Game Notes: at Utah
Rapid City Rush @ Utah Grizzlies - 1:10 p.m. MDT
Utah: 52gp, 30-15-5-2, 67pts (2nd Mountain)
Last Game - 2/15 @ Kansas City (4-1 W)
Rush: 51gp, 27-20-4-0, 58pts (4th Mountain)
Last Game - 2/15 vs Allen (3-2 W)
HEAD TO HEAD - 7 of 13 Games Played
Utah: 2-2-1-2, 7pts
Power Play: 19% (8/42)
Penalty Kill: 85.4% (35/41)
Leading Scorer(s): Griffen Molino (7gp, 1g-11ast-12pts)
Rush: 5-2-0-0, 10pts
Power Play: 14.6% (7/41)
Penalty Kill: 81% (34/42)
Leading Scorer(s): Saulnier/Quenneville (6pts Each)
THIRD PERIOD LOCKDOWN: In the third period this season, the Rush have still found ways to win games, but have given up the most third period goals in the league at 74. Last week, against the second-best offense in the ECHL, the Rush held Allen to nothing in the final 20 minutes in securing 2 wins in 3 games and 4 points out of 6. To put it in perspective, the Rush gave up 21 third period goals, and gave up a third period goal in 8 of their last 9 games dating back to January 18th.
ALMOST DEJA VU: 2020 Western Conference All-Star Brennan Saulnier has enjoyed a well-balanced rookie season heading into the final stretch prior to the playoffs. After getting in a fight and earning an additional minor on top, Saulnier now has 103 PIM on the season, coupled with his 38 points split between 19 goals and assists each. If Saulnier reaches 20 goals before the end of the campaign, he'll become the fifth player in Rush history with 20+ goals and 100+ PIM in a season, and the second rookie ever to accomplish the task. The last one was Cedric Montminy last season, who finished with 20 goals and 117 PIM in 60 games.
KEEP IT ROLLING: Every time the Rush and Grizzlies meet, its always a bitter rivalry showdown. The Rush have seen overwhelming success on their side of the rivalry, even though at one point they were referred to as a "perennial bottom feeder" from someone on the opposite side. Despite that, Rush Head Coach Daniel Tetraullt holds a career record of 23-9-0-1 against Utah since being named the Head Coach in the 2017-18 season. This season, the Rush are 5-2-0-0 against Utah, and 2-1-0-0 in West Valley City this season.
THE BIG PICTURE: Coming into today's matchup against Utah, the Rush are currently in the last playoff spot, and have 21 games remaining in the season, all against Mountain Division opponents. The Rush still have a minimum of 1 game in hand on each division rival. Of the 21 remaining games this year, 12 are against current playoff teams (1 against Allen, 5 against Idaho, and 6 against Utah), while the remaining 9 games are against chasers of the Rush (4 against Tulsa, 5 against Kansas City). Today, the Rush square off against the Grizzlies in the first of two matchups in the week and are one of two President's Day matinee games, with theirs being the only one involving the Mountain Division, making this one of those games-in-hand against their division rivals.
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