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GAME NOTES: February 16 - Idaho Steelheads at Rush

Friday, February 16th
GAME NOTES: February 16 - Idaho Steelheads at Rush

(RAPID CITY, S.D.) - The Rapid City Rush, proud affiliate of the NHL's Calgary Flames, take on the Idaho Steelheads at The Monument at 7:05 p.m. this evening. 

Rapid City is working off momentum from Wednesday's third period when they outscored the Steelheads 2-1, but are still searching for their first home win against Idaho.

 

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GOING FISHING

The Rapid City Rush will look to secure their first home win over the Idaho Steelheads this season in a critical division matchup tonight. Rapid City fell to the Steelheads 6-3 on Wednesday morning, but garnered momentum in the third period when they outscored the Steelheads 2-1 and set the single-period high mark in shots on goal (23). The Rush are entering the final third of the season tonight, with only 24 games left to go after this evening’s contest.

 

ALEARDI NABS 100 CAREER GOALS

Captain Alex Aleardi scored his 100th career ECHL goal on Wednesday morning, the final goal of the 6-3 defeat. Earlier this season, Aleardi had secured his 100th ECHL assist and his 200th ECHL point. The forward from Fort Wayne, Ind. was a undrafted prospect of the Columbus Blue Jackets and has 92 career AHL games under his belt. Aleardi is one of three veterans on the Rush roster with Logan Nelson and Garrett Klotz being the others. 

 

PLAYOFF PICTURE

The Rapid City Rush are five points out of a playoff spot entering tonight’s game, after the Allen Americans defeated Wichita on Wednesday night. The Rush still control their own destiny against the Americans, as they will see them for three games and a possible six points in late March. The Rush have four games left against Idaho after tonight, six against Utah, three against Allen, three against Wichita, and two against Kansas City to round out divisional play this season.

 

HEY EBY BABY

Adam Eby (EE-bee) was acquired on Wednesday afternoon in a deal with the Savannah Ghost Pirates. Eby is a leader on the blue having twice donned a letter in his career. The Pennsylvania-native notched two assists in his time with Savannah this season. 

 

RUSH FIGHTS CANCER NIGHT

Tomorrow night is Rush Fights Cancer night presented by Vitalant, which is why hundreds of names are in purple paint on the ice. The annual Paint the Ice Event, presented by Veteran Painting, was a success last night leading up to tomorrow’s game. The Rush will wear special Rush Fights Cancer uniforms that will be auctioned off after the game with a portion of the proceeds going to The Monument Health Foundation.

 

THE SHERIFF IS BACK IN TOWN

After opening his season with the Kansas City Mavericks, Garrett Klotz signed with the Rush on Wednesday morning and saw his 601st game of North American pro action. This now marks parts of six seasons Klotz has played with the Rush organization. Klotz has one assist in five games this season. 

 

COOPER TROOPER

Defenseman Cooper Jones made his Rush debut Wednesday against his former team. The Bridgewater, Mass.-native actually flew on the same plane from Idaho to South Dakota only to take the extra 30 steps to the home locker room. Jones has two assists in now 19 ECHL games this season, but has nine points with the SPHL’s Pensacola Ice Flyers.

 

YAM / MO

Both Keanu Yamamoto and Maurizio Colella are within striking distance of 30-point seasons after logging their 16th assists of the season in Wednesday’s game. Colella is enjoying the most offensive output in his professional career this year, and Yamamoto is on track to have his second-consecutive 40-plus point season in a Rush uniform. 

 

COMPARING NOTES

As they sit now, the Rush are 14 wins off of last year’s total wins mark with 25 games to go entering this evening. Rapid City has 19 games of divisional play left with 16 of those games coming against teams ahead of them in the standings. Rapid City is still firmly in control of their own destiny as they are only three points off Utah and five points off Allen for the final playoff spot. The Rush are also only 4.5 games back of the Tulsa Oilers in third place, but do not see the Oilers the rest of the year. 

 

88 WINS FOR COACH

Rapid City’s Scott Burt sits at 88 career wins as an ECHL head coach. The bench boss logged 36 and a playoff appearance in his first season, was within a game-and-a-half of a second consecutive playoff berth last season with 33 wins, and has logged 19 this season. Burt is already the second-winningest head coach in Rush history, trailing only the 116 win mark set by Daniel Tetrault in his era. If Burt can win 12 more games before season’s end, he’ll be the fastest Rush coach to reach 100 career wins in ECHL franchise history. 

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