GAME #1, OPENING NIGHT VS TULSA
10/22/21 | The Monument Ice Arena | 7:05 P.M.
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IT’S GO TIME: On Friday night, the Rush open the 2021-22 ECHL season with the first of 36 home games throughout the 72-game regular season. Rapid City comes off of a season during which it went 32-35-4.
NEXT CHAPTER, SAME GOAL: The Rush turn the page to a new era behind the bench with the arrival of head coach Scott Burt. Burt was most recently the assistant coach for the Idaho Steelheads and helped the team to a 36-18-7 record during the 2019-20 season. Idaho did not play during the 2020-21 season. It’s Burt’s first time as a head coach; prior to his time in Idaho he was an assistant coach for the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs from 2013-19 and for the Alaska Aces of the ECHL from 2011-13. Burt’s Opening Night roster features only five players from the 2020-21 season; Garrett Klotz, Gabe Chabot, Jake Wahlin, Stephen Baylis and Adam Carlson, who opens the season on injured reserve.
OH CAPTAIN, OUR CAPTAIN: Rush defenseman Kenton Helgesen was named the 13th captain in franchise history on Thursday. It’s the first time in Helgesen’s professional career that he will wear the C. He previously was the captain of the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen during his final season of junior in the 2014-15 season. Forwards Logan Nelson and Stephen Baylis will each wear an A as an alternate captain for home games and forwards Max Coatta and Garrett Klotz will do so for road games. Should any of those five be unavailable, defenseman Chase Harrison would wear an A.
THE OTHER GUYS: Tulsa is coming off of a 2020-21 season during which it went 30-28-14 finished 5th in the ECHL Western Conference. Rapid City and Tulsa met 12 times last season with the Rush taking the season series, 8-4-0. The Oilers did not qualify for the postseason.
YOUTH MOVEMENT: The average age of Rapid City’s Opening Night roster is 25.4 and only one player, Garrett Klotz, is in his 30s. Six players have never played a professional game at any level and 13 are considered ECHL rookies
ODDS AND ENDS: Former Rush defenseman Dysin Mayo made his NHL debut on Thursday night with the Arizona Coyotes and scored a goal in the third period. He played 25 games for Rapid City in the 2016-17 season and becomes the 702nd ECHL player to reach the NHL...Forward Tyson Empey, who played 63 games for the Rush in the 2020-21 season and was signed by the team in the offseason, is currently in the AHL with the Tucson Roadrunners. He has appeared in both of Tucson’s games to date and registered a fighting major in his AHL debut...Rapid City opens the 2021-22 season with four inactive players; forward Zach Court and defenseman Christian Evers are on the reserve list and goaltender Adam Carlson and forward Calder Brooks are on IR.
UP NEXT: Opening weekend continues on Saturday night with the Rush once again taking on Tulsa. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 P.M. at The Monument Ice Arena.