(RAPID CITY, SD) – The Rapid City Rush, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes, announced today that goaltender Gordon Defiel has re-signed with the Rush for the 2020-21 ECHL season. The signing marks the third Black Hills Chiropractic Roster Adjustment of the 2020 offseason, and the first goaltender signing for the upcoming year.
Defiel joins Blaine Jarvis “Heart and Soul Award” Winners Tyler Coulter (2020) and Cedric Montminy (2019) as players signed with the Rush for the upcoming year.
Defiel returns to the Rush after finishing the 2019-20 season with the club. The 6’0”, 197-pound goaltender was signed by the Rush in January of 2020 after a pair of appearances with the Indy Fuel. From there, Defiel proved to be a key component of the Rush’s second half success, posting a 5-3-2-1 record in 13 games with 2.58 GAA and .925%. On February 12, 2020, the team’s 3rd Annual “School Day Game”, Defiel stopped all 8 shots he saw in 20 minutes, and contributed to a 1-0 shutout win against the Allen Americans with Merrick Madsen. The feat was only the second split shutout ever in Rush history.
“I loved my time in Rapid City. It helped that it seemed we always played well when I was in net,” Defiel remarked on his return to the Rush. “I love the atmosphere. Being from Minnesota, the Black Hills and Rapid City share similarities in my personal interests, and the fans are awesome. The Rush organization was a great place to call home at the end of last season. I was given a new start, a chance to compete, and an opportunity to show what I could bring to the table.
“The main thing that led to my success with the Rush was everyone in front of me,” Defiel continued. “Did I ultimately have to stop the puck? Of course. However, I had all five guys in front of me committing to defense. We had such a defense-first buy-in from everyone that it allowed me to do my job in net more comfortably. That, and our organization as a whole from front office to locker room, are the reasons why I came back. My goal is to help this team bring Patrick Kelly’s Cup home to Rapid City. I play to win, simply put, and I hope to do just that when I return for the start of the season.”
Rush Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations, Daniel Tetrault, said of Defiel’s re-signing: “Gordie was a key reason why we had such great success as we geared up for our playoff run. He came into Rapid City with a chip on his shoulder, evidenced by his compete level being on full display every day that he came to the rink. Gordie is a leader through and through, both on the ice and in the community. His best leadership quality is his focus: he maintains such a high level of concentration and comes into games with an execution mentality. Gordie also brought great athleticism to the crease, seen by his countless game-breaking saves to keep us in the game every night he played. Bringing him back to the fold in our goaltending tandem puts us in a great spot heading into the 2020-21 season.”
A native of Stillwater, Minnesota, Defiel enters his third season as a professional, split between the ECHL and the SPHL. In his time in the “Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League”, he has amassed a record of 12-16-2-1, with 1 shutout, a 3.01 GAA, and .910 SV% in 37 games with the Rush, Fuel, South Carolina Stingrays, and Orlando Solar Bears. Prior to turning professional, Defiel played three seasons of NCAA college hockey with Lake Superior State University, and posted a career record of 30-55-12 in 98 games, with 7 shutouts, a 2.91 GAA and .914 SV%. In the 2015-16 season with the Lakers, he was selected to the WCHA All-Academic Team and WCHA Third All-Star Team.
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