After a long 19 day road trip the Idaho Steelheads are back at home this week. It will be the first game since November 7th as they host the Florida Everblades in a three game set at Century Link Arena starting this wednesday.
On the road stand the Steely’s were able to pick up two victories but lost five and two in overtime. Idaho is currently in fourth in the West Division. Bench Coach Neil Graham is happy with his team’s effort but wants to see more victories moving forward.
“There's been a lot of adversity we have dealt with this season. As tough as it is right now we’ve had some downs, and we have had some losses together, but the impressive thing is the guys aren’t giving up in the room. No one has turned their back on each other. Guys are still working hard executing the systems right. Now we just gotta find a way to keep improving everyday,” said Bench Coach Neil Graham.
The team will be in familiar territory with the Everblades. Idaho went 0-1-1 with them early in the month of November.
“Florida is very good team, tops in the league right now first place with 28 teams. They’re a big, physical team they also have a lot of skill and play fast. They beat us the first night in overtime. I thought we played very well against them. The next night we played very well. I think it was a 2-0 loss so we were up against a good team. It’s going to be another test for us, and I'm excited to see how we respond this week,” said Graham.
Idaho said goodbye to Colton Beck who went to the AHL Iowa Wild. In replace of Beck, Rob Linsmayer filled in. He is on a two-game points streak, and his 19 points are tied for ninth in the ECHL.
“He’s stepped up his game in that absence; he’s almost at a point this season. Rob gets his points working hard going to the net and a lot of second efforts,” said Graham.
Idaho will be looking for their first win against an eastern conference opponent. The puck will drop at 7:10 PM for the first of a three game set.
“We’re at a point right now where we can’t afford too many days off. We had everyone back to the rink early today. We worked on some things and we can’t afford to sit back and take too much time to rest. It's important that we're making sure we're monitoring the bodies, making sure everyone is recovering, but at the end of the day we need to keep working and finding ways to improve,” said Graham.