GAME #1 at Utah
10/21/22 | Maverik Center | 7:10 P.M.
AND WE’RE BACK: The Rush open the 2022-23 ECHL season on Friday night, coming off the team’s most successful season since it entered the ECHL in 2014. Rapid City finished the year at 36-25-6-5 with 83 points, good for second in the Mountain Division. In his first year as a head coach, Scott Burt guided the Rush to the postseason for the first time in seven years. Rapid City took out the Allen Americans in the opening round in five games before falling to the Utah Grizzlies in the second round in six games.
C OF RED: In August, the Rush announced a new multi-year affiliation agreement with the NHL’s Calgary Flames and AHL’s Calgary Wranglers. On Rapid City’s opening night roster, there are seven players who are on AHL contracts with the Wranglers and two who are on NHL contracts with the Flames. In the entirety of the 2021-22 season, the Rush had a total of four AHL and NHL contracts appear on their roster.
WHO WEARS THE LETTERS?: Defenseman Kenton Helgesen will once again wear the C as Rapid City’s captain. For home games, forwards Logan Nelson and Alex Aleardi will be alternate captains and during road games forward Max Coatta will wear an A along with a rotation of forwards Matt Marcinew, Jon Martin and Calder Brooks. Rush head coach Scott Burt also designated forwards Keegan Iverson and Garrett Klotz as members of the leadership group.
THE MATCHUP: Rapid City and Utah met a total of 12 times in the 2021-22 regular season and the Rush went 6-4-1-1 during those games. Max Coatta was tied for the team lead in points against Utah with 11 on three goals and eight assists. Utah took the best-of-seven playoff series, 4-2, and Logan Nelson led the way for Rapid City in that series with four goals and four assists.
SWITCHING SIDES: Utah’s roster includes goaltender Lukas Parik, who signed an AHL contract with the Colorado Eagles, Utah’s AHL affiliate, during the offseason. Over 32 games for the Rush in the 2021-22 season, Parik was 14-8-4-4 with a 2.69 GAA and .915 save percentage.
ODDS AND ENDS: Including those who will open the season on injured reserve and the reserve list, the Rush begin the year with 26 players on their roster. 16 of those 26 appeared on Rapid City’s roster in the 2021-22 season...six players on the Rush’s opening night roster are 21 or younger...the 2021-22 Rush finished the season tied for the best penalty kill in the ECHL with an 85.1% success rate...four of Rapid City’s top seven point-getters from the 2021-22 team, Logan Nelson (60 points), Brett Gravelle (57 points), Max Coatta (52 points) and Calder Brooks (37 points), are on this season's opening night roster.
UP NEXT: The Rush and the Grizzlies will meet again on Saturday night. Puck drop at Maverik Center is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.