Game Notes: at Tulsa
Rapid City Rush @ Tulsa Oilers - 6:05 p.m. MDT
Tulsa: 15gp, 6-8-1-0, 13pts (5th Mountain)
Last Game - 11/9 @ Wichita (7-2 W)
Rush: 14gp, 8-4-2-0, 18pts (3rd Mountain/T-3rd ECHL)
Last Game - 11/13 @ Wichita (4-3 L)
HEAD TO HEAD (4 of 12 Games Played)
Tulsa: 1-3-0-0 (2pts)
Power Play: 5.3% (119)
Penalty Kill: 74.1% (20/27)
Leading Scorer(s): Ryan Tesink (4gp, 1g-3ast-4pts)
Rush: 3-1-0-0 (6pts)
Power Play: 25.9% (7/27)
Penalty Kill: 94.7% (18/19)
Leading Scorer(s): Giovanni Fiore (4gp, 4g-4ast-8pts)
GONE IN 13 SECONDS: Wichita's Jack Combs fired the game-winning shot on the power play with 13.1 seconds left in regulation to steal a point from the Rush, and give Wichita a 4-3 win on Wednesday night. Combs' game-winning strike is the latest game-winner given up in a game that was decided in regulation. Previously, the latest regulation game-winner conceded by the Rush was coincidentally here, in Tulsa, on November 3rd in a 4-2 loss, coming with 1:00 left in the game on Miles Liberati and an unlucky bounce off of the corner boards.
HOWDY HELPER!: Coming in like a wrecking ball offensively to start the road trip on Wedensday was Rush forward Keeghan Howdeshell, who managed to have a hand in every Rush goal against Wichita. Howdeshell notched a career-high 3 assist game, with those helpers marking the first assists of his professional career. Howdeshell comes into Tulsa, the place where he scored his first goal as a professional, with 4 points through 8 games this season.
SAUL POSSESSION: With his first period goal and his assist in the third period, Rush rookie Brennan Saulnier has now put himself on top of all rookies on the Rush roster in scoring, Saulnier leads all Rush rookies with 6 goals to his credit, and is just two shy of the team lead, currently held by Giovanni Fiore at 8. In his last four games, dating back to his first career hat trick on November 6th, Saulnier has 6 points (4g-2ast), and in total, has 6 goals, 4 assists, and 10 points in 13 games.
SHORT STACKED: Coming into the start of the road trip on Wednesday, the Rush were one of eleven teams in the ECHL that had yet to concede a shorthanded goal. That changed 7:47 into the first period when Fabrizio Ricci dislodged the puck on the offensive blue line, and went in the Rush zone uncontested to put Wichita up 1-0. In the last two seasons, the Rush have given up 24 shorthanded goals, 13 last season, and 11 in the 2017-18 season during Coach Tetrault's first year as the bench boss.
BATTLE AT THE TOP: It's been rare to see the Rush in so many key matchups for first place in the entire ECHL so early in the season, and yet, they find themselves in another one tonight. This will mark a fourth matchup this season through the first 15 games in which the Rush have first-overall in the ECHL on the line. Currently, in such matchups, the Rush are 3-1, and on two of those occasions have actually moved into first place following the game. They beat Utah in a come-from-behind shootout win on October 26th to tie Idaho for first place at 11 points, beat Idaho on November 8th in a come-from-behind shootout win to put themselves in striking distance for first, which was then earned the next night in a 1-0 win over the Steelheads. Wednesday, the Rush had a chance to maintain, but fell 4-3 in regulation.
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