2022 Kelly Cup Playoffs
GAME 1 vs Allen
4/22/22 | The Monument Ice Arena | 7:05 P.M.
LAST TIME OUT: Brett Gravelle and Calder Brooks each had two goals and an assist, Dillon Kelley made 37 saves and the Rush cruised past the Tulsa Oilers, 5-2, Saturday night in the regular season finale at The Monument Ice Arena.
NOW THE FUN BEGINS: Friday marks the beginning of the Kelly Cup Playoffs for Rapid City, one of 16 teams in the league to qualify for the postseason. The first two rounds will feature matchups inside the division, as the division champion takes on the fourth-place finisher and the second and third seeds clash. The winner of each division matchup will meet in the second round, and the semifinals will feature the Mountain Division champ against the Central Division in the Western Conference while the North and South winners meet up in the east. Each series is best-of-seven and it takes 16 wins to bring home the Kelly Cup.
BACK IN THE DANCE: Rapid City has qualified for the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the first time in seven years. The Rush were last in the postseason in the 2014-15 season, the first season they competed in the ECHL. Rapid City took out the Quad City Mallards, 4-3, in the opening round of the 2015 Kelly Cup Playoffs before falling to the Allen Americans in six games in the second round.
A SUCCESSFUL FIRST CHAPTER: In Scott Burt’s first season as head coach of the Rush, the team finished 36-25-6-5 and its 83 points were the most in the ECHL era of franchise history. That surpassed the 81 points Rapid City recorded in the 2014-15 season when it went 37-28-2-5, the last time the team qualified for the postseason.
LOOKING BACK: The Rush and Americans have met in the playoffs twice in their franchise’s respective histories, once in the CHL and once in the ECHL. Rapid City and Allen faced off in the second round of the 2015 Kelly Cup Playoffs, with Allen winning the series, 4-2. Rush assistant coach Jeremy Gates was a player on that Rapid City team. Rapid City and Allen also met in the 2010 Ray Miron President’s Cup Finals, where the Rush beat the Americans in seven games to bring home the CHL’s championship trophy.
ODDS AND ENDS: Logan Nelson led the Rush with 60 points (22 goals, 38 assists) and was the only Rapid City player to average over a point per game this season...Brett Gravelle paced the Rush with 29 goals and finished tied for second among ECHL rookies in goals...Allen’s Chad Costello led the team with 72 points (26 goals, 46 assists). The 35-year-old is a three-time ECHL MVP and won the Kelly Cup with Allen in 2015 and 2016...Costello and Spencer Asuchak were each on Allen’s roster when the Americans beat the Rush in six games in the second round in 2015. Costello had two goals and seven assists in that series and Asuchak recorded four goals and three assists.
UP NEXT: Game 2 of the best-of-seven opening round series between the Rush and Americans is scheduled for Saturday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at The Monument Ice Arena.