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GAME PREVIEW: RUSH @ ALASKA 12/19

Saturday, December 19th
GAME PREVIEW: RUSH @ ALASKA 12/19

Rapid City Rush @ Alaska Aces

Game 24-December 19, 2015

Where We Left Off: Aced in Alaska – Daniel Barczuk and Kale Kerbashian helped the Rapid City Rush tie the game late in the second period, but the Alaska Aces pulled away with three goals in the third to defeat the Rush in their first-ever meeting in Anchorage by a 5-2 score on Friday night. After a scoreless first period, the Aces opened up entries on the stats sheet with two quick goals in the first 10 minutes of the second. On their first power play of the game, Collin Valcourt put the Aces on the board by deflecting a shot from his captain, William Wrenn, by Rush net-minder Danny Battochio with 1:39 gone by in the frame (Wrenn and Gleason Fournier picked up the assists). Fournier added his second point of the contest with his first goal, taking a pass from Justin Breton moments later and sending it top-shelf by Battochio to double the Aces lead to 2-0 with 6:44 gone by in the frame (Breton recorded the lone assist). The Rush fired right back in the final five minutes of the frame, starting off with Daniel Barczuk’s fifth goal of the season. With 4:49 left in the period, Gleason Fournier turned the puck over to Barczuk after he knocked into the referee. Barczuk went the distance and beat Aces goaltender Troy Redmann to put the Rush on the board down 2-1 (the goal was unassisted). With 1:55 remaining in the frame, Kale Kerbashian tied it with his second goal of the season, burying a cross-ice pass low in the Aces zone from Brian O’Rourke, leveling the game at 2-2 (O’Rourke and Barczuk recorded the assists, Barczuk’s second point of the contest). After the Rush failed to capitalize on their final power play of the game to start the third, Alaska pulled away with three scores. The first came at the 2:37 mark of the final frame of the game, with Tim Coffman beating Battochio for his first of two in the period, giving the Aces the go-ahead strike for a 3-2 lead (the goal was assisted Valcourt-his second point and first assist, and Garrett Haar). Peter Sivak re-established the two-goal Aces advantage after he sent a rebound in the far faceoff circle of the Rush zone by Battochio to make it 4-2 with 6:54 left in the game (Haar earned his second assist of the contest on the goal, while Coffman recorded his second point of the game with the other assist). Coffman netted his second of the period and the final goal of the game after he scored on a drop pass from Sivak over the Rush blue line with 3:19 left in the game, giving the Aces what would eventually be a 5-2 win (Sivak recorded the assist for his second point of the game, while Valcourt added his second assist for his third point of the game).

Czuk Full O’ Kerb Appeal – Kale Kerbashian and Daniel Barczuk came in the clutch for the Rush last night, combining for three points, two of which were both Rush goals in the game. Their tallies within the last five minutes of the second period brought the Rush right back into the mix as they helped tie things heading into the third period. Brian O’Rourke provided his third point as a professional with his helper on Kerbashian’s goal that locked the game at 2-2. All three players have combined for 3 goals and 8 assists for 11 points in this month alone, with Kerbashian leading the charge with 5 (2 G, 3 Ast), while O’Rourke has recorded 2 assists in his last three games and Barczuk has a goal and 3 assists for 4 points, only failing to record a point in one game played this month.

Brett-er Than Ever – One of the staples of the Rush blue line for the last three seasons has been Brett Kostolanksy. The former UNH Wildcat from the NCAA enters tonight playing for the 150th time in his professional career, all of which have been played as a defenseman of the Rapid City Rush. In the last 149 games, “Kosto” has racked up 3 goals with 30 assists for 33 points, and an all-time +18 rating, and splashed onto the pro scene with an “iron man” rookie year, playing in all 66 games in the 2013-14 season, scoring twice with 17 assists and 19 points, the latter two of which remain career-highs. That first campaign earned him a finish as a finalist for CHL Rookie of the Year at the season’s end. His 150 games in a Rush uniform ranks second among active Rush players behind the 153 of his captain, Winston Day Chief.

CRUNCHING NUMBERS: vs the Aces – With a new matchup in the books, let’s review some of the eye-popping numbers on the stat sheet:

  • 45 – the Aces shot total against the Rush last night. This is the fourth time this season that the opponent of the Rush has sent 40+ shots at their net. In those games, the Rush are 1-2-1, falling in their second instance of regulation last night.
  • 5 – the number of goals scored in either the first or last five minutes of a period in the game. This is a vast majority of the 7 goals scored last night, with the Rush taking their pair within the final five minutes of the second with 4:49 and 1:55 remaining. Alaska scored 1:39 into the second, 2:37 into the third, and with 3:19 left in the game.

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