Idaho Steelheads Clinch ECHL Playoff Berth
In the history of the franchise the Idaho Steelheads have never missed a Kelly Cup Playoff and the streak continued last night with a 4-1 win at Orlando.
Idaho's 35th win of the season clinched a Kelly Cup playoff berth for the 22nd consecutive season, that's the life of the franchise in Boise!
The Steelheads play at Orlando again tomorrow night and don't return home until March 27th.
Here is recap of last week and what is coming up this week for the Steelies:
Saturday, March 16 @ Orlando Solar Bears: 6-2 L
Shots: Steelheads 30, Solar Bears 35
PP: Steelheads 1-for-4, Solar Bears 1-for-2
The Steelheads were taken down in a 6-2 loss from Amway Center. The Solar Bears scored three goals in the first period and three more in the second period to spread the lead to 6-0. The Steelheads answered with a tally by forward Steve McParland (PP, 18:22 2nd) and another by forward Elgin Pearce (12:52 3rd) to cut into the lead, 6-2. However, the Steelheads couldn’t add to the push in the loss. Tomas Sholl (21-11-0) stopped 29 of 35 shots in the loss.
Sunday, March 17 @ Orlando Solar Bears: 4-1 W
Shots: Steelheads 25, Solar Bears 37
PP: Steelheads 1-for-4, Solar Bears 0-for-5
The Steelheads utilized strong special teams play in a 4-1 win from RDV Sportsplex Ice Den. Forward Henrik Samuelsson (4:33 1st) notched the lone even-strength goal for the Steelheads to jump ahead 1-0. The first of two shorthanded goals on the evening was scored by forward Will Merchant (SH, 10:38 1st) before the lone Solar Bears goal brought the lead back to one, 2-1. Forward Elgin Pearce (SH, 5:49 2nd) added the second shorthanded tally, and forward Steve McParland (PP, 16:28 2nd) finished the scoring with his second power play goal of the weekend to secure the 4-1 win. Tomas Sholl (22-11-0) turned aside 36 of 37 shots in the win.
Tuesday, March 19 @ Orlando Solar Bears – 5:00 p.m. MT
Friday, March 22 @ Rapid City Rush – 7:05 p.m. MT
Saturday, March 23 @ Rapid City Rush – 7:05 p.m. MT
The Steelheads close their three-game series with the Orlando Solar Bears while also opening a five-game stretch with the Rapid City Rush to close that season series. The Steelheads won their first game in three attempts against the Solar Bears in their franchise history heading into the rubber match of this year’s series. However, both losses came at Amway Center while the lone win was away from their main home facility. The Steelheads have played nine games so far against South Division opponents over the last two seasons, winning six of nine games with a 6-3-0-0 record including wins in three of four games this season.
The Steelheads have already claimed the season series against the Rush with five games remaining in the season series, winning nine of their 12 games this year with a 9-1-2 record. Most recently, the Steelheads broke a six-game winning streak with an overtime loss on February 16 but have points in seven-straight games since November 24 in the head-to-head series. The Steelheads have won 20 of their last 25 games against the Rush and own a 35-11-4 record in the franchise series.
Latest Steelhead statistics…
- The Steelheads clinched a postseason berth for the 22nd-straight year, which continues the longest active streak in North American professional sports as well as the only team in professional sports with playoff appearances in every year of existence. In addition, the Steelheads set a new ECHL record for 16-straight playoff appearances.
- The Steelheads scored two shorthanded goals for the first time this season, which also breaks them into double-digits. Nine different players have combined for 11 shorthanded goals, which ranks eighth in the ECHL.
- Forward Steve McParland scored a pair of power play goals over the weekend helping the Steelheads to goals in four of five games on the power play as well as his fifth power play goal of the year. He sits tied for second on the team in that category and leads with 23 total goals and 49 points.
- Forward Elgin Pearce is on a three-game goal streak, scoring four goals in that span. He owns 13 points (7g, 6a) since February 15 (14 games) to lead the team in that stretch.
GOALS: 23 – Steve McParland
ASSISTS: 33 – A.J. White
POINTS: 49 – Steve McParland
PP GOALS: 9 – Reid Petryk
SH GOALS: 2 – Steve McParland/Kyle Schempp
GW GOALS: 5 – Brad McClure/Reid Petryk
PIMS: 279 – Kale Kessy
PLUS/MINUS: +29 – Keegan Kanzig
SHOTS: 219 – Steve McParland
WINS: 22 – Tomas Sholl
GAA: 2.27 – Tomas Sholl
SAVE %: .929 – Tomas Sholl
Mountain Division Standings:
1. Tulsa 36-21-4-2, 78 pts
2. Steelheads 36-22-3-2, 77 pts
3. Utah 33-21-4-4, 74 pts
4. Kansas City 32-24-3-2, 69 pts
5. Rapid City 26-30-5-3, 60 pts
6. Wichita 24-29-7-3, 58 pts
7. Allen 23-37-4-2, 52 pts
The Steelheads finish their three-game series with the Orlando Solar Bears on Tuesday, Mar. 19 at 5:00 p.m. MDT