Game Notes: December 7 - Wichita Thunder at Rush
(RAPID CITY, S.D.) - The Rapid City Rush, proud affiliate of the NHL's Calgary Flames, are coming off their first home win of the season last night vs. Wichita by facing the Thunder again tonight at 7:05 p.m. at The Monument.
The Rush saw nine different players earn a point last night and Matt Radomsky secured his third professional victory.
RAPID CITY EARNS FIRST HOME WIN
For the first time since April 13, the Rush prevailed in a game at The Monument and did so in style. Rapid City set a single-game high in shots on goal for the season (45), scored on the powerplay to break a four-game scoring drought on the man advantage, and owned the game in nearly every facet. The Rush are again better-than-.500 vs. Wichita this season and will look to win the weekend with a victory tonight.
GRAVELLE APPROACHES HISTORY
After his assist on Alex Aleardi's shorthanded goal yesterday, Brett Gravelle has 99 career points in ECHL play. He would become the second player this season to eclipse 100 career ECHL points, joining Jimmy Soper who assisted on a Mark Duarte goal on Nov. 5 in Tulsa to earn his 100th point.
SPREADING THE HOLIDAY CHEER
Of nine points scored by the Rush in yesterday's game - nine different players logged one. Alex Aleardi, Keltie Jeri-Leon, and Keanu Yamamoto had goals while Charles Martin, James Hardie, Logan Nelson, Jarrod Gourley, Brett Gravelle, and T.J. Fergus all logged assists. Of 17 dressed skaters, that makes over half the roster that earned a point in yesterday's win. For James Hardie, it was his first point since being trade to Rapid City from Cincinnati.
"WIN THE WEEK"
Head Coach Scott Burt has posited that winning the week (or the weekend series) is the goal for his team entering every week of play. For the first time since the opening game of the season (Oct. 19 in Iowa), the Rush have won the first game in a week of play. The Rush have won two weekend series, defeating Iowa twice and besting Wichita on the road (Nov. 17-19) twice. The Rush currently sit just 2.5 games back of the Thunder in the ECHL Mountain Division.
Rapid City enjoyed their first game of the season where no player had a minus rating all game. The Rush controlled 5-on-5 play last night, holding Wichita to only 14 shots at even strength. Rapid City's attack possessed the puck over 50 percent of the game and earned 38 shots at even strength.
Ty Enns, recently acquired from Kansas City, earned an assist in Sunday's 2-1 loss to Wichita, and had four shots on net last night. Enns did not make the scoresheet, but finish fourth in shots on goal (tied with Maurizio Colella) and every player who had five or more shots did earn a point. Enns is a product of Adrian College where he won the 2022 NCAA D-III national title with the Bulldogs. He was third in NCAA D-III scoring last season before making his professional debut with the Toledo Walleye
Jarrod Gourley logged an assist in last night's win to bring him to three helpers on the year, and seven points in only nine ECHL appearances. Gourley was awarded the second star of the game after scrapping with Jason Pineo following a check from behind on Rush newcomer Brandon Yeamans. Gourley has been recalled twice by the Calgary Wranglers this season, most recently on Saturday for a three-day stay with the AHL-club on their road trip to Henderson.
Alex Aleardi become this first Rush player to log goals in three straight games. The co-captain scored his 91st ECHL career goal shorthanded in what would become the game winning goal. Aleardi is now the leader in Rush goals and points and tied for the lead in Rush assists (Logan Nelson, 10).
Defenseman T.J. Fergus hopped back on the points train with a shorthanded assist in yesterday's win. Fergus and Charles Martin are tied at seven assists to lead all Rush defenseman in assists this season. Both Fergus and Martin have enjoyed increased roles with extensive powerplay time this season.
KEEPING TABS ON DECEMBER
The Rush will play 13 games in the final month of the 2023 calendar year. In comparison with other Scott Burt led teams, here's how the Rush stack up.
The remainder of December is comprised of games against Idaho (3), Allen (3), and Iowa (3) following the two remaining in this series.
MAKING IT A 40-MINUTE GAME
After their win last night, the Rush are 6-1-1 when leading after two periods of play. The Rush lost both of their home openers when leading by a goal entering the third period, but have been a perfect 4-0-0 when leading after two periods since.
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