(RAPID CITY, SD) – The Rapid City Rush is pleased to announce the return of a Rush legend. Head Coach and General Manager Joe Ferras has re-signed former CHL Champion and Rookie of the Year, goaltender Danny Battochio for the upcoming CHL season.
"Getting a proven winner in Batsy back in a Rush uniform is exciting for the direction of our club," said Head Coach and GM Joe Ferras. "Batsy is a consummate professional and his preparation, commitment, and compete level are second to none."
“It feels great to be back and playing for what is now my home team,” said Battochio. “It’ll be awesome to come back and play in this atmosphere again. After being away for a year you miss the hockey hype and the fan base here, so it’ll be refreshing to have that backing me up again.”
Battochio enjoyed a very successful season in the Kazakhstan Professional Ice Hockey League, suiting up in 29 games for Beibarys Atyrau. He posted a 16-7-2 record with a 2.13 GAA (1st in the league) and a .919 SV% (2nd in the league). Battochio helped his club reach the semifinals of the championship playoffs, falling in five games in the best of seven series.
“Being over in Kazakhstan was an experience, definitely a lot of great hockey was played there,” added Battochio on his overseas experience. “It’s a different game with bigger ice and therefore players rely more on skill, so you had to be sharp every night in net. I can bring the work ethic they exhibited on and off the ice back with me, with all of the long days of training on the ice and in the gym to make myself better.
“I want to prove that I am still capable of playing, and the ultimate goal along with that is to be a champion,” concluded Battochio. “There are many goals that can be accomplished throughout the year, but the long term goal is to win a title, and I can’t wait to don a Rush jersey again come October.”
"Batsy's a goalie who has a team-first mentality and is a goalie that never quits on the play," added Ferras. "He has that focus in the game where he doesn't get caught up on what just happened, but rather on what's happening in the next play. His mental toughness is what separates him from other goalies. With Batsy and Savy (Wayne Savage) working together as a tandem, these two goalies will give our players the confidence to play their game knowing that the two in the net are going to give us opportunities to win games on a nightly basis."
A native of Lively, Ontario, Battochio, 28, enters his sixth season of professional hockey and his fifth with the Rush organization. Among his many career accomplishments with the Rush, Battochio’s shining moment came in his rookie season, as he helped ignite the Rush to the 2009-10 Ray Miron President’s Cup Championship, the same year that he secured the CHL Rookie of the Year Award. As a Rush goaltender, his all-time record is 86-43-20 in 155 games played with a 2.60 GAA and a .913 SV%. He holds the Rush franchise records for Wins, Shutouts (7), Playoff Wins (15), and Games Played (155), as well as numerous single-season goaltending records. Prior to becoming a pro, Battochio played at St. Francis Xavier University in the CIS, and with the Ottawa 67’s in the OHL.
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