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RUSH SIGN PAIR OF SPHL STANDOUTS

Tuesday, August 29th
RUSH SIGN PAIR OF SPHL STANDOUTS

(RAPID CITY, S.D.) – The Rapid City Rush, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Calgary Flames, announced today that forward Rhett Kingston and defenseman Billy Roche have signed with the team for the 2023-24 season.  

“I can’t wait to get to Rapid City and start getting to work with my new teammates and coaching staff,” said Kingston. “It is going to be a great year and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of such a great organization and to help contribute to winning a championship.” 

Kingston spent last season primarily with the SPHL’s Macon Mayhem where he tallied 23 goals, 14 assists, and 37 points in just 47 games played. Kingston led all SPHL rookies in goals and was nominated for the league’s Rookie of the Year award. His offensive output earned him a three-game call-up to the Savannah Ghost Pirates before returning to finish the year in Macon. 

“Rhett is looking for an opportunity to prove himself in the ECHL,” said Rush GM/Head Coach Scott Burt of Kingston. “He is a forward that plays the game the right way, He is ready to prove and establish himself at the ECHL level. Just talking with him you can feel the excitement he will bring to Rapid City this season.” 

Kingston, 25, hails from Black Diamond, Alberta. He was a three-year letterwinner at the NCAA Division I level with Western Michigan where he finished his career with 12 goals, nine assists, and 21 points for the Broncos. Kingston would transfer to NCAA Division III SUNY-Plattsburgh during his senior season, but only skated in two games. Kingston played most of his AAA and early junior career with the Notre Dame Hounds in Wilcox, Saskatchewan. In 2016, he left Alberta for British Columbia to play his final two seasons in the BCHL with Cowichan Valley and Salmon Arm respectively.  

Roche finished his collegiate career at Curry College last season scoring 10 points in 26 games for the Colonels. After wrapping up his college season, he joined the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs for their final three regular season games and scored the game-winning goal in his first professional outing – to beat a rival team and secure a playoff spot. Roche and the Rail Yard Dawgs won the SPHL Presidents Cup championship last year.  

“Being able to take this next opportunity in my hockey career has been like a dream come true,” said Roche. “I’m really excited to meet a whole new group of teammates and I am looking forward to playing hockey again in front of the passionate fans in Rapid City.” 

“Billy is a big right-shot defenseman that plays the game hard,” said Rush GM/Head Coach Scott Burt. “We look for him to come in and learn from the returning defensive core as well as help out on our right side. He defends hard and plays with energy. We are excited to have him join our team.” 

Roche, 26, is from Braintree, Mass. While he finished his college career at Curry, his first four years were spent at Suffolk University where he played 75 games and notched 30 points (8g-22a). He was named Suffolk’s captain in 2021-22. Roche was a four-year high school letterwinner at Boston College High School and parlayed his 21-point senior season into a stint in the EHL with the East Coast Wizards. He spent his last year of junior eligibility with the USPHL’s South Shore Kings (NCDC) where he played 37 games. 

2023-24 season tickets and mini packs are on sale now! Opening night takes place on October 27 against the Kansas City Mavericks. Don't miss out on any of the action next season. Get your season tickets or mini packs by calling us at (605) 716-7825 or online at rapidcityrush.com

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