adirondack Thunder
- Cyclones Game Notes: vs. Indy - Cincinnati Cyclones
- Mallards Game Day - Quad City Mallards
- Nailers at Railers Game Day Snap Shot, March 2 - Wheeling Nailers
- Spencer Watson and Carmine Guerriero Join Monarchs - Manchester Monarchs
- Utah's Ortega Named CCM/ECHL Rookie of the Month - ECHL
- IceMen Take on Royals at Home - Jacksonville IceMen
- Monarchs Game Day Capsule, March 2 - Manchester Monarchs
- Game Day: Gladiators Come to Town for Pair of Games - Norfolk Admirals
- Nagle Named ECHL Goalie of the Month for February - Toledo Walleye
- Toledo's Nagle Named Warrior Hockey/ECHL Goaltender of the Month - ECHL
- Gameday Report: Mavericks vs. Komets - Kansas City Mavericks
- Royals Preview: Final Game of Series at Jacksonville - Reading Royals
- Dzierkals Wraps up 4-3 Solar Bears OT Victory over Royals - Orlando Solar Bears
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