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KEY NUMBERS, MOMENTS AND TAKEAWAYS FROM THE 2021-22 SEASON

Friday, May 20th
KEY NUMBERS, MOMENTS AND TAKEAWAYS FROM THE 2021-22 SEASON

The 2021-22 Rapid City Rush ECHL season marked one of the more memorable and successful seasons in the franchise’s recent history. Despite falling short of the Kelly Cup, there were plenty of records, highlights and milestones set along the way.  

STRONG OPENING CHAPTER: In his first season with the Rush and first-ever as a head coach, Scott Burt guided the team to a record of 36-25-6-5 and 83 standings points, the most the franchise has ever recorded in the ECHL. The Rush finished in second place in the Mountain Division and qualified for the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the first time since the 2014-15 season, the first year it competed in the ECHL.

HITTING NEW HEIGHTS: 17 players set new career-highs in points, led by Logan Nelson who set career-highs in goals with 22, assists with 38 and points with 60 in what was his eighth professional season, and seventh in the ECHL. Nelson was also named an ECHL All-Star for the first time in his career, representing the Rush in the 2022 ECHL All-Star Classic in Jacksonville.

NOT PLAYING LIKE ROOKIES: The season-ending roster consisted of 12 ECHL rookies. Notable among them was Brett Gravelle, who was snagged off waivers in November after playing one game for the Iowa Heartlanders. Gravelle went on to lead the Rush with 29 goals, a total that placed him tied for second in the ECHL among rookies. His 57 points were also the fourth-most among rookies. Gravelle opened the season in the SPHL with the Quad City Storm, where he appeared in five games and had two goals and five assists.

MOVIN’ ON UP: 10 Rapid City players were called up to the AHL during the season, eight of whom appeared in AHL games for the first time in their professional careers. One of the frequent flyers was Quinn Wichers, who was loaned to the AHL Tucson Roadrunners a total of five separate times. The rookie defenseman skated in 16 games for Tucson. For the Rush, he played 43 games and had two goals and eight assists.

BREAKING OUT: Stephen Baylis led the Rush in goals per game, has he netted 22 in 49 games played for Rapid City. Baylis also was called up to the AHL twice and played 12 games for the Tucson Roadrunners. That was his first AHL stint since appearing in two games with the Ontario Reign at the outset of his pro career in 2019-20 and he recorded his first career AHL fight and point this season. Baylis made a large jump in his second year with the Rush, as his totals of 22 goals and 22 assists vastly improved upon the seven goals and nine assists he registered in 43 games during the 2020-21 season.

WHAT A TRADE: After being acquired along with Keegan Iverson in a February trade with the Indy Fuel, Ryan Zuhlsdorf flourished in the Black Hills. From the point he joined the Rush, the defenseman averaged more than a point-per-game, putting up two goals and 18 assists over 19 games played. Prior to that, he had recorded three goals and 11 assists in 62 career ECHL games, including a goal and three assists over 29 for Indy this season.

THE IRON MAN: Gabe Chabot was the only Rush player to appear in every game, during both the regular season and the playoffs. Chabot skated in all 72 games during the regular season and recorded 22 goals and 28 assists, far surpassing his totals from his rookie season in 2020-21, when he had seven goals and six assists in 56 games for Rapid City. In 11 playoff games, Chabot added five goals and three assists. His 50 points were the fifth most among the Rush and his eight playoff points were tied for the fourth-most.

IN NET: In his first professional season, Lukas Parik appeared in 32 games and went 14-8-4-4 with a 2.69 goals against average and a .915 save percentage. He was third among ECHL rookie goaltenders in GAA and second in save percentage. For a large part of the season, his goaltending partner was Dillon Kelley, who prior to this season had appeared in only three games in the ECHL in his career and had a save percentage that was below .800. He won the first nine starts of his ECHL season, earned a call-up to the AHL with the Henderson Silver Knights, and finished with a record of 10-2-0-0 and a 2.82 GAA and a .914 save percentage.

PACKING ‘EM IN: The Rush averaged 3,361 fans per game, an increase of 583 from the 2020-21 season when they averaged 2,778.

REMEMBER WHEN?: Before we jump into the offseason, let’s look back at a few of our favorite moments from the 2021-22 season.

Brett Gravelle sends the fans home happy on Military Appreciation Night

The Rush clinch their first playoff appearance since the 2014-15 season

Garrett Klotz drops the gloves with Utah's Austin Crossley, one of six fights in 38 games for Klotz this season

Gabe Chabot nets the eventual game-winner in Rapid City's Game 5 win over Allen, sending the Rush to the second round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs

Logan Nelson scores the game-winning-goal in overtime of Game 4 in the second round against Utah

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