(RAPID CITY, S.D.) - The Rapid City Rush, proud affiliate of the NHL's Calgary Flames, faceoff against the Fort Wayne Komets with the season series on the line tonight.
Rapid City won Wednesday's game 4-1, while Fort Wayne snapped the Rush seven-game home winning streak last night with a 3-1 win.
RUBBER MATCH ON TAP FOR INTERDIVISION SERIES
The Rapid City Rush dropped their first game of the season to a Central Division opponent as they fell 3-1 to Fort Wayne last night. The Rush still have the chance to win their third-straight home series with a victory this evening, and a chance to win eight of their last nine at home. The Rush had not lost at home since November 25 prior to last night’s game.
While the Rush amassed 20 shots in last night’s game, the team was held to only five shots on goal through two periods of play. Rapid City had a single-period season low one shot on goal in the second period. However, the Rush still punctured Tyler Parks for a goal in the third, and defensively remained stout, even having a chance to pull within a goal on a late powerplay. The 20 shots on net were the fewest for the Rush since 19 in a 4-3 win over Tulsa on November 5.
EVEN FOOTING ON SPECIAL TEAMS
Despite giving up powerplay goals to the Komets in back-to-back games, the Rush powerplay has scored twice as well on the man-advantage. The Rush have scored seven powerplay goals at home this season, six of those have come between December’s first home game and yesterday’s contest.
ON A COLD SNAP
Tonight’s game will be the coldest in the Scott Burt-era. The last time the Rush played a game where the low temperature (without wind chill) was February 13, 2021. The Rush defeated the Tulsa Oilers 2-0 that night with a low temperature of -20 Fahrenheit. That -20 number, was the low reached in Rapid City early this morning.
HE’S FER REAL
TJ Fergus is riding a three-game assist streak entering tonight’s game and is just three off the pace to tie Charles Martin for most assists among Rush defensemen. Fergus is the only Rush blueliner to have suited up in every game this season.
LO AND BEHOLD
Logan Nelson ended a Rush season-long eight-game home point streak last night. Nelson’s recent tear has him sitting just five points shy of 400 professional points. Nelson is set to skate in his 500th ECHL game later this season, and is also slated to become just the sixth Rush skater ever to dress in 200 games for the organization (CHL days included).
Alex Aleardi will represented the Rapid City Rush at the 2024 Warrior/ECHL All-Star Classic presented by Gulfstream on Monday night. The game starts at 5:00 p.m. on NHL Network and streaming on FloHockey.tv. Aleardi was named a co-captain for the All-Star Team yesterday. For the Komets, Jack Dugan and equipment manager Skylar Garver will head to Savannah as well.
Tonight’s game will mark the final game of the season where the Rush play a Central Division opponent. R.C. is 6-1-0 against their two Central opponents this season (Iowa and Fort Wayne). The Rush face three games in the North Division (Maine) and five games in the South (Greenville and Savannah).
Alex Aleardi will dress in his 300th North American professional game tonight. With 92 American Hockey League games and now 208 ECHL games, Aleardi’s career has spanned the second-most North American games of any Rush player. Jimmy Soper will also log his 200th ECHL game tonight.
It’s hard to believe that tonight marks the halfway point of the season, but the Rush are 36 games in after the night is over. The Rush had 16 wins at the halfway mark last year, meaning tonight is a chance to be ahead of last year’s schedule.