Steelheads' Campbell gaining wins, confidence

Goalie Jack Campbell was the Dallas Stars' first-round pick in 2010. He is 11-4 this season with Idaho.

It's been a tale of two seasons for the Idaho Steelheads (25-19-4-1). The team collected just seven wins in its first 25 games. In the past 24 contests, Idaho is 18-5-1.

That's propelled them into second place of the West Division in the ECHL, and just one point behind first-place Utah.

"You can see the enjoyment," head coach Neil Graham said. "Guys show up to the rink with a smile. They say 'hi' to us when they come in in the morning. Winning is fun. It's as simple as that."

Goaltender Jack Campbell was sent to Idaho from AHL Texas in the early-going of the streak. But he's added to the momentum.

"Jack fits right in," Graham said. "He's played very well since he arrived and he's been a huge part of our success."

"Winning is great," Campbell said. "That's what we play for. You'd be lying if you said winning isn't the most important thing."

Campbell was Dallas' first-round pick in 2010 and has played in one NHL game. The majority of his time has been spent in the AHL. Prior to his arrival in Boise, Campbell was 3-6-3 for Texas this season. He came to gain playing time, and confidence.

"It's a great fit for anyone trying to find their game a little bit and get the ball rolling so I am really enjoying it," Campbell said.

And it seems to be paying off. Through 15 games with Idaho, Campbell is 11-4 and leads the ECHL with a 1.73 goals against average and .942 save percentage.

"(I came) to get the confidence going and know I can have success, especially with a good team in front of me like we have here in Boise," Campbell said.

Campbell finds himself in familiar territory. Texas sent him to Idaho last season as well, where his stay was much shorter. He went 5-2 before heading back to the Stars.

"This year I knew exactly how to handle it and that's just what I have been doing," he said.

The Steelheads host Utah (27-18-2) on Friday. The puck drops at CenturyLink Arena at 7:10 p.m.