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GAME NOTES: January 10 - Fort Wayne Komets at Rush

Wednesday, January 10th
GAME NOTES: January 10 - Fort Wayne Komets at Rush

(RAPID CITY, S.D.) - The Rapid City Rush, proud affiliate of the NHL's Calgary Flames, take on the Fort Wayne Komets, ECHL affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers, tonight at 7:05 p.m. 

The Rush have won their last six games at The Monument are are 5-0-0 this season in inter-division play. 

 

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COMING HOME

The Rapid City Rush return home for their first five-game homestand of the year. R.C. has won each of their last six at home in a stretch that has seen back-to-back sweeps by the Rush. The Rush are undefeated in non-divisional play this season, with all five wins coming against the Iowa Heartlanders of the Central Division. The Rush captured their 10th division win on Sunday in a 4-3 thriller against Tulsa and are one point out of the ECHL Mountain Division playoff picture.

 

DEFENSIVE RELOAD

Head Coach Scott Burt has acknowledge that it has been a taxing stretch for his defensive group. The Rush have been forced to line up with five defenseman and 12 forwards in seven of their last twelve games. However, with Charles Martin’s return and Grayson Valente available to make his home debut, the Rush have the player personnel to return to a traditional 11-and-6 lineup tonight. 

 

TENDYS

Jason Pawloski logged a personal record 41 saves in a 3-0 loss on Saturday vs. Tulsa. Meanwhile, Matt Radomsky has returned to 8-8-2 and has an .899 save percentage. Radomsky has shouldered the brunt of the workload between the pipes this season and has made four consecutive appearances stopping 30 or more pucks for the Rush. Radomsky was ranked sixth in NCAA division-I wins last season with Alaska Fairbanks. 

 

A WHOLE HEAP OF REUNIONS

The first-year Fort Wayne coaching staff comprised of Jesse Kallechy and Cory Melkert has many ties to the Rush group. Alex Aleardi played under Kallechy when Kallechy was on Brad Ralph’s staff in Florida. Jason Pawloski played for both Kallechy and Melkert during his SPHL days with Fayetteville. Melkert recruited Zack Hoffman and Nick Parody and dressed them in their first professional games with the SPHL’s Fayetteville group. Meanwhile Tyler Parks, the reigning ECHL Goalie of the Week, is a former Rush goaltender. 

 

KILLING IT

Rapid City did not allow a powerplay goal to Tulsa last weekend and has killed 20 of the last 21 opponent powerplay chances. The Rush have improved three full percentage points in their last six games in PK percentage. 

 

ALEXANDER THE GREAT

After logging his 500th career professional game, Alex Aleardi is one point shy of his 200th ECHL point. Aleardi notched his third two-assist game of the year on Sunday in the 4-3 win over Tulsa. At the end of the homestand, Aleardi will celebrate his 300th North American professional game. He is also the Rush representative at the 2024 Warrior/ECHL All-Star Classic presented by Gulfstream. 

 

THE HOFF

Zack Hoffman logged his first two-assist night of the season in Sunday’s win over Tulsa. The second-year defenseman out of Newcastle, Ontario, has skated in every Rush game this season except one, and has been versatile on the penalty kill as well. Hoffman is nearing 100 career games in the ECHL after starting his professional career in the SPHL in 2022. 

 

THE KING OF OIL COUNTRY

Blake Bennett ended the season series with Tulsa with seven goals scored against the Oilers, including both game winners. Bennett, a rookie from American International, is the team leader in goals with 15 after scoring twice in Sunday’s win. It’s Bennett’s third two-goal performance this season and his fourth game winning goal (also a team-high). 

 

BURTIE’S BLAZING TRAILS

Scott Burt now has 84 career wins as an ECHL head coach and is just four wins shy of matching last year’s win total on the road. The Rush won 20 home games last season and are just one game off of hockey .500 this season. 

 

A FIGHTING CHANCE

The Rush ended the season series with Tulsa with nine fights this season against the Oilers, more scraps vs. a single-opponent than any other this year. Both Tyson Helgesen and Jimmy Soper lead the way with three individual fights this season. Kenton Helgesen has two. 

 

STARTING FAST

Quick starts remain important for the Rush this season. The team has won 12 of its 15 victories when scoring first this season. The team is 12-4-1 when leading after the first period and 11-1-2 when leading after the second period this season. 

“We want to play with pace and push north, it’s a big part of our game,” said Assistant Coach Peter Drikos. 

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Savannah Ghost Pirates @ Rapid City Rush
Wednesday, February 28th
Savannah Ghost Pirates @ Rapid City Rush
Puck Drops:
7:05 PM MST
The Monument
Savannah Ghost Pirates
SAV Savannah Ghost Pirates
at
Rapid City Rush
RC Rapid City Rush
The Monument
WEATHER PERMITTING NIGHT
Friday, March 1st
WEATHER PERMITTING NIGHT
Puck Drops:
7:05 PM MST
The Monument
Savannah Ghost Pirates
SAV Savannah Ghost Pirates
at
Rapid City Rush
RC Rapid City Rush
The Monument
JURASSIC WORLD NIGHT
Saturday, March 2nd
JURASSIC WORLD NIGHT
Puck Drops:
7:05 PM MST
The Monument
Savannah Ghost Pirates
SAV Savannah Ghost Pirates
at
Rapid City Rush
RC Rapid City Rush
The Monument

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