(RAPID CITY, SD) – The Rapid City Rush, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes, announced today the first two members of the 2010 CHL Ray Miron Presidents’ Cup Championship Rush team that will return for the Opening Weekend celebration of their title. Goaltender Danny Battochio, and forward Colt King will be present on opening weekend for the championship reunion festivities in Rapid City as the Rush open against the Utah Grizzlies on October 25th and 26th.Follow the link to buy your tickets for the weekend series against the Grizzlies, and to see Colt King and Danny Battochio here: https://bit.ly/2G8qFt0
Battochio began his professional career with the Rush that season, and immediately proved himself as a top goaltender in the CHL. The 5’11”, 180-pound goaltender played in 42 games and registered a 28-5-4 record with a 2.60 GAA, and a .917 SV% along with a pair of shutouts. Aptly nicknamed “The Batman”, he finished that season among the league leaders in the CHL: he was second in wins, fourth in GAA and SV%, and fifth in saves (1,090), was named to the 2010 CHL All-Star Team, and was also the 2010 CHL Rookie of the Year. In the playoffs, Battochio appeared in 16 games, and went 12-4 with a 2.73 GAA, and .910 SV%. In 99:28 of hockey in Game 6 of the 2010 CHL Ray Miron Presidents’ Cup Finals, he stopped 46 of 49 shots en route to helping the Rush clinch the championship in a come-from-behind win.
“Time flies when you’re having fun, and there will be fun times to be had at this reunion,” Battochio first remarked on the celebration. “When I wrapped up my college career at St. Francis Xavier University, my coach there had connections to Joe Ferras and reached out while he was recruiting for the upcoming season. After talking with Joe, it seemed fitting that I start my career in Rapid City. I had many chats with Miguel Beaudry, the original Rush goaltender, as well, who I watched growing up playing with the Sudbury Wolves. He was one of my idols when I was younger, and I got to play with him that rookie season. How cool of a start to a career is that?
“I felt like I had to raise my game and be more focused right out of the gate as a first year professional. It was nice to come to a new environment that I had to prove myself and step up my game every minute I was in the crease,” Battochio added. “It also helped being surrounded by the type of leaders we had on that team as well for a rookie like me. It will definitely be fun to share this moment and re-live it all with the fans and my old teammates. I look forward to sharing this special moment with everyone come October 25th and 26th.”
A native of Lively, Ontario, Battochio spent 7 of his 8 professional seasons in Rapid City, amassing an overall record of 131-81-21 with a 2.61 GAA, .912 SV%, and 12 shutouts. Throughout his whole career at the major-junior, Canadian college, and professional levels with the OHL’s Ottawa 67’s, St. Francis Xavier University, Beibarys Atyrau in Kazakhstan, and the Rush, he never had a losing season. At the time of his retirement, Battochio laid claim to 27 different goaltending records, including most wins in Rush history in the regular season and postseason (131, 21), most games played all-time in Rush history for a goaltender in both the regular season and postseason (252, 39), most wins in a single season all-time and for a rookie (30, 28), and most shutouts all-time and in a single season (12, 4), among many others. On March 30, 2018, the Rush retired Battochio’s #30, making him the second player in team history to have a number retired, joining Scott Wray and his #17 in the rafters of Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Ice Arena.
King came to the Rush for the 2009-10 CHL season as a sixth year professional, and it proved to be one of the best years of his career. In 52 regular season games, the 6’2”, 220-pound forward registered 28 goals (tied for third on the team with Les Reaney), 22 assists, and 50 total points, finishing as the sixth-best scorer on the team. He also finished as the team-leader in PIM with 163, and boasted a +12 rating. “Kinger” added another six points (1g-5ast) in 15 playoff games, while adding another 42 PIM. Among his many memorable playoff moments, King had two assists in Game 7 of the Norther Conference Finals in a 7-3 blowout over the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs to advance to the Ray Miron Presidents’ Cup Finals, and added an assist on Brendan Cook’s game-tying goal with 3:06 remaining in the decisive Game 6 of the Finals against the Allen Americans to force overtime. The Rush would later win the championship with 32 seconds remaining in double-overtime.
“I can’t believe it’s been 10 years. A lot has happened since then, but when you actually look back, it doesn’t seem like 10 years. Time sure flies,” King commented on his return for the celebration. “Scott Wray was one of the biggest reasons of why I came to Rapid. We played two and a half years together before playing in Rapid, and I like to think he wanted me on his team with him. After speaking to Joe Ferras a few times, I was sold.
“I can’t really think of a definitive moment that I thought to myself that we were going it all, but I always had confidence in our team and knew nobody could beat us,” King elaborated. “It was an unforgettable year with lots of awesome memories topped off by winning the championship. I can’t wait to catch up with the boys and the fans. I loved my time in Rapid, but it’s because of so much more than just winning it all that year. The games had such an amazing atmosphere, and the building was always filled with energy. Coming out of the tunnel for starting lineups gave me goosebumps…unforgettable stuff. I can’t wait to get back and celebrate one more time.”
A native of Calgary, Alberta, King enjoyed a professional career of 10 seasons, divided between the ECHL with the Augusta Lynx and Utah Grizzlies, the UHL with the Port Huron Flags, the AHL with the Rochester Americans, the EIHL in Europe with the Sheffield Steelers, and the CHL with the Missouri Mavericks, Rocky Mountain Rage, and Rapid City Rush. In total, King played 507 games, and earned 169 goals, 186 assists, 355 points, and 1,392 PIM. Prior to turning professional, he played in the OHL for five seasons with the Guelph Storm, North Bay Centennials, Saginaw Spirit, Oshawa Generals, Sarnia Sting, and Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds (300gp, 80g-88ast-168pts, 589 PIM), and was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2001 NHL Draft (4th Rd-#130).
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