GAME #72 vs Tulsa
4/16/22 | The Monument Ice Arena | 7:05 P.M.
LAST TIME OUT: Lukas Parik made 22 saves on 23 shots but the Rapid City offense could not solve Tulsa’s Daniel Mannella as the Rush were shut out by the Oilers, 1-0, Friday night at The Monument Ice Arena. Mannella made 26 save on 26 shots for the shutout win that clinched a playoff spot for the Oilers.
x - CLINCHED: Rapid City became the second team in the Mountain Division to clinch a spot in the Kelly Cup Playoffs on Wednesday as it punched its ticket to the postseason for the first time since the 2014-15 season. The Rush also clinched home ice in the first round of the playoffs as they can finish no lower than second place in the division. In the opening round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs, all matchups take place within divisions, with the top seed taking on the fourth seed and the second place-finisher facing the third-place finisher.
PLAYOFF OUTLOOK: Rapid City is now locked in as the second seed in the Mountain Division, as the Utah Grizzlies have clinched the division title. The Rush will either play the Tulsa Oilers or the Allen Americans in the first round, pending the outcome of Saturday night’s games. If Tulsa beats the Rush or loses in overtime or a shootout, Rapid City would face the Oilers in the first round in the 2-3 matchup. If the Rush beat the Oilers in regulation and Allen wins its game against the Iowa Heartlanders, Rapid City would take on the Americans in the first round. The Idaho Steelheads can still qualify for the postseason, but can finish no higher than fourth. If Idaho beats Utah in regulation on Saturday and Allen loses to Idaho in regulation, the Steelheads would take the final playoff spot in the division and face Utah in the first round.
REINFORCEMENTS: Stephen Baylis was returned to the Rush from the AHL Tucson Roadrunners on Thursday and was in the lineup for Rapid City’s 1-0 loss to Tulsa on Friday. Baylis had been in Tucson since March 13 and has played 12 games across three combined stints with the Roadrunners this season, recording one assist and one fighting major. In 48 games for the Rush, he has 22 goals and 22 assists.
ODDS AND ENDS: The Rush went 0-for-4 on the power play on Friday night and now are 0-for-14 on the man advantage in their last four games. In its last nine, Rapid City is 2-for-26 on the power play...if the Rush record a point today, they will clinch their highest point total in the ECHL era of the franchise’s history. Rapid City had 81 points and went 37-28-2-5 in the 2014-15 season, the last time it made the Kelly Cup Playoffs.
UP NEXT: Rapid City will open up the first round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs on home ice. The schedule will be announced once the playoff opponent has been determined. The Rush will be the higher seed no matter the opponent and will play the first two games at home.