(RAPID CITY, S.D.) - The Rapid City Rush, proud affiliate of the NHL's Calgary Flames, face off against the Idaho Steelheads tonight in a Mountain Division showdown.
The Steelheads have won each of the last two and 11 of the last 16 vs. the Rush. Rapid City is 0-6-1- at home this season and is looking to avoid setting the single-season record for home consecutive losses tonight.
THAT’S A RECORD
Dating back to last season’s loss in the season finale against Idaho, the Rush have now lost their last 8 consecutive home games, breaking the record set by the 2018-19 Rush (7 games). R.C. would break the single-season consecutive home losses record if they fall tonight. Rapid City is 0-6-1 at home this season and have lost 11 of their last 16 vs. Idaho.
The powerplay for Rapid City enjoyed a four-goal showing last weekend in Wichita, scoring in three straight games. However, the Rush are 0-for-7 on the man-advantage in this series and have yielded three powerplay goals to Idaho in the weekend series. Rapid City has taken more penalties than the Steelheads in the series as well.
Kenton Helgesen made his Rush season debut in last night’s 4-1 loss. Helgesen has not played since last season and was a former captain of the Rush. Helgesen slipped into the role vacated by Will Riedell who was recalled to Calgary (AHL) yesterday morning. Rapid City has only dressed eight different defensemen this season.
This season, the Rush have won four of their six games between Saturday and Sunday. Exiting last night’s game, the group is only 1-5-0 on Friday nights, winning their opening Friday game vs. Iowa on October 20. Rapid City has prevailed in two of their last three Saturday contests, including a win vs. top-of-the-division Kansas City.
BREAKING THE STREAK
The Rush went on only three four-game losing streaks last year. A loss tonight would put them in danger of suffer three four-game skids before the All-Star Break.
Jimmy Soper has scored in three of the last four games for the Rush. His tally in last night’s loss tied him with Mark Duarte for second on the team in goals scored. Soper had an assist three weeks ago in Tulsa to earn his 100th ECHL point.
MINUS – MINUS
The Rapid City Rush have a combined team plus-minus rating of -29 entering tonight’s game. R.C. has only five players who are above the even mark in the category. Of those five, only Jarrod Gourley and Charles Martin are above +1. The Rush also have three players who are tied at the bottom of the category at -8.
HOME ON THE ROAD
Rapid City has been a Jekyll-and-Hyde team based on their home and road splits this season. Here are the most striking differences
Location GF GA Diff.
Home 14 30 -16
Away 34 29 +5
Location PP% PK%
Home 5.6 65.0
Away 19.2 84.4
Location SHF/Gm SHA/Gm
Home 26.9 38.1
Away 27.3 30.2
Both the home penalty kill and powerplay are ranked 27th of 28 teams in the ECHL this season.
WHAT’S DOWN THE ROAD
Rapid City will kick off another three game series with the Steelheads in December after finishing a four-game set with the Wichita Thunder (the only team in the division R.C. has a winning record against). Rapid City is 4-9-1 in division play but maintains a tie for third place with Tulsa.
TOUGH STRETCH IN THE LAST HOME GAMES
The Rush have not scored more than three goals at home this season, but they have coupled that with allowed four or five goals against in each of the last six home contests. Yesterday snapped a three-game stretch where the Rush had yielded five goals in three consecutive games.
THE LONE RANGER
Alex Aleardi remains the only Rush player averaging a point-per-game this season. Aleardi leads the team in assists, is tied for second on the team in goals (Duarte, Soper) and leads the team in points. Aleardi is the only former Kelly Cup champion on the roster for the Rush.