For Immediate Release – July 1, 2014
RAPID CITY, SD) – Rapid City Rush Head Coach and GM Joe Ferras has been very busy this offseason, building his roster for the upcoming 2014-15 season. First in that process comes re-establishing the core from last season, especially with respect to the team’s youth. The Rapid City Rush are pleased to announce the re-signing of third year pros Scott Brannon and Justin Faryna, looking to continue their success in their early careers.
“This will be the third season in Rapid City for both Scott and Justin,” said Rush GM and Head Coach Joe Ferras. “Last season, both players made huge strides in their development as key players for our hockey club. Justin and Scott both log major minutes as members of the penalty kill unit, and are two players that sacrifice their body on a nightly basis.”
“I’m very excited Coach Ferras wanted me back,” said Brannon of his re-signing. “I can’t wait to get back to Rapid City and get started. This is where I want to be.”
Brannon put together another impressive campaign for the Rush last season, becoming a focal point on the front end, as well as excelling in penalty-killing duties for the team. On the statsheet, Brannon scored 12 times along with 11 assists for 23 points in 54 games with the Rush last season. His 12 goals and 23 points became career-highs in those respective statistics for a season, while his 11 assists tied a career-high set in his rookie season two years ago. Brannon truly shined in the Rush’s playoff series against the Quad City Mallards, playing in all seven games of the series and averaging just shy of a point-per-game, scoring 2 goals with 4 assists for 6 points.
“I want to be more consistent, plain and simple,” said Brannon of his performance last season. “Hopefully last season’s showing will give me some confidence that I can carry over into the upcoming year. As a team, we had a great try at the playoffs last year, so hopefully we can go further.” When asked about his playoff performance, Brannon added, “Its crunch time I guess. When it comes to the playoffs everything just amps up. I was very lucky to be on a line with Strohzy (Kyle Stroh) and Wrayzer (Scott Wray). We really played well together and made some great things happen on the ice.”
“Branny has been a player that leads by example with his work ethic, physicality and his team first mentality,” added Ferras on Scott Brannon. “I am really excited to see Branny build off his outstanding play the last half of the season and his tremendous playoffs where he was a top player for us in all facets of the game.”
Brannon is entering his third season of professional hockey, all with the Rapid City Rush. From New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, the 6’1”, 181 lb forward has scored 22 goals and recorded 22 assists for 44 points in his 110 games played in the Black Hills. Before his career began, Brannon played his junior hockey in the QMJHL, spending the majority of his time there with the Moncton Wildcats, whom he captained to a QMJHL title back in 2009-10. After his time in Moncton, he spent two seasons in the CIS with St. Francis Xavier University, ultimately turning pro in the 2011-12 season with the Rush.
“I am so excited to be back with Farns (Justin Faryna),” said Brannon on the re-signing of his roommate and linemate. “We live together and room together on the road, and when you hang out with someone like that that you play a lot with it helps your chemistry. He’s very easy to play with and I’m looking forward to playing another season with him.”
“It feels so great to be a part of the Rush organization again,” Faryna said of his re-signing. “It’s great to be back in the Rapid City community and I look forward to another exciting year for myself as a pro and for this team as a whole.”
Faryna pieced together a sensational sophomore season in pro hockey, setting career-highs in virtually every statistical category, while also playing a key role in the Rush’s penalty-killing efforts. In just two games shy of a full regular season, he scored 15 goals along with 8 assists for 23 points, 105 PIM and +5 rating: all career highs. Along with his outstanding numbers, Faryna was responsible for scoring the second five-on-three shorthanded goal in franchise history, a brilliant solo-effort against the St. Charles Chill on December 10th in a 7-2 blowout win. Unfortunately Faryna’s season came to an end with an injury that sidelined him from the final two games of the regular season, as well as the entire first round of the playoffs against the Mallards.
“I learned a lot from last year, and feel I made some big strides,” added Justin on his play from last season. “One part of that strong play was my draws in the faceoff circle. I plan on being much stronger there and more reliable as well for the upcoming season.”
“Justin had his best season as a pro offensively last year scoring 15 goals, and with any puck luck the last 20 games of the season he could have been a 20 goal scorer for us,” Ferras said of Justin Faryna. “Entering his third year in a Rush jersey will give Justin the confidence knowing that he can become a legitimate scoring threat at the “AA” level, and with his commitment and shut down capabilities coupled with his fearlessness to stick up for his teammates, I am confident this will be Justin’s best year in his pro career.”
“I was very happy to hear Branny was coming back,” added Faryna on the re-signing of his roommate and linemate from the last two seasons. “We get along very well and we have found a solid chemistry not just as linemates, but also on the PK as main partners on that unit for the last two seasons. It will be great to play with him again next season.”
Also entering his third season of pro hockey, the Calgary, Alberta native has played the vast majority of his professional career with the Rush organization. The 6’0”, 195 lb forward started his career with the Fayettville FireAntz of the SPHL, coached by former Rush Captain and Assistant Coach Mark DeSantis. After 8 games in North Carolina two seasons ago, he was loaned to the Rush for a 38 game stint in the CHL, cementing his position in the Black Hills. In 102 games in the Mount Rushmore State, Faryna has tallied 19 goals and 14 assists for 33 points. Prior to becoming a professional, he played collegiately for three seasons at the University of Wisconsin-Superior in Division III of the NCAA.
Other Rush News:
Tomorrow at 8 AM, the auction period for both Winston Day Chief’s and Justin Sawyer’s historical jerseys will end. At that same time, both Scott Brannon’s and Justin Faryna’s jersey auctions will begin, lasting until next Wednesday, July 9th at 8 AM. Go to the jersey’s respective pages on the Rapid City Rush eBay store here: http://www.ebay.com/usr/rapidcityrush?_trksid=p2047675.l2559.
Interested in season tickets? Call the Rush office at 716-7825 for details, and stay informed on all Rush happenings this summer through the official Rapid City Rush team website, www.RapidCityRush.com, and the Rapid City Rush mobile app, available on iTunes and Google Play.