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GAME NOTES: October 27 Rush vs. Kansas City Mavericks

Friday, October 27th
GAME NOTES: October 27 Rush vs. Kansas City Mavericks

(RAPID CITY, S.D.) - The Rapid City Rush, proud affiliate of the NHL's Calgary Flames, will open the home portion of the 2023-24 season tonight vs. Kansas City. Puck drop is slated for 7:05 p.m. MT with doors opening to the general public one hour before puck drop.

 

Arrive early for a pre-game carnival with facepainting, games, music, and more! Tonight's game is brought to you by Denny Menholt Auto Group who is also sponsoring rally towel giveaways at the door. Don't forget to collect your magnet schedule giveaway courtesy of Stuart Martin Real Estate as well. 

 

WATCH     |     LISTEN     |     ROSTERS

 

BATTLE OF MOUNTAIN UNDEFEATEDS TO OPEN SEASON IN THE BLACK HILLS

Fresh off of their three-game sweep vs. Wichita, the Kansas City Mavericks roll in to town as the top of the Mountain Division at 3-0-0. Meanwhile, the Rush hold a 2-0-0 record and are one of three teams without a loss in this early season. Rapid City relied heavily on its goaltending and defense to spurn a plucky Iowa offense in back-to-back games last week, while KC has found some offensive luck from Cole Coskey who leads the charge with six points to this point. Rapid City’s Alex Aleardi is the catalyst for the Rush offense to this point with five points of his own. 

 

WELCOME TO THE LEAGUE, KID

The Rush saw four players tally their first ECHL milestone last weekend. Both goaltenders Matt Radomsky and Connor Murphy secured their first professional wins. Radomsky was named the third star in Thursday’s 4-2 victory after making 34 saves, while Murphy stopped 25 in this 4-3 OT win the following night. Maurizio Colella tallied his first ECHL point after having played last season overseas in Italy. And rookie forward Mark Duarte scored his first and second professional goal, scoring once in each game. 

 

GOURLEY GONE

Friday night’s OT hero Jarrod Gourley was recalled to Calgary (AHL) on Wednesday afternoon. The Rush are expected to insert Charles Martin into the lineup for his first games of the season as a result. Gourley tied the game with less than seven minutes remaining on Friday night and then tallied the game winner just 1:20 into overtime. 

 

LOVE THY NEIGHBOR

While there is no love lost between these two rivals, things could easily get heated. The Rush will face the Mavericks in the next five straight games, the longest streak against a single opponent this season. Team president Jared Reid and Spire Holdings president Todd Mackin are both former Mavericks employees. 

 

THE HILLS ARE CALLING

Rapid City won 20 of 36 games at The Monument last season, a stark contrast to a paltry 13 road wins. The Rush have historically fared better at home and split last season’s home-opening series with the Mavericks. The opening series this year also marks the one-year anniversary of the Rush retiring Riley Weselowski’s number-6. Weselowski played the majority of his career with R.C. and is now Tad O’Had’s assistant in Kansas City. 

 

FIRST THING’S FIRST

The Rush have blistered out of the game this season with four of the team’s eight total goals coming in the first period. Rapid City’s first period of the season featured 18 shots peppered onto Iowa goaltender Hunter Jones and three goals. 

 

PENALTY SHOTS

Friday’s win featured not one, but two penalty shots in the game. Alex Aleardi scored on his breakaway chance 1:50 into the second period to send the Rush up 2-1. Iowa forward Jesse Jacques rang the right-side post with just 2:36 left in the game. Aleardi has now scored on back-to-back penalty shots dating back to last season. The Rush are 2-for-3 in their penalty shot attempts in the last two seasons. 

 

RADOMSKY RIDICULOUSNESS

Alaska-Fairbanks-product Matt Radomsky made 34 saves on 36 shots during his first professional win on Thursday in Iowa. Radomsky ranked sixth in NCAA GAA last season and stopped 28 of 29 shots during the final two periods of his pro debut, including all 14 saves made in the third period. 

 

“JUST SOME BAD BOUNCES”

While the Rush penalty kill sits at 71.4%, assistant coach Peter Drikos has remarked that the kill has been good, but got victimized by two bad bounces. On Thursday, Zack Hoffman deflected an Iowa pass to Jesse Jacques off his skate. Jacques scored his second goal of the game. On Friday, an Iowa point-shot hit the back glass, the back of the net, the top of the crossbar, and was deflected in by Liam Coughlin to tie the game at two. Drikos, revered as a special team’s wizard, could muster a wry smile at the tough hops, but believes in his unit. 

 

ROBERTSON SEEKING 100 ECHL GAMES

Defenseman Carter Robertson will dress in career ECHL game number 99 this evening. He is anticipating hitting 100 tomorrow night. Robertson’s professional journey has seen him also log five American league games. Robertson is the longest-tenured defenseman in ECHL games on the roster for the Rush. 

 

A QUIET LEADER

While Mark Duarte and Alex Aleardi have scored in back-to-back games, forward Logan Nelson also has a two-game assist streak brewing. Nelson nearly scored on Thursday, but was stopped on his partial-breakaway by Hunter Jones before Blake Bennett swooped in to bury the rebound. Nelson, entering his 10th ECHL season, is a co-captain with Aleardi and the most veteran ECHL player on the team.

 

ROAD, SWEET ROAD… AGAIN

The Rush will play four games in six days between two cities following the homestand this weekend. Three in Kansas City to round out the five-game set vs. the Mavs and then one in Tulsa before welcoming the Oilers to Rapid City for a three-game set. When it is all said-and-done, Rapid City will have played six road games before playing three at home. 

 

A NICE NOTE ABOUT THE NEXT DESTINATION

The Rush will get to enjoy their first of many flights this season to Kansas City. With an awkward schedule that includes two off days on the road, the Rush will have the chance to take in the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and have scheduled a team meal to sample the finest of Kansas City’s world-renowned barbecue. 

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