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GAME NOTES: November 9 - Rush vs. Tulsa Oilers

Thursday, November 9th
GAME NOTES: November 9 - Rush vs. Tulsa Oilers

(RAPID CITY, S.D.) - The Rapid City Rush return home to start a three-game homestand vs. the Tulsa Oilers. 

Rapid City defeated Tulsa at BOK Center on Sunday 4-3 and will look to advance into sole posession of third place in the Mountain Division with a win tonight. 

NOTE: An F.M. broadcast of tonight's game will not be available due to an unforeseen circumstance. We are anticipating the return of the F.M. broadcast for tomorrow's game and for all future games this season. We appreciate your patience and understanding. Please e-mail dblevins@rapidcityrush.com with any questions or concerns regarding the resumption of our F.M. broadcasts. 

 

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LET’S GO STREAKING!

The Rapid City Rush have now twice won back-to-back games in this young season, but are looking to extend the win streak and being a tear. As this season starts to blossom, the Rush are in a stretch of all divisional games until Dec. 29 and they will have faced everyone in the division except Utah before that date. Rapid City is in a battle with Wichita for third place in the Mountain Division with Tulsa not trailing far behind. 

 

B-B-B-BENNY

Rookie forward Blake Bennett is leading the charge in Rush goals with six so far this season. He is outpacing all three veteran players on the roster, but has found chemistry with his linemates Keltie Jeri-Leon and Conner Bleackley. Bennett, a product of AIC, gained some ECHL experience last year, but has exploded onto the scene this year. He is the ECHL leader in rookie goals and rookie shooting-percentage, scoring of 54.5 percent of his shots.

 

BUT WE’RE NOT SHOOTING THE PUCK ARE WE? 

After being trounced in the shots-on-goal category in Sunday’s win, Head Coach Scott Burt has remained unfazed by his team lack of shots. The Rush were outshot 46-19 in Sunday’s win and 23-22 in Saturday’s win in Kansas City. The Rush have been outshot in seven of their first eight games this season. 

 

POWERPLAY STRUGGLES

The Rush powerplay has now gone five straight games without scoring a powerplay goal. The 11.1-percent man-advantage unit ranks only 26th of 28 teams in the league on the powerplay. The team’s worst individual performance was a 0-for-5 showing against Kansas City in a 3-0 loss on Friday night. 

 

BUT THAT PENALTY KILL THOUGH!

Peter Drikos’s PK unit has sharped into a tough squad that has killed 13 of the last 14 penalties taken by the Rush. The team has posted two sets of back-to-back games without allowing a powerplay goal and held a potent Kansas City powerplay team in check all last week on the road, going 90% on the kill against the then-ranked fourth powerplay in the league. 

 

FINALLY COMING HOME

After six road goals across three cities to start the year (split by only two home games) Rapid City is finally home to play nine of their next 13 games at The Monument. The Rush to this point are 4-2-0 away from home this year and are just nine games shy of tying last year’s road record. 

The Rush have traveled 3,302 miles to begin the season between a trip to Iowa and back, Kansas City, Tulsa, and home again. 

 

GRAVELLE APPROACHING HISTORY

Rush forward Brett Gravelle enters the weekend needing just seven points to hit the ECHL’s 100-career-point mark. On Sunday, Jimmy Soper earned his 100th ECHL point with the game’s opening assist on Mark Duarte’s goal. 

 

PENALTY SHOT PALOOZA

Of seven ECHL penalty shots awarded this season, the Rush have been involved with three of them. Rapid City has scored on their only attempt (Alex Aleardi on 10.20) and stopped 1-of-2 attempts taken against the Rush this year. Connor Murphy stopped Jesse Jacques in Iowa on 10.20 while Andy Carroll scored for Tulsa on Sunday vs. Matt Radomsky. 

 

FAST START, CLOSE FINISH

The Rush have scored the opening goal in eight of their nine games this season, which is three clear of the next closest batch of teams who have scored first only twice. The Rush have also been tied or ahead entering every third period this season except for Friday’s 3-0 loss to Kansas City. That mark is ahead of Idaho, Atlanta, and Trois-Rivieres for the most games entering the third period tied-or-better. 

 

LOOKING FAMILIAR?

The Rush ran out the same 17-skaters in every game over the road trip, marking four straight games of no roster changes for the Rush entering Thursday’s matchup with Tulsa. 

Rapid City will have options to dress Rhett Kingston and Kenton Helgesen (should he be activated from reserve). 

 

 

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