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GAME NOTES: March 9 - Rush at Utah Grizzlies

Saturday, March 9th
GAME NOTES: March 9 - Rush at Utah Grizzlies

(WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah) - The Rapid City Rush, proud affiliate of the NHL's Calgary Flames, look to claim the weekend series over Utah with a win tonight at Maverik Center. 

The Rush scored a thrilling overtime win last night to keep their playoff hopes alive for another day, and now have the Grizzlies in the crosshairs in another critical contest.

 

WATCH     |      LISTEN

 

RUSH WIN WEST VALLEY CITY CLASSIC

The Rapid City Rush prevailed in a must-win game over the Utah Grizzlies on Friday night, 3-2 in overtime. It marks the fourth OT win this season for the Rush, and the fifth Friday victory of the year. The win puts the Rush within single-digit points of sneaking into the ECHL Playoffs, and sets up another must-have tonight. The Rush had previously been 0-3 this season against the Grizzlies, but are now 1-2 in the month of March and looking to surpass last season’s road win total with a victory tonight. 

 

OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN

Logan Nelson’s overtime-winner extends his personal point streak to five games and has given him his third consecutive 50-point season in ECHL play. Nelson has played over 500 ECHL games and over 200 games with the Rapid City Rush organization. Prior to last night, Nelson’s last game-winning goal was December 30 against Iowa. 

 

BENNETT LOOKING FOR THE ROOKIE RECORD

Blake Bennett is just two goals shy of eclipsing the rookie goal scoring record in Rush history. The record was set in 2021 by Brett Gravelle who had 27 for the Rush that season, en route to the most recent Rush playoff berth. Bennett’s 25 goals lead all Rush scorers in the category. 

 

OVERTIME

The Rush had not sent a game to OT since December 13, a 5-4 defeat at the hands of the Idaho Steelheads. The Rush are now 2-1 in overtime on the road this season, but had not won a game in extra hockey since December 9 when Brett Gravelle delivered a game-winner to defeat Wichita. Last night’s win marked the 10th victory for the Rush this season in a one-goal hockey game. Rapid City also got help from Kansas City yesterday as the Mavericks defeated Allen – which puts the Rush nine points out of the playoff picture.

 

THREE IS A MAGIC NUMBER

For just the sixth time since the ECHL All-Star Break, the Rush managed to find three goals and are now 4-2 since the break when scoring three or more this season. The Rush scored five in their win over Greenville two Sundays ago, but it had been nearly a month since the Rush had scored three or more previous to that game (Feb. 3 at Maine, 6). 

 

MURPHY MAGIC

Connor Murphy logged a career-high number of saves in a win with 44 saves for the Rush last night. Murphy had not earned a victory since Dec. 31 against Iowa in ECHL play. The rookie out of Union College now has six ECHL wins to accompany his 1-1-1 AHL record with the AHL’s Calgary Wranglers. 

 

BEST PENALTY KILL… NO PENALTIES

For the third time this season, and the first since December 16, the Rush were unpenalized last night. Rapid City had allowed a powerplay goal against in every game since February 24 against Greenville, but remained disciplined and at even-strength last night. The Rush have not allowed a goal to the Utah powerplay in now four games this season. 

 

WILD BILL

Billy Constantinou now has six points in just over a month since joining the Rush. Constantinou had the secondary assist on Logan Nelson’s overtime game-winner last night. Constantinou and Zack Hoffman both provided points from the blueline in yesterday’s win. 

 

LOOKING FOR 500

The overtime win last night was the 499th victory in Rush history since 2008. Rapid City is looking for their 500th victory in history with their next win. Head Coach Scott Burt is now 10 wins away from his 100th win as an ECHL head coach. 

 

WIRE-TO-WIRE

The Rush never allowed Utah to lead in yesterday’s win. The Rush have not trailed in three of their four wins since the All-Star Break, with the only come-from-behind win coming against Maine on February 3. 

 

STARS AND STRIPES

Each goal scorer in yesterday’s game for the Rush was American. The Rush only seven players on the roster who hail from the USA currently, included in them, last night’s winning goaltender Connor Murphy. Maverik Center was the host of the 2002 Olympic men’s ice hockey final where Canada defeated the United States… but the Americans got a little revenge for the Rush last night. 

 

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                      2 points

Iowa                                   Wichita                  WIC up 6

Kansas City                        Allen                      ALN up 9 

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