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GAME NOTES: March 22 - Utah Grizzlies at Rush

Friday, March 22nd
GAME NOTES: March 22 - Utah Grizzlies at Rush

(RAPID CITY, S.D.) - The Rapid City Rush, proud affiliate of the NHL's Calgary Flames, meet the Utah Grizzlies at home tonight at 7:05 p.m. The Grizzlies, AA-affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche, currently hold the last playoff spot in the Mountain Division. 

Rapid City went 2-0-1 vs. the Grizzlies two weeks ago in a road trip to Utah. 

 

WATCH     |     LISTEN

 

RUSH LOCKED IN TO MARCH MADNESS RUN

The last time Rapid City took the ice at home they ended the weekend 11 points out of a playoff spot with little hope of sputtering forward. However, after going 3-1-1 on a difficult road trip, the Rush are in the playoff picture and pressuring fouth-place Utah. The Grizzlies have won only nine games this season away from Maverik Center and the Rush are starting to heat up as the month of March continues. Rapid City will need a strong performance as they kick off a six-game homestand. 

 

DRAINING 3’s

For the first time all season, the Rush have scored three or more goals in five consecutive games. Rapid City took standings points in four of their last five as a result, including a shootout win over Kansas City on Saturday night at Cable Dahmer Arena. In just five games time, the Rush have doubled their win total since the All-Star break. 

 

WHEN SENIORS BECOME FRESHMEN AGAIN

Both Parker Bowman and Brett Davis saw action at The Monument vs. Savannah at the beginning of March. However, tonight as many as five new players could be making their home debut for the Rush. Rookies Rylee St. Onge, Jake Stella, Zach Taylor, Peter Muzyka, and Christian Propp haven’t played at home yet this year for R.C. In addition to the rookies, both Will Riedell and Mark Duarte were placed on assignment to the Rush from the Calgary Wranglers, making it a possible seven newcomers to the lineup since the Rush last played at home. 

 

DEVASTATING DEFENSE

In each of their last four games, the Rush have held their opponents to less than 30 shots on net. That’s the longest such streak of the season for the Rush defensive unit. Rapid City has upgraded their blueline with Riedell’s return and contributions from the hard-hitting Peter Muzyka. Zach Taylor, a rookie from Brock University will also slot in to help in the defense effort for the Rush. 

 

BILLY DISHES

Billy Constantinou logged three assists in the second period in the 5-4 win against Kansas City on Saturday. Constantinou has now tied Charles Martin for the team assist lead among defenseman. Constantinou’s success wasn’t limited to the Saturday game at Kansas City either. He logged a game-winning assist and a goal against Utah to start the road trip at Maverik Center.

 

BOW-AND-ARROW

Rookie Parker Bowman scored his first professional goal on Saturday night against Kansas City. The Canadian-rookie collected a pass from Keanu Yamamoto to extend a Rush lead to 4-2 at that point in the game. So far, Bowman is the only rookie with his first goal, though Peter Muzyka did log an assist against Utah two weeks ago. 

 

PROPP-ELLOR

The big-engine for Wilfrid Laurier University, Christian Propp was the bell-cow for the Golden Hawks this season. With an 11-13-0 record in 24 starts, Propp ranked 5th in OUA save percentage and 4th in overall minutes played. Propp, the newest Rush member, is the sixth collegiate signing of the season for the Rush

 

QUEST FOR 100

Head Coach Scott Burt’s quest for 100 wins as an ECHL head coach is still alive and well. Burt needs just eight more victories to hit the venerated 100-win mark. If the Rush win each of their remaining home games, he will hit 101 at a minimum. 

 

AVOIDING THE WRONG KIND OF HISTORY

Rapid City has dropped their last 10 at home. The Rush, with a loss, would break the franchise record for most consecutive home losses, a record set earlier this year combined with last season’s finish. The Rush won eight of nine home games in December and January of this season, with the only blemish against Fort Wayne. 

 

THE ELIMINATION NUMBER (E#)

The Rush elimination number is now 14 points. 

 

If that number is above zero after the end of the regular season, the Rush will make the playoffs.

The number decreases by TWO every time Utah wins in regulation or the Rush lose in regulation. The number decreases by ONE every time the Rush or Utah lose in overtime/shootout. And the number stays the same with the Rush win in regulation or Utah loses in regulation. 

 

If the number hits zero, the Rush are eliminated from playoff contention. 

 

ROOTING GUIDE

For the Rush to get the most out of the results tonight, here’s who Rush fans should be pulling for in tonight’s games

 

Who to pull for                Against                  Help                       

THE RUSH                          Utah                      WIN

Iowa                                   Wichita                  WIC up 5

Kansas City                         Allen                      ALN up 6

Idaho                                  Tulsa                     TUL up 11

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