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GAME NOTES: December 16 - Rush at Idaho Steelheads

Saturday, December 16th
GAME NOTES: December 16 - Rush at Idaho Steelheads

(BOISE, Idaho) - The Rapid City Rush, proud affiliate of the NHL's Calgary Flames, close the week's series against the Idaho Steelheads tonight at 7:10 p.m. from Idaho Central Arena.

The Steelheads are the top team in the ECHL and have only yielded one standings point to the Rush in five games this season. The Rush have twice had third period leads erased vs. the Steelheads. 

 

WATCH     |     LISTEN

 

RUSH LOOK TO SALVAGE THREE POINTS IN SERIES

Rapid City can take three of six possible points with a win tonight over Idaho. The Steelheads have won each of the last seven between these two teams including five-in-a-row this season. Idaho has scored 10 straight powerplay goals, including man-advantage goals in each of the last four vs. the Rush. However, Rapid City has had a lead in three of the five games against the Fish this season, and a lead in two third periods of the five this year. The Rush have not won at Idaho Central Arena since December 15, 2021.

 

THE START AND THE FINISH

For the first time this season, the Rush have allowed the game’s opening goal in three straight games. Idaho’s first goal yesterday broke the tie atop the league between the two teams for most game-opening goals this season. Rapid City is 1-9-0 this season when entering the third period trailing while the Steelheads are 18-0-0 when entering the second period tied or ahead. 

 

NELSON’S ROLL CONTINUES

Logan Nelson has scored at least a point in six of his last seven games after scoring the lone goal in Friday’s 4-1 loss. Nelson’s goal from Keanu Yamamoto and Chris Perna marks the eighth connection this season between Yamamoto and Nelson this season – this highest connection to result in scoring on the team. 

 

POWERPLAY

When the Rush score a powerplay goal, they are 6-3-0 this season, including three wins over Wichita last weekend where they scored a goal on the powerplay in each. The Rush are 0-for-12 on the powerplay in the season series vs. Idaho. Rapid City’s offense vs. the Steelheads has come exclusively from 5-on-5 play where the Rush are only being outscored 17-12 in the season series.

 

FAST STARTS

The Steelheads have scored less than three minutes into the game in the last two games vs. the Rush. Rapid City managed to return fire and take the lead in Wednesday’s game by the end of the opening period, but Friday’s game saw the Steelheads outshoot the Rush 13-3 in the first period. The Rush have won eight of their nine games when scoring the first goal of the game. 

 

SHOTS ON NET

The Rush have quelled the disparity in shots on goal over the last 5 weeks, but last night’s 25 shot effort was the lowest shots on goal total since November 9 against Tulsa (the Rush lost 4-1 in that game). On Wednesday, Rapid City pounded Bryan Thomson with 37 shots, scoring four – their highest goal total vs. Idaho this year. 

 

*DING* *DING*

The Rush have had only two fights on the road this season, both in early November, but have relegated much of the glove-dropping to home ice since. Rapid City is 3-4-0 this season when engaging in a fight, including wins last Thursday and last Saturday over Wichita when Jarrod Gourley and Tyson Helgesen threw hands. 

 

WHAT’S ON TAP

After tonight’s game, the Rush head south for their first look of the season at the Allen Americans. Allen will be the first team the Rush face this season that is currently out of the playoff picture. The first 24 games for the Rush have all come against teams in the top-four of the Mountain Division or Iowa (who is second in the Central). 

 

SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER

Saturday games have been the most successful for the Rush this season as they have won one-third of their total wins on Saturday. The Rush are a combined 5-3-1 on Saturdays and Sundays this season with Thursday being the only weekday game where the Rush have a winning record. 

 

RADOMSKY’S KEEPING IT TIGHT

Matt Radomsky has led the Rush to the brink in back-to-back games with two 30-plus save performances. Radomsky has more appearances than any Rush goalie this season. Radomsky finished 6th in NCAA division-I wins last season and 7th in NCAA goals against average. 

 

“THERE IS NO PANIC”

Scott Burt’s quote about how close this team is has pervaded each of the game notes segments against the Steelheads this season, however, from Friday, November 24’s interview, the head coach divulged that there is no loss-of-belief in his team.

“We know who we’ve got and we need guys to take the next step, but we’re not panicking. We’ve got belief in our group and they know they have the ability to get the job done.” 

 

THE CORE

Rapid City has seven players on its roster that have seen action in all 23 games this season – included in that list are Alex Aleardi, the team’s leading scorer, Blake Bennett (tied for the team lead in goals), and TJ Fergus (tied for the assist lead among Rush defensemen). In comparison, the top-of-the-league Steelheads have eight players who have dressed in every game this season. 

Upcoming Home Games

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Friday, October 25th
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Wednesday, November 6th
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