BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Steelheads are off to a 2-0 start as they were able to take two games at Iowa last weekend, now they gear up for their home opener against Utah.
The puck drops at 7:10 and it marks the first of a five game homestand over the next two weeks, and the Steelheads are looking forward to playing at Idaho Central Arena.
"It’s something special to have a rink like this where it gets filled every night and it’s an incredible atmosphere," said coach Everett Sheen. "We kind of saw it in the exhibition game, it wasn’t a full sell out, but it was close, it was loud for an exhibition game our guys love it, they thrive off it and we pride ourselves on this being a very tough building to play in."
A.J. White has been with the Idaho Steelheads for five years, and this year White will take on a dual role of player and coach for the team as the Dearborn, Michigan native has found a home here in Idaho.
"I’ve loved it, it’s hard to leave I would like this to be my forever place to live," said White. "I think that just speaks volumes to what the city is like, the fanbase is like and the people, it has been a great experience so far and hopefully it continues to be good."
But make no mistake, White continues to play at a high level, scoring two goals this past weekend as the Idaho Steelheads found the back of the net 12 times in two games.
"It’s a good start for us, we liked how we were able to get the leads in both games and hold on to them," said White. "It’s always good to win a couple of games and think we can improve and get better."
White pointed to finishing games off as something the Steelheads can do better, but his leadership will help the younger players as he starts this new role.
"Right now it is just being around and absorbing what we do daily to be prepared for practice and games," said Sheen. "He has some good insights on the ice so we pick his brain, but he’s a big time leader in the dressing room and kudos to him on his abilities, I’m excited for him to learn the coaching side of things."
The Steelheads play the Utah Grizzlies on Friday and Saturday, next week they have three games at home against Rapid City.