Where We Left Off: Back On Track – The Rapid City Rush and Missouri Mavericks resumed their rivalry on Friday night in the Independence Event Center in the start of a highly anticipated two-game set. Both teams, ranked number one and two in the league respectively, looked to end minor losing streaks and gain valuable positioning at the top of the CHL’s standings. Physicality would be evident right off the hop, as the Rush would get their first power play not even seven seconds into the game. The Rush would get on the board first with 1:59 left in the first, as Justin Faryna would score on a turnaround shot to give the Rush a 1-0 lead heading into the second. Utilizing the time carried over to the second period from their second power play, Konrad Reeder would score a power play goal 31 seconds into the period to extend the Rush lead to 2-0. Moments later, Eric Giosa would etch himself on the scoresheet, taking a turnover between the faceoff dots and rifling it to the top of the net to give the Rush a 3-0 lead. The Mavericks would get on the board eventually, with former Rush forward Colt King blasting a rebound to cut into the deficit, but Jesse Schultz would later get one back for the Rush to make it a 4-1 game heading into the third. The Mavericks would make things interesting, as they would score two quick goals in the first four minutes of the third to make it a 4-3 game with roughly 16 minutes left in regulation. Then came the turning point. On a breakaway, Jesse Schultz would get mugged, warranting a penalty shot that he would make no mistake on for his second of the night to extend the Rush lead to 5-3. Exactly 25 seconds later, Sean Erickson would add his name to the litany of Rush players on the scoresheet, re-establishing the three-goal lead for the Rush at 6-3. Almost a minute and a half after Mavericks goaltender Shane Owen was substituted, Justin Faryna would add his second of the night once more, giving the Rush the 7-3 score that they would ultimately defeat the Mavericks with.
40 is the New 30 – Over the course of the season, we have talked about how important it is for the Rush to get shots on goal and get pucks through for scoring chances. The magic number has been 30 for the Rush, as they have a 14-3 record when shooting between 30 and 39 shots on goal. When it comes to the Missouri Mavericks, however, the Rush have upped the ante as far as the shots on goal statistic is concerned. In the six games the Rush have played against the Mavericks, the Rush have surpassed 40 shots in four of them, going 3-1 in those games. Last night, they took 46 shots on the Mavericks net.
Gimme 5! – With last night’s win, the Rush now have a five point lead in first place in the CHL ahead of the Mavericks. The Mavericks dropped down to third place in the league, as the Denver Cutthroats surpassed them by a single point with their overtime win against the defending champion Allen Americans.
Fast and the Furious – Last night, Konrad Reeder scored 31 seconds into the second period, a power play goal that helped the Rush to a 2-0 lead at the time. It was the 13th time that the Rush have scored within the first three minutes of a period this season.
Better Late Than Never – Slightly countering the above stat, Justin Faryna scored a goal late in the first period, marking the 21st time the Rush have scored in the final two minutes of a period (5 of those are empty-netters).
NUMBER CRUNCH: vs the Mavericks – Having played against each other five times, there are bound to be some interesting numbers between the Rush and the Mavericks. Let’s review some eye-popping figures:
· 0 – the number of power play goals allowed against the Rush last night. The Rush penalty kill was perfect for the first time in 10 games last night, rendering the Mavericks scoreless on the power play in three opportunities. The 100% performance from last night ends a nine-game streak in which the Rush have allowed a goal on the opposing man-advantage.
· 4 – the number of consecutive games that the Mavericks have not surpassed 30 shots against the Rush. Converse to the Rush’s shooting numbers, the Mavericks have not shot more than 27 times in any of the last 4 matchups against the Rush.
· 2 – the number of 4-point scorers and multi-goal scorers in last night’s game. Both Jesse Schultz and Sean Erickson had 4-point nights, as Schultz scored 2 goals with two assists, and Erickson had 1 goal and 3 assists. On top of that, Justin Faryna had a 2-goal night for the second time this season, as he continues to pile onto his new career high in goals in a season, now at 11.