Oklahoma City Blazers Hockey

Blazers Kick Off Western States Shootout Against Idaho

Saturday marks the start of the Western States Hockey League’s Western States Shootout, taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Showcase has become an annual event that draws scouts from all over the country as they get the chance to see players from all 27 WSHL teams in action at one time. The Oklahoma City Blazers begin their slate of four games against the defending-Thorne Cup champions, the Idaho Steelheads.

Tale of the Tape
Oklahoma City Blazers Idaho Jr.
Steelheads
17-2-0 Record 22-0-2
0.895 PTs % 0.958
3rd Overall 1st
8-2-0 Last 10 10-0-0
25.5% (6th) PP % 23.8% (8th)
93.6% (1st) PK % 90.3% (4th)

News and Notes
-Oklahoma City and Idaho have only faced off one time before, during the 2014 Western States Shootout. The Steelheads would prevail in that game, defeating the Blazers by a score of 4-1.

-The Blazers Penalty Kill has been among the top of the league for the length of the season so far. Oklahoma City has only allowed 3 PP goals on 48 attempts in their last 10 games (93.8%).

-Idaho is currently on a 47-game streak where they have been undefeated in regulation time, dating back to last season and including the Playoffs. Their last regulation loss came on February 5th, 2016 against the Ogden Mustangs.

-The Blazers sit in second place in the Midwest Division, 11 points behind the El Paso Rhinos. Oklahoma City holds eight games in hand over the Rhinos.

-Oklahoma City is 15-0 when holding their opponents to 3 goals or less. OKC is 2-2 when allowing 4 goals or more.

-Oklahoma City has played the least amount of games out of any team heading into the Shootout. OKC has played 19 games, while the Arizona Hawks and Ontario Avalanche have played 28 games so far this season.

-The Blazers have made a few roster changes over the last few weeks, bolstering their defensive core. In addition to swapping defensemen and acquiring Tulsa captain Luke Novack from the Oilers, Oklahoma City signed defenseman Connor Dunn this week. Dunn began this season with the Waywayseecappo Wolverines of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. Last season, Dunn was a part of the WSHL’s Missoula Maulers.

Players to Watch

Oklahoma City
-Ivan Bondarenko has been working his way up the overall scoring list for the Blazers. In his last 10 games, Bondarenko has put 20 points to move to 3rd overall.

-Kirill Romanov is only three assists away from achieving 100 career assists with the Blazers. The franchise all-time leader in points, Romanov sits with 185 points through 110 games played.

-Tomas Rubes continues to lead the Blazers in scoring with 30 points in 19 games played.

-Cory King returned to the OKC lineup last weekend after suffering a broken jaw. King had one assist on the weekend.

Idaho
-Lance Herning leads the Steelheads in scoring with 39 points in 22 games. Herning was picked up by the NAHL’s Austin Bruins on December 9th, but remains on the Steelheads roster.

-Idaho goaltenders Tyler Matthews (8-0-2) and Sergei Pysarenko (11-0-0) have split their time in net pretty evenly this season. Both goaltenders combined have allowed only 37 goals all season.

The puck drops at 4:15p Central time from the Las Vegas Ice Center. The Shootout will feature a unique format as teams will faceoff in a two-period game with 25-minute periods. You can catch all of the action from the Shootout on WSHL TV.