Rush Strengthen Blueline with Return of Couch & Behler; Add Solway for 2012-13July 6, 2012 - Central Hockey League (CHL) Rapid City Rush
Couch is entering his 7th professional season and is coming off of a year that saw him set numerous career highs in the offensive end.
"I'm real happy to get it done as early as we did," said Couch. "I love Rapid City. The people and the fans treat us amazing, and the Rush is a first class organization. I think the main reason why I returned is because we have unfinished business. We left something on the table and have something to prove with our early playoff exit, and that just fuels the fire for this upcoming season. It serves as major motivation for this off-season's training, and I can't wait for September."
The 6-4, 210-pound defenseman set career highs in goals (5), assists (16) and points (21) in an injury-shortened 2011-12 season. On November 5th in a game against the Bloomington Blaze, Couch earned his first career multi-goal game with 2-tallies, including game-winner.
"Getting Michael signed back to Rapid was a priority, he has won a championship and knows what it takes to win and how much you have to sacrifice and how hard you have to compete to be successful, " stated Rush Head Coach Ferras. "Getting injured last year was tough on both Mike and team, and prior to his injury, he was one of best d-men in CHL hands down. With him getting back to 100 percent at the end of season, and now with all summer to prepare, we know he will be one of the top defensemen in the CHL and anchor our d corps."
Prior to joining the Rush, Couch was a member of the 2011 CHL Champion Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs where he finished with 7 points (1g, 6a) and 55 penalty minutes in 54 regular season games. In 112 career CHL games, Couch has totaled 6 goals and 22 assists for 28 points along with 108 penalty minutes.
In 71 ECHL appearances with the Johnstown Chiefs and Gwinnett Gladiators in 2009-10, Couch scored one goal and assisted on ten others. He also compiled ten fighting majors during the course of the season on his way to 112 total penalty minutes.
The Rush have also re-signed defenseman Jordan Behler who will enter his second season at the CHL level. Behler started last year with the Fayetteville FireAntz of the SPHL before being called up to the Rush in late November.
"I look forward to having a chance to play a full season this year and continuing my professional career with such a fine organization," said Behler. "I know I can bring a lot to help the success of the team this year and Rapid City has such a great fan base, so I couldn't be happier to be able to play in front of them again. With the players that have been acquired, I have high hopes of definitely reaching further into playoffs than this past season. I feel that becoming complacent derives from becoming comfortable with one's results, and with the strategic additions of the players Coach Ferras has and looks to bring in, we will have a good chance of besting last season. I am counting down the days to return back to Rapid because we will be achieving great things!"
In 53 games for the Rush last season, Behler amassed nine points (3G, 6A) and added 46 penalty minutes to go along with a plus-8 rating. Prior to turning pro, the Port Jefferson Station, New York native played two years of NCAA hockey at the University of Connecticut where he appeared in 60 games and totaled nine points (1G, 8A).
"We're really excited to get Jordan back," continued Ferras. "He was a player that really developed as the season progressed and as his confidence grew his play continued to impress us. Jordan became a key piece of our defense with his strong skating ability and offensive capabilities. We know he will build upon the strength of his first season coming into his second year as a pro."
The 6-0, 200-pound Behler earned his first career point with assist in a 7-0 win over the Arizona Sundogs on December 10th and later scored his first professional goal on March 3rd against Tulsa.
The Rush also officially announced the signing of 2nd-year pro David Solway. Earlier this summer, the Rush claimed the rights to Solway with the completion the futures portion of a trade with the Tulsa Oilers.
"It's exciting and a good feeling to join the elite players already signed with Rapid City with the hopes we are competing for a championship come next May," said Solway. "Clearly the Rush have proven to be an elite hockey team in the CHL year in and year out and it's an honor to be added to a team that will be looking to win another championship. Just from my short time in pro hockey Rapid City has been one of the best places I have played. To skate in front of sold out crowds, electric fans, and to see the community really gather and support the team as they have, has to fire any player up that gets to play in front of that every night."
After four years of NCAA hockey at Bowling Green State University and playing three games with the Toledo Walleye of the ECHL, Solway finished his first full professional season in Tulsa with 15 goals and 28 assists in 56 games. Solway, 24, led all Oilers with five game-winning goals and ended up tied for eighth in the CHL rookie scoring race.
Other Rush News:
Kids will have the chance to design the artwork for the 2012 Rush season ticket books! Download your artwork application today at http://www.rapidcityrush.com/images/PDF/Rush%20kids%20art%20submission.p df and make sure to turn it in to the Rush office by July 30th.
Auditions for the all new Rush Party Patrol promotions and entertainment team will be held Wednesday, July 18th at 6PM in the Ice Arena. For more information and to sign up, call the Rush at 716-PUCK.
Join the team! Season tickets for the 2012-13 campaign are on sale now, starting at only $10 per game! Call the Rush at 605-716-PUCK (7825) to reserve your seats today. Season ticket holders receive a variety of benefits and exclusive perks.
Central Hockey League Stories from July 6, 2012
- Rush Strengthen Blueline with Return of Couch & Behler; Add Solway for 2012-13 - Rapid City Rush
- Americans Sign Trevor Ludwig - Allen Americans
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