(RAPID CITY, S.D.) - The Rapid City Rush, proud affiliate of the NHL's Calgary Flames, will end the four-game series with the Tulsa Oilers at The Monument tonight at 7:05 p.m.
Rapid City was upended by Tulsa last night, 5-2. Rhett Kingston and Alex Aleardi scored the goals for the Rush, but two powerplay goals and a shorthanded marker for Tulsa ultimately sealed the Rush fate.
Tonight is Veterans Night presented by Rapid City Orthodontics! Arrive early and see the big flag on the ice for the National Anthem as well as recognitions through the night for our veterans and Native American peoples who have contributed in our armed forces.
As a reminder, fans can bring in a small, portable radio and listen live to the Voice of the Rush, Drew Blevins on 87.9 FM in the arena.
TULSA BLITZES FOR MOST GOALS ALLOWED BY RUSH THIS SEASON
The Rush allowed five goals in last night’s loss, the most they’ve given up all season. For Tulsa, the goals came in four-of-five fashions to score – even strength, powerplay, shorthanded, and an empty-netter. While Rapid City hit 30 shots on goal for the second time this season, they allowed the five on 33 shots, the second-worst defensive efficiency of the season.
LOOK FOR SOME ROUGH STUFF
After going the first five games of the season without a fight, the Rush have dropped the gloves in four of their last five games, including two scraps last night. Tyson Helgesen and Luka Profaca squared off in the first period and Carter Robertson fought Kishaun Gervais in the second. Rapid City does not have an individual who has logged 15 penalty minutes yet this season.
POWERPLAY STRUGGLES CONTINUE
The Rush powerplay has not converted in the last seven games now. The Rush are 0-for-17 since their last powerplay goal and have twice played in contests where they’ve had more than four chances on the man-advantage. Rapid City’s powerplay is tied for the second-lowest percentage in the league.
While the Rapid City Rush will honor military heroes tonight, it is their veteran players who are driving the wagon right now. Alex Aleardi in on a four-game point scoring streak and has scored in each of the last two games. He has 10 points this season and is the only Rapid City played who is averaging a point per game this year. Logan Nelson, who was boarded by Luka Profaca on Thursday and did not dress last night, has six points on the season and scored a pair of goals a week ago in last Saturday’s win over Kansas City. Nelson will be a game-time decision again tonight.
HOME SWEET HOME?
Rapid City remains winless inside The Monument this season with their best result coming October 28 in an overtime loss to Kansas City. Rapid City is still four games shy of the franchise’s longest home losing streak. A loss tonight would send the team into the worst home tumble in the Scott Burt-era. It comes on the heels of the most home wins in franchise history last year with 20 at The Monument.
ARE YOU RHETT-Y?
Rhett Kingston scored his first ECHL goal last night in the 5-2 loss. Previously, Kingston had played only three ECHL games with the Savannah Ghost Pirates last season. From Black Diamond, Alberta, Kingston is playing affiliated hockey with only three-fingers on his right hand. He was the SPHL rookie goal scoring leader last season and was an SPHL Rookie of the Year nominee.
The Rush are winless this season when they do not score the first goal of the game. Rapid City has also not won a game where they have trailed at the end of the first or the second period. The team has scored the first goal on seven separate occasions this year, the high-water mark of the entire ECHL, but have also blown two third-period leads in the young season.
HAVE ANOTHER SHOT
Rapid City’s offense was stymied by a strong performance from Tomas Suchanek in yesterday’s 5-2 loss, but the team did pepper their opponent with 30 shots on goal. That is the second-highest total of any single game this season for Rapid City, just one shy of the 31 on net on Friday, October 27 vs. Kansas City.
NOT THE SAME TEAM AS BEFORE
The Tulsa Oilers were the bottom of the ECHL’s Mountain Division last year, and off the playoff pace by a wide margin. However, this season they have climbed to .500 and find themselves in a three-way tie for third in the division. Tulsa has seven NHL or AHL contracted players on their roster and has found pieces to fit Rob Murray’s style. After Connor Murphy’s recall this week, the Rush are left with 3 AHL contracted players and no one on NHL contract.
LINING IT UP
Rapid City changed their lineup from one game to the immediate next for only the second time last night. Prior to yesterday’s game, the 19 dressed had only changed three times from opening night in Iowa on October 20.The Rush have room to add more players, currently working with 20 on the active roster, Kenton Helgesen on reserves and Riley Ginnell on the injured reserve list.
ON YOUR MARK
Rookie forward Mark Duarte has scored four goals this season, with all of them coming on the road. Duarte, from Hamilton, Ont., found a home with the Soo Greyhounds last season after being cut by his hometown Hamilton Bulldogs. Assistant Coach Peter Drikos recruited Duarte to come play Junior-A with the Cobourg Cougars before Duarte was signed by Soo. Mark’s twin brother, Matthew, currently plays in Canada with Brock University.