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GAME PREVIEW: RUSH vs MALLARDS 2/14/14

Friday, February 14th
GAME PREVIEW: RUSH vs MALLARDS 2/14/14

Where We Left Off: Two Down at Home – On Tuesday, the Rush started off a two-game mid-week set against the Tulsa Oilers, the team responsible for handing the Rush their second shutout loss of the season last month. Both games came down to the wire, but the Rush were unable to hold onto early leads in the contest and would fall to Tulsa both nights. The first night, the Rush were able to get their first 1-0 lead in seven games, thanks to Jared Brown’s deflection for his eighth goal of the season. However, it would be short-lived, and the Oilers would go on a massive offensive. With the help of a goal from Kyle Bochek scored in between his tear, Tulsa forward Ben Gordon would score four goals in a 4:29 span to help his Oilers club take a commanding 5-1 lead into the second. The Rush would chip away at the lead, as Scott Brannon’s first goal since December, added by two strikes courtesy of Konrad Reeder put the Rush down 1 with exactly one minute left in the game. The Rush would be unable to complete the late comeback and would lose by a 5-4 score. The next night started off almost the same as the previous one. On a textbook passing play, Sean Erickson buried the puck behind Shane Madolora for his tenth of the year, giving the Rush a 1-0 lead, a lead they would carry into the first intermission for the first time in eight games. Unfortunately, goals by Kyle Bochek and Chapen Leblond would give the Oilers a 2-1 lead, one they would not relinquish for a second straight night, handing the Rush their fourth straight loss.

Tough Times – The Rush are in the midst of a four-game losing streak, the longest they have faced all season long. Losing streaks longer than two games are a rarity for the Rush, as this is their second time with a streak longer than a pair of dropped games. The last time the Rush previously faced a losing streak of three games, their second longest of the year, they went on the road to Independence to take on the Missouri Mavericks and slammed them by a 7-3 score.

Back Even in Second – The defending CHL Champion Allen Americans had a game in hand against the Rush last night, and fell to the Arizona Sundogs by a 4-2 score. This means that the Rush are now back in a real tie for 2nd in the CHL, as both teams have 56 points through 45 games played. The Rush, Americans, and newest 1st place Missouri Mavericks are all in action tonight and tomorrow, with the Mavericks and Americans playing head-to-head both nights.

Lots of Made From Scratch Biscuits – In their last eight games, the Rush have registered 289 shots on goal, an average of 36.125 shots a game, including two 40+ shot performances. Despite the high offensive output, the Rush have lost seven of those last eight, scoring 18 goals, an average of 2.25 goals per game in that stretch.

Head Start Once More – Sean Erickson’s goal Wednesday night gave the Rush a 1-0 lead for the second straight game, the first time the Rush have had consecutive 1-0 starts since they played the Wichita Thunder last month. They also took that lead past the first period for the first time in eight games. Normally when leading after the first, the Rush would win, but the Oilers handed the Rush their first loss when holding a lead after twenty minutes of play, giving them a 15-1-0 record in that scenario.

CRUNCHING NUMBERS: vs the Mallards – These teams haven’t met since 2013. Let’s re-visit their three matchups to date:

· 0 – the number of power play goals scored in this series by either club. The only other club the Rush have yet to score a power play goal on is the Tulsa Oilers, but the Quad City Mallards are the only team that has yet to score a power play goal on the Rush. Both teams are each 0/8 on the man-advantage through three games.

· 15 – the number of Rush players that have successfully recorded a point on the Mallards. All but three Rush players have made a statistical impact on the Mallards

· 39.6 – the average number of shots on goal the Rush have taken per game against the Mallards. This includes a 48 shot outburst in the Rush’s first shutout loss of the season to the Mallards.

We’re Going Streaking! – Two players are carrying statistical streaks into tonight’s matchup with the Mallards:

· Konrad Reeder – points in his last six games (5 G, 3 A, 8 Pts)

· Sean Erickson – points in his last three games (2 G, 2 A, 4 Pts)

Other Notable Performances: These players have been lighting up the stat sheet recently:

· Jesse Schultz – ten points (2 G, 8 A) in his last ten games

· Winston Day Chief – four assists in his last four games

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