Game #69 at Wichita
4/7/23 | INTRUST Bank Arena | 7:05 p.m. CT
LAST TIME OUT: Ilya Nikolaev scored with 61 seconds to play in the third period to force overtime but the Rush were beaten in overtime by the Wichita Thunder 4-3 on Thursday night at INTRUST Bank Arena. Rapid City earned a point for the fourth consecutive game with the OT loss.
THE PLAYOFF PICTURE: Rapid City has four games remaining on its schedule and currently sits two points out of a playoff spot. Friday is the final road game for the Rush and they have three games remaining on home ice. Entering play on Friday, second place and sixth place in the Mountain Division are separated by just four points and the Utah Grizzlies and Kansas City Mavericks are tied for fourth place with 68 points, two points clear of the sixth-place Rush.
HOUSE OF HORRORS: Rapid City has played six games at INTRUST Bank Arena thus far this season and is 0-5-1-0. In six games at home against Wichita, the Rush are 4-2-0-0. Wichita has been a much better team at home than it has been on the road overall this season. The Thunder are 22-8-4-0 at home and 10-23-2-0 on the road.
IN EXTRA TIME: The Rush fell in overtime on Thursday night, their third overtime loss in their last four games. Rapid City had won seven of the first eight games to go past regulation this season. The Rush are now 5-4 in games that finish during 3-on-3 overtime and 2-0 in shootouts.
TRENDING WELL ON THE PK: Rapid City went 6-for-6 on the penalty kill on Thursday night and in doing so raised its PK percentage to 75.8%. In their last 12 games the Rush are 35/40 on the penalty kill, which is 87.5%. They have raised their season-long PK percentage from 73.7% to 75.8% during that stretch.
SCOUTING THE THUNDER: Wichita enters play on Friday in second place in the Mountain Division, four points clear of Rapid City. The Thunder are led offensively by Michal Stinil who has 28 goals and 48 assists and is eighth in the ECHL with 758 points. In 10 games against the Rush, Stinil has six goals and 15 assists.
ODDS AND ENDS: In six games since being activated off injured reserve on March 30, Ilya Nikolaev has three goals and three assists...Max Coatta and Alex Aleardi are the only two players on Rapid City’s roster to appear in every game...Wichita goaltender Trevor Gorsuch has made 76 saves on 80 shots in his first two appearances since being signed by the Thunder on Tuesday.
UP NEXT: Rapid City will return home for its final three games of the regular season. The first is on Wednesday night against the Idaho Steelheads. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at The Monument Ice Arena.