The ECHL announced changes to its divisional alignment and playoff format. The Idaho Steelheads will be welcoming in two new divisional opponents during the 2016-2017 season.
In the new divisional format, the Steelheads, who played last season in the five-team West Division, will compete in the newly named seven-team Mountain Division. All members of last year’s West Division will remain in the Mountain Division, joined by the Allen Americans and the Missouri Mavericks.
With the new alignment, the first two rounds of the playoffs will be held within each division, with the top four teams in each division making the post-season.
The Steelheads faced the Allen Americans and Missouri Mavericks for the first time last season.
Idaho split two games with the Mavericks to finish the season and fell to Allen in seven games in the Western Conference Quarterfinal.
The Steelheads will play 53 of their 72 games this season against Mountain Division opponents.
"I like the format seven teams in each division for of them making the playoffs. You then play your divisional opponents in your first two rounds. It's very similar in what you see in the American Hockey League and National Hockey League, and so realistically fate’s in your own hands. You take care of your games, take care of your matchups, and everything works out in the end.,” said, Head Coach Neil Graham.