GAME #66 at Utah
4/1/22 | Maverik Center | 7:10 P.M.
LAST TIME OUT: Colton Leiter and Alec Butcher both scored in the third period to bring the Rush within one but Utah responded and eventually beat Rapid City, 5-2, Friday night at Maverik Center.
A FIGHT FOR THE TOP: The Grizzlies regained possession of first place in the Mountain Division with their win over the Rush on Friday night. The Rush have 76 points and a game in hand on Utah, who has 79. The Grizzlies have the edge in points percentage, .598 to .585. Rapid City and Utah play the final game of their season series on Saturday night. The Rush are 5-4-1-1 against the Grizzlies this season, including a 1-3-0-0 mark in West Valley City.
PENALTY ASSASSINS: The Rush went 1-for-1 on the penalty kill on Friday and have now killed off 29 of the last 30 penalties they have committed, including each of the last 20. Rapid City leads the ECHL in penalty kill percentage at 86%.
MAKING MOVES: Rapid City made its second trade of the week on Thursday, just ahead of the ECHL’s trade deadline. The Rush picked up defenseman Kyle Rhodes from the Norfolk Admirals in exchange for defenseman Elijah Vilio and forward Brett Van Os. Rhodes had played 49 games for the Admirals and had six goals and 11 assists.
BACK IN A BIG WAY: Avery Peterson made his Rapid City debut on Wednesday and had a goal and an assist and was +3 in the 4-3 win over the Utah Grizzlies. Peterson was acquired in a three-team trade from the Florida Everblades on Tuesday. He was a member of the Rush during the 2020-21 season and had 27 goals and 23 assists in 71 games played.
THE MAGIC NUMBER: Rapid City’s magic number to clinch a playoff berth is eight. Any combination of eight points gained by the Rush or possible points lost by the Tulsa Oilers would put the Rush in the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Rapid City has not appeared in the postseason in seven years; it last did so in the 2014-15 season, the first season the Rush competed in the ECHL.
ODDS AND ENDS: Colton Leiter netted his tenth goal of the season on Friday night. He now has goals in three consecutive games...Quinn Wichers has three assists in two games since returning from the AHL Tucson Roadrunners on Wednesday...Utah’s Trey Bradley had three points on Friday night. In eight games against the Rush, he has five goals and seven assists.
UP NEXT: Rapid City will continue its road swing and head to the east coast for three games against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. It begins on Thursday night at puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. EDT at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.