Defending Kelly Cup Champion Idaho has won six straight games and eight of its last 10 games to improve to 27-20-3, but finds itself in sixth place in the West Division of the National Conference, seven points out of the fourth and final postseason spot.
Long Beach has won 13 of its last 18 games and leads the division with a 33-14-5 record and 71 points, four points ahead of Alaska, which has won 12 of its last 15 games to improve to 31-15-5. Bakersfield is in third place with a 29-15-8 record and 66 points, two points ahead of Fresno, which has gone 17-4-3 in January and February to improve 29-17-6.
Idaho will visit West Division leader Long Beach (33-14-5) on Saturday, the final regular season meeting between the two, and will be at San Diego (26-18-6), which is in fifth place and one point ahead of Idaho in the division, on Sunday. The Steelheads are 4-3-1 against the Ice Dogs and 1-2-0 against the Gulls. Idaho has five games remaining against San Diego and three games remaining against Fresno, which is in fourth place with 64 points and a 29-17-6 record. The Steelheads will play Bakersfield, which is in third place with 66 points and a 29-15-8 record, two more times while also visiting Mississippi. The remaining 10 games will be against Las Vegas, Louisiana, Texas and Victoria, who all have records below .500.
Idaho’s winning streak began with back-to-back wins at Victoria followed by back-to-back wins at Las Vegas and continued last weekend with two home wins against Victoria. In its 12-3 win on Friday against Victoria, Idaho set a team record for goals in a game and established ECHL season-highs for goals (12), points (31) and winning margin (9) while the 15 goals tied the ECHL season high for combined goals.
During the streak, Frank Doyle is 4-0-0 with a goals-against average of 1.64 and a save percentage of .929 during the streak and Colin Zulianello is 2-0-0 with a goals-against average of 2.14 and a save percentage of .886. Doyle, who was the Most Valuable Player in the ECHL All-Star Game, is 20-11-2, tying him for second in the ECHL in wins. He ranks fourth in the league in minutes (2037) and is tied for fifth in goals-against average (2.18) and shutouts (3).
Brett Draney has scored six points (3g-3a) in the last two games and Frantisek Lukes has six goals and nine points in the last four games. Warren Peters has a five-game assist streak (5a) and has scored a point in each of the six wins (2g-6a). Bobby Russell, who has six assists and eight points in the last six games, leads the Steelheads in goals (16), game-winning goals (5), points (36) and plus-minus rating (+15) while ranking second in power-play goals (5) and third in assists (21).