Where We Left Off: Blank Stares at Home – On Friday night, the Quad City Mallards visited Rushmore Plaza Civic Center for the first time this season for their second matchup of the season against the Rapid City Rush. Despite being tied for 6th in the CHL, the Mallards have been considered a sleeper team, laying out a tough challenge ahead for the Rush. The Mallards would take advantage of the second period of last night’s showdown and take the game with a 2-0 shutout win, only the third loss of the year for the Rush, but the first time they’ve been blanked this season. The Rush would pile on 16 shots to the Mallards 4 in the first 20 minutes, but would be unable to break the goal line of Quad City net-minder Ty Rimmer. After a scoreless first period, the Mallards would take advantage of traffic in front of the Rush net, and Gabirel Levesque would find an open Matt Boyd to give the Mallards the 1-0 lead. Three minutes later, Gergo Nagy would lead a two-on-one rush the other way, and find an open Gabriel Levesque between the faceoff dots. Levesque would rifle the shot top shelf and give the Mallards a 2-0 lead with a little over half of the game yet to be played. Rapid City would get some quality scoring chances in the third period, but would still be unable to solve Ty Rimmer. Rimmer would stop 48 Rush shots, and the score would remain 2-0, with the two points going to the Mallards.
Roll a Six – The Mallards and the Rush play for the third time this season tonight, already halfway through their season series.
On To Another Streak – Jesse Schultz’ point streak came to an end last night at 15 consecutive games. That number still leads the league for longest point streak in the league this season, one game ahead of Missouri’s Sebastien Thinel. In his point streak, he scored 7 goals and recorded 19 assists for 26 points. Point streaks also coming to an end with last night’s game were Matt Larke (6 games), Eric Giosa (5 games), and Sean Erickson (4 games).
Hey Wait Up For Me! – The Rush played in their twentieth game of the season last night, the second fewest games played total in the CHL, only ahead of the 18 games played by the Quad City Mallards. Despite that, the Rush are still first in the CHL standings with 34 points. Compared to the league, they hold either as little as one game in hand (against Missouri), and as high as six games in hand (against Tulsa). The six games in hand against Tulsa could translate to a possible 12 points (assuming those would be wins), which means if we pro-rate that projection to put them even with Tulsa right now, the Rush could conceivably have 46 points in the standings column in a hypothetical sense.
YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!! – Coming into tonight’s game, the Rush have the best defense in the CHL, allowing 42 goals on the entire season to this point. By the numbers, they average just barely over two goals allowed per game. The next best team as far as goals allowed is concerned is the Missouri Mavericks, having allowed 555, with Quad City staying close to them at 56 goals allowed. The Rush also have the best goal differential in the CHL, standing at +31.
Power Hungry – The Rush power play just keeps picking up the pace as things move along. Their hot streak continues, as they have now scored a power play goal in eight of their last ten games, going 26.2% (11/42) in that span. On Tuesday night, the Rush power play went 2/4 (50%), their best power play percentage in a single game this season, and tying the most power play goals they’ve scored in a single game this year.
NUMBER CRUNCH: VS the Mallards – A few numbers jumped out from last night’s game, as well as some more recent numbers on the season for both teams:
· 48 – the number of shots taken on net by the Rush. This is easily the most shots they’ve had in a single game, but Mallards goaltender Ty Rimmer stopped each one that came towards his goal. Both teams totaled for 73 shots on the game.
· 2 – the deficit in the loss for Rapid City. Out of their three losses this year, last night’s two goal loss was the highest margin of defeat for the Rush. It also marks the first shutout loss of the season for Rapid City.
· 10 – the number of consecutive games that Quad City has gone without a regulation loss. The Mallards are now 6-0-4 in their last ten games, having won their last two.