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GAME PREVIEW: RUSH @ ALLEN 12/4

Friday, December 4th
GAME PREVIEW: RUSH @ ALLEN 12/4

Regular Season Game 19 - December 4, 2015

Where We Left Off: Slick Win

– The Rapid City Rush scored three goals in the third period, two of which went in the empty net, and sealed a 4-2 win over their former CHL rivals, the Tulsa Oilers, on Wednesday night. The win marks the fifth Rush victory in their last 6 games. Two goals were scored exactly 10 minutes apart in this contest, starting off with the home side Oilers. With 7:13 gone by in the game, Christophe Lalancette re-directed a shot from former Rush defenseman, Mathieu Brisebois, that trickled by Rush net-minder Marek Langhamer to put the Oilers up 1-0 (Brisebois and Tom Kroshus recorded the assists). Ten minutes later, Kale Kerbashian tied the affair up with his first goal of the season, burying a pass from Mikhail Stefanovich by Tulsa goaltender Kevin Carr on a two-on-one rush to even the score at 1-1 with 2:47 left in the first (Stefanovich and Destry Straight received the assists). Both teams remained scoreless until the 14:00 mark of the third period. The Rush started to take control and grabbed their first lead of the game on their final power play of the game as Taylor Doherty fired a shot from the blueline through traffic in front of Carr to put the Rush up 2-1 with 4 minutes left (Spencer Pommells and Jonathan Narbonne recorded the assists). Shortly after the Rush go-ahead goal, the Oilers pulled Carr from the net for an extra-attacker, but the gamble backfired. Right off of a faceoff in front of the Rush bench in the neutral zone, Destry Straight fired the puck into the empty net, providing the Rush with some insurance at a 3-1 lead with 2:03 left in the game (the goal was unassisted). Cody Ferriero added another empty-netter with 39 seconds remaining in the game after he dealt a thunderous hit in his own zone and managed to gain enough leverage from ice-level to send the puck in, affording the Rush a 4-1 lead (Taylor Doherty picked up his second point with an assist, while Straight picked up his third of the game with the secondary assist). Brandon Wong added a second Oilers tally with 13 seconds left in the game (assisted by Nathan Lutz and Joe Sova), but it came too late and brought the game to its final score of 4-2.

Seeing Red – Two weeks in between road trips feels like an eternity, but regardless of the wait between trips away from home, the Rush haven’t skipped a beat. Their 4-2 win against the Tulsa Oilers on Saturday not only marked their third straight road contest in which they’ve earned standings points, but also the second straight where they’ve earned the full 2 points with a win. Additionally, the Rush’s hot streak continues, as they have now won five of their last six games, and have recorded points in 8 of their last nine dating back to their first-ever meeting against the Utah Grizzlies on November 13th.

Connect Four – After 36:47 of even hockey following Kale Kerbashian’s tying goal against the Oilers with 2:47 left, in the first period, the Rush went off for three straight in the third to eventually win by a 4-2 score. Including Kerbashian’s tally in that mix, the Rush scored four straight goals in the contest, marking the fourth time the Rush have done so in a game, winning each one in the process. When the Rush score 4 or more goals in a game, they boast a 6-0-1 record.

STRAIGHT Cash Homie – Rush rookie Destry Straight helped put an exclamation point on Wednesday night’s affair with his late third period empty-net goal to help seal the win for his first club as a professional. Along with two helpers earlier in the game, it capped off a three-point night for former NCAA Champion from Boston College, which marks a career-high for both assists and points in a game for him. Most recently, Straight has 5 points in his last 4 games with 2 goals and 3 assists, and has 9 points in 17 games played this season with 4 goals and 5 assists, along with a +3 rating as well.

CRUNCHING NUMBERS: vs the Americans – The last time the Rush and the Americans played, things went heavily in favor of the defending Kelly Cup Champions, but the tide has turned since then:

  • 6 – the last stretch of games for each team. Coming into this matchup, as has been stated above, the Rush are coming in red-hot, having won 5 of their last 6 games. Conversely to that, Allen has lost 4 of their last 6. Going back a bit further, the Americans have lost 5 of their last 8, with 3 of those losses coming to teams from the West Division.
  • 20 – the difference in league penalty-killing rankings for the Rush since their last meeting with the Americans. At the time of their November 7th matchup, the Rush had the 24th-best PK in the ECHL, compared to Allen’s top mark in the league. Now, the Rush earned the 4th-best PK, while Allen has dropped to 9th in the league.

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