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GAME NOTES: 1/5 vs Utah

Thursday, January 5th
GAME NOTES: 1/5 vs Utah

GAME #32 vs Utah

1/5/23 | The Monument Ice Arena | 7:05 p.m.

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LAST TIME OUT: Ilya Nikolaev scored in the third period to put the Rush on the board but Rapid City was beaten by the Utah Grizzlies 5-1 on New Year’s Eve at The Monument Ice Arena.

UTAH STUMBLING: The Grizzlies enter Thursday’s game having lost five consecutive games and eight of their last 10. Utah, who won the Mountain Division title in 2021-22 and went to the Western Conference Final, currently sits in sixth place in the division. The Grizzlies have been outscored 25-6 during their current losing streak, all of which has come against the league-leading Idaho Steelheads.

THE SEASON SERIES: Thursday’s game between the Rush and Grizzlies is the third of ten scheduled games between the two teams. Rapid City and Utah will meet for the first time since splitting a pair of games during the first week of the season. Matt Marcinew leads the way with two goals and two assists against the Grizzlies. Daniil Chechelev was in net for both Rapid City games and stopped 62 of 68 shots against.

LAST TIME IN THIS BUILDING: This is the first trip to Rapid City for the Grizzlies since the two teams met in the 2022 Kelly Cup Playoffs in May. Rapid City won two of the three games played at The Monument Ice Arena in that series. The final game of that series in Rapid City was Game 5, a 3-0 shutout  win for the Rush that featured 43 saves from Lukas Parik. Parik is now under an AHL contract with the Colorado Eagles, Utah’s affiliate. He has appeared in nine games for the Grizzlies and is 3-6-0-0 with a 3.23 GAA and .907 save percentage. Parik is currently in the AHL with the Eagles.

THREE-IN-THREE: The Rush and Grizzlies will play three games in three days this week, taking the ice on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It’s the fourth time this season Rapid City has had a three-in-three and the Rush are 5-4-0-0 in the nine games.

QUIET OFFENSE: Utah is averaging 1.2 goals per game during its current five-game losing streak. The Grizzlies average 2.61 goals per game on the season, 26th in the 28-team ECHL.

ODDS AND ENDS: Rookie defensemen Simon Lavigne and Rhett Rhinehart were each recalled by the AHL Calgary Wranglers this week. Both Lavigne and Rhinehart are on AHL contracts with the Wranglers...the ECHL suspended defenseman Tyson Helgesen for two games on Monday for an illegal check to the head in the third period of Saturday’s game against Tulsa. Helgesen will miss Thursday and Friday night’s games.

UP NEXT: Rapid City and Utah meet again on Friday night. Puck drop at The Monument Ice Arena is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

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