Regular Season Game 18 - December 2, 2015
Where We Left Off: Fishing on the Home Pond – Spencer Pommells got things started with his first period goal and Cody Ferriero added the eventual game-winner on his second period power play tally, but Marek Langhamer stoned all but one of the 34 shots thrown towards his net to power the Rapid City Rush to a 2-1 win over the Idaho Steelheads on Saturday night in their series finale. The lone goal in the first came from the Rush, who have made a habit of establishing an early 1-0 lead as of late. Accomplishing the feat for the fifth time in six games for the Rush was rookie Spencer Pommells, who forced a turnover and, from the far wall, slipped the puck by Steelheads goaltender Phillipe Desrosiers to put the Rush up 1-0 with 9:32 gone by in the first (the goal was unassisted). The Rush came out of a penalty-filled second period with their lead not only intact, but added on to. After a brief bout of four-on-four hockey that lead into the first Rush power play of the game, Michael Young crossed all three lines and zipped a cross-ice pass to Cody Ferriero in the Idaho zone. Ferriero settled the puck and fired it top-shelf by Desrosiers to double the Rush lead to 2-0 for his third of the year, all on power plays, at the 4:37 mark of the second (Young and Mikhail Stefanovich received the assists). Marek Langhamer played 49:05 of shutout hockey for the Rush until the Steelheads cut their deficit in half in the third. With 10:55 remaining in the game, Jake Rutt fired a shot at Langhamer from the blue line, and Rob Linsmayer stuffed it home to get Idaho on the scoreboard at 2-1 (Rutt had the only assist). Idaho pulled Desrosiers in exchange for an extra-attacker late in the game, but could not equalize the contest, giving the Rush a 2-1 win: their third in the last four games and second against Idaho this week.
Looks Like Everyone’s Noticed… – Rush rookie goaltender Marek Langhamer has turned heads multiple times in the brief moments of this season, but managed to turn the heads of those in the ECHL office. The 21 year-old Arizona Coyotes prospect was just named the ECHL’s Goaltender of the Week, becoming the first net-minder in Rush history to receive a weekly recognition for stellar goaltending. Last week, he went 2-0-0 in two starts, and only allowed 2 goals on a total of 80 shots faced, posting a 1.00 GAA and a .975 SV%: the lowest and highest, respectively, of their statistical categories for all ECHL goaltenders that made a minimum of 2 starts last week. Additionally, from the time he allowed his only goal on Wednesday to when he allowed his only goal on Saturday, he stayed perfect for 100:15 of gametime.
Red Power Ranger – From the coaching staff, to the players, and most certainly the fans, everyone in Rapid City has enjoyed the return of Rush forward Cody Ferriero. In last week’s series against the Idaho Steelheads, Ferriero%20scored his first 3 goals of the season, all of which have come on the power play. Since his return, Ferriero has averaged a point-per-game pace in November, scoring 3 times and helping out 3 others for 6 points in the 6 games he played in.
You Get a Power Play! And YOU Get a Power Play! – Both the Rush and their opponent, in this case the Idaho Steelheads, saw the most power play in a three-game series this season last week as they went head to head. Both the Rush and the Steelheads received 15 power plays, with the Rush cashing in on three of theirs (20%) and the Steelheads hitting paydirt on only one of theirs (6.7%). To build even further on the recent success of the Rush penalty kill, the Rush only allowed THREE power play goals in 35 power plays surrendered in the month of November, which comes to a 91.4% killing clip. Lastly, the Rush have allowed the second-lowest total of power play goals this season in the entire ECHL at 7.
Christmas Is Almost Here! – With December to look forward to, we must reflect on a November that was incredibly successful for this Rush club. In 10 games last month, the Rush went 5-3-2, good enough for a .700 win percentage. In addition to that, the Rush finished the month by earning points in 7 of their last 8 games, including wins in 4 of their last 5 contests of the month. The Boys from the Black Hills now remain 4 points behind the Utah Grizzlies for first place in the ECHL’s West Division.
CRUNCHING NUMBERS: vs the Oilers – Tonight marks the first of only three times that the Rush play the Oilers, so let’s compare some statistics on a league-wide level:
- .875 – the combined win percentage of both teams when scoring first. Combined, both teams are 13-1-2 in 16 instances of recording the first goal (the Rush are 7-1-1 to Tulsa’s 6-0-1 record).
- 1.8 – the difference between each team’s power play percentage. The Oilers boast a 15% power play clip (23rd in the ECHL), while the Rush are right behind at 13.2% (24th).