Idaho Steelheads vs. Tulsa Oilers
Date(s) - Wed Apr 04, 2018
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
The Steelheads open their final road trip of the regular season on Wednesday night, a three-game swing that begins at BOK Center against the Tulsa Oilers. The Steelheads and Oilers have not met since January 20th, when the Steelheads were second in the division and the Oilers were in fifth place and seven points out of a playoff spot. Now, with three games remaining on the schedule for both teams, the Steelheads are still in second and the Oilers are still looking to fight their way into a playoff spot, now three points back of the Allen Americans and Wichita Thunder.
Cole Ully netted two goals for Idaho on Saturday night to spur the Steelheads to a 4-2 win over the Utah Grizzlies in Idaho’s regular-season home finale. Max French opened the scoring with a power play goal less than two minutes into the game in his first game back from a month with the Texas Stars, while Tomas Sholl earned the win in net.
The Steelheads are in the midst of a seven-game winning streak, their longest since March of 2015, and finished the home portion of their regular-season schedule with seven straight wins at CenturyLink Arena, their longest streak since winning the final seven home games of the 2007-08 season. Max French’s goal on Saturday extended his streak of consecutive ECHL games with a goal to five games, a streak in which he has scored seven goals but also a streak that was interrupted by a month in the AHL and dates back to February 19th. Cole Ully has goals in four straight, scoring six goals and notching two points in each contest. Tomas Sholl’s personal winning streak is now at eight, having surrendered just seven goals over that time.
The Steelheads pay their final visit of the season to BOK Center Wednesday, a building in which they’ve experienced consistent success. The Steelheads won each of their two previous visits to Tulsa this year, a 4-2 win on January 19th and a 4-3 win on January 20th. Dating back to their first trip to Tulsa in December 2015, the Steelheads have won six in a row at BOK Center and are 6-1-0 overall. One Steelhead who thrives in Tulsa will be out of the lineup, as Jefferson Dahl is currently in the AHL with the Cleveland Monsters. In Idaho’s previous seven visits to BOK Center, Dahl had registered a point in six of them and had totaled five goals and eight points.
The Steelheads will play a direct role in determining the Mountain Division playoff picture, with three teams fighting for the last two spots and Idaho playing two of them with their game in Tulsa followed by two games in Allen this weekend. Wednesday’s game isn’t mathematically a must-win for Tulsa, but it’s close to it considering the Oilers have three games remaining to close what is already a three-point gap behind the Americans and Wichita Thunder. Charlie Sampair continues to lead the Oilers with a strong sophomore season and 56 points. Tulsa has missed the playoffs in each of the past two seasons.
Goals: McParland (30)
Assists: Parizek (31)
Points: Parizek (57)
Plus/Minus: Brassart/McParland (+25)
Power Play Goals: McParland (9)
Goals-Against Average: Sholl (1.37)
Goals: Sampair (30)
Assists: Pleskach (27)
Points: Sampair (56)
Plus/Minus: Richardson (+12)
Power Play Goals: Ladd/Pleskach (6)
Goals-Against Average: Williams (2.56)
Steelheads top Tulsa for eighth straight win
Play of the gameAdam Pleskach’s goal gave the Oilers their first spark of life after two and a half periods of frustration against Tomas Sholl. The Steelheads hadn’t surrendered more than 16 shots in a period all season, and the Oilers broke that threshold twice on Wednesday. Whatever hope Pleskach’s goal may have offered Tulsa was quickly erased 2:07 later when Steve McParland snuck up on Evan Richardson in the neutral zone, picked his pocket, and raced in on a breakaway to beat Devin Williams with a backhand deke and put the game away for Idaho.
Tulsa, OK (4/4/18)— Max French extended his goal-scoring streak to six games and Tomas Sholl made 44 saves, as the Idaho Steelheads (43-20-7) opened their final road trip of the regular season with a 4-1 win over the Tulsa Oilers (31-28-11) at BOK Center, Idaho’s season-high eighth win in a row.
The Steelheads are one win shy of matching their longest winning streak of the ECHL era, a nine-game streak during the 2014-15 season that ended on March 6th of that year. The Steelheads also earned their 43rd win of the year and 93rd point in the standings, matching their totals from a season ago.
Sholl’s 44 saves were the most by a Steelheads goaltender this season, earning him his ninth consecutive victory between the pipes and improving his record this season to 14-0-2. His bid for his fifth shutout of the season was snapped at 7:34 of the third period when Adam Pleskach finished a rebound for his 22nd of the year to make it 3-1.
Idaho opened the scoring at 10:51 of the first period when Eric Sweetman beat goaltender Jake Hildebrand with a wrist shot from the right circle for his tenth of the season, and fourth goal in the last eight games. Jack Nevins chipped a puck wide of the net from between the circles but gathered the rebound off the end-boards and fed Sweetman at the right point for the goal.
Nevins returned to the lineup for the first time since March 16th following a five-game suspension, notching the assist and a fighting major after scrapping with Mike McKee in the third period.
The Steelheads made it 2-0 at 17:38 of the first. Michael Neville pressured Dennis Brown behind the Tulsa net, forcing a turnover to AJ White and a quick pass in front for Justin Parizek’s 27th goal of the season. Parizek is fourth among all ECHL rookies in goal-scoring, and he has goals in three straight games and in four of his last five.
At 11:13 of the second, French redirected an Alexander Dahl pass behind Hildebrand for his tenth of the season to make it 3-0. Dating back to February 19th, French has goals in six straight ECHL games and eight goals during that streak. French’s goal ended the night for Hildebrand, who surrendered three goals on nine shots. He was relieved by Devin Williams.
Pleskach got the Oilers on the board, but the Steelheads answered quickly when Steve McParland stripped Evan Richardson of the puck in the neutral zone 2:07 later and skated in alone on Williams for his 31st goal of the season to make it 4-1.
The Steelheads are 7-1-0 all-time at BOK Center, winning seven consecutive visits dating back to December 11, 2015.
The Steelheads have scored four goals or more in five straight games, totaling 23 goals in that span. They have outscored opponents 29-6 during their current winning streak.
The Steelheads head to Allen Events Center for their final two games of the regular season, meeting the Allen Americans on Friday night. Puck-drop is scheduled for 6:05pm MT, with the game available on 1350AM KTIK and on ECHLTV.
Goals: Sweetman (10), Parizek (27), French (10), McParland (31)
Tomas Sholl: 44 saves on 45 shots
Power Play: 0-for-1
Penalty Kill: 6-for-6
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS OF THE GAME
- Max French IDH
- Tomas Sholl IDH
- Alexander Dahl IDH
COORS LIGHT OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Max French: Goal, assist, 3 shots, plus-1