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GAME NOTES: March 1 - Savannah Ghost Pirates at Rush

Friday, March 1st
GAME NOTES: March 1 - Savannah Ghost Pirates at Rush

(RAPID CITY, S.D.) - The Rapid City Rush, proud affiliate of the NHL's Calgary Flames, meet the Savannah Ghost Pirates at home on Friday night at The Monument. 

The Rush are looking to snap a home-losing slide against the sixth-place team in the South Division. The Rush are only seven points out of a playoff spot in the Mountain Division. 

 

WATCH     |     LISTEN

 

RUSH LOOK TO STORM INTO MARCH

The Rush were wrapped up February with a 3-9-0 record, but head into March still in the thick of the Mountain Division’s playoff picture. Rapid City is seven points away from the last playoff spot in the division, and despite sitting in the division’s last spot, remain focused on a late push. The Rush fell to Savannah on Wednesday night, 6-2. Jesper Vikman was critically good in net for the Ghost Pirates who saw two-goal performances from both Jordan Kaplan and Brent Pederson. On the positive side, the Rush went 2-for-6 on the Powerade Power Play, the fifth time this season the Rush have score twice on the powerplay in a game.

 

HEATING UP IN THE LATER TIMES

The Rush enter the final fourth of their season after tonight’s game, with only 18 games remaining heading into tomorrow’s contest. Rapid City is 3-14-0 since the All-Star Break, with all three wins coming outside the division. The Rush face 17-straight divisional games coming out of the Savannah series, still controlling their own destiny in the standings against Utah (who holds the last playoff seed). 

 

CLEAR SKIES

For the third and final time this season, Rapid City hits the road for five-straight in the middle of March. The first leg of the trip comes in Utah for three critical matchups against the Grizzlies. Rapid City will then swing east to finish their season series against the top-of-the-league Kansas City Mavericks. The Rush are one game away from equaling last year’s road win total with eight games away from home remaining. 

 

SOME RUMBLES

Rookie Riley Ginnell saw action in his first professional fight on Wednesday night, duking it out with Joe Fleming. He is the eleventh individual to drop the gloves this year for the Rush and became the first player to do so since Zack Hoffman on February 2. The nine-game fight drought is the longest for the Rush this season. Rapid City is now 7-10-0 when someone fights this year.  

 

RE-CAPTURNING THE HOME ICE MOJO

The Rush are currently on a eight-game home losing streak, tying the streak they started the year with at home. The Rush have 11 games left at The Monument this year, and look to recapture the home ice magic they had in the middle of the season. The Rush won seven consecutive games at home and eight-of-nine between December and the middle of January before hitting this slide. Rapid City hit 20 home wins last year, an ECHL-franchise record for R.C.

 

A LOTTA SHOTS

In their last ten games, the Rush have tied or bested their opponents in shots on goal in nine of them. Oddly enough, the Rush won the game they were outshot 50-21 by Greenville last Sunday. Both the Rush and Ghost Pirates got off 32 pucks on night in Wednesday’s game, and the Rush will look to continue their offense pressure into the weekend. The Rush are ranked 7th in shots-on-goal per game in the ECHL.

 

KEEPING IT CLOSE FARES BEST

The Rush are 5-2-1 in one-goal games at home this year. However, outside of the one-goal games the Rush are 1-4-0 in two-goal games and 1-7-0 in three-goal game at The Monument this season. The largest margin of victory at home this season was a 9-5 demolition of the Fort Wayne Komets in the middle of January. That was also the last Rush home win. 

 

TRYING TO TANGLE WITH THE SOUTH

Rapid City has winning records over both the Central and the North Division this season, however the team is only 1-3-0 against the South. The South Division’s upper-echelon is filled with elite teams like Greenville and Jacksonville, and all four of the South’s playoff teams are top-10 in the league. The Rush are still 10-4-0 outside Mountain Division, looking to salvage a .500 record vs. the South. 

 

MARCH ON

Rapid City’s team last season went 6-7-0 in the month of March. Rapid City’s best month this season was December at 8-4-1. The Rush have 13 games in March before wrapping up the season with six games in April.

 

ROOKIE WATCH

Blake Bennett scored his 22nd goal of the season on the powerplay in Wednesday’s game. Bennett leads the team in powerplay goals with seven this season, and has led the team in goals since November. The rookie out of AIC has been joined by Simon Boyko with seven goals since his call-up as the two active-leading rookie goal scorers on the team.

 

WEATHER PERMITTING NIGHT

Tonight’s “Weather Permitting” Night is presented by KOTA Territory News. The night is a celebration of the wild and wonderful weather of South Dakota. Leading meteorologists in the area will be around early for a pre-game weather seminar, hosted by chief KOTA meteorologist David Stradling.

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