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 Rapid City Rush

Game Notes: March 2 - Savannah Ghost Pirates at Rush

March 2, 2024 - ECHL (ECHL)
Rapid City Rush News Release

(RAPID CITY, S.D.) - The Rapid City Rush, proud affiliate of the Calgary Flames, take on the Savannah Ghost Pirates for the final time this season at 7:05 p.m. from The Monument.

The Rush are seven points outside the ECHL playoffs and can inch closer to Allen and Utah with a win this evening over a plucky Savannah squad.


Non-divisional play is over for the Rapid City Rush after tonight, as the Rush close their season series with the Savannah Ghost Pirates. A lot of things went right for the Rush, the team killed two penalties, they outshot the Ghost Pirates, they kept energy and jump through the game - however two early goals for the Ghost Pirates aided their team to a second-straight win over the Rush. Rapid City is now faced with 17 games of Mountain Division play in their final fourth of the season, and the series finale vs. Savannah tonight.


It's Jurassic World Night for the Rush, and things got pre-historic last night. After a nine-game fighting drought, both Tyson Helgesen and Alex Aleardi shed the mitts for scraps against Savannah last night. Helgesen, the team leader in fights with six, defended Maurizio Colella who was clobbered in the back at the front of the net. Aleardi squared off with Savannah captain Matthew Boudens. The Aleardi fight led to Brett Gravelle's goal and between the two tilts, Rapid City found some mojo in the early third period.


The Rush have allowed at least one powerplay goal to opponents in eight of their last 10 games. While the percentage has taken a hit, Head Coach Scott Burt maintains minimal concern over his PK group.

"It's bounces... they scored when the puck hit four guys and bounced right to their guy. You can't control that, but it is so frustrating to see."

The Rush penalty kill group was as high as 80.4 percent in February.


The Rush will get the chance to bear down on the Utah Grizzlies in a Friday, Saturday, Monday split in West Valley City. The Rush are seven points behind Utah and Allen for the division's last playoff spot, but have six head-to-head matchups with Utah remaining.


After winning eight of nine at home from December into the middle of January, the Rush have lost their last nine-straight home games. The ECHL-franchise for most consecutive home losses in 10 from April 12 of last season to November 25 of this year. Rapid City is looking to avoid the wrong kind of history with a win in front of an anticipated large and rowdy crowd tonight,


Former Rush forward Keltie Jeri-Leon logged an assist last night against his former team. Jeri-Leon was dealt to Savannah in December to complete the playing-rights deal for Will Riedell in the offseason. The Rush acquired defenseman Adam Eby from the Ghost Pirates on Valentine's Day. Eby has now made the trek from the East Coast to South Dakota on three separate occasions in the last month, once for the trade, and a round trip to Greenville with Rapid City.


The Rush are 5-2-1 in one-goal games at home this year. However, outside of the one-goal games the Rush are 1-5-0 in two-goal games and 1-7-0 in three-goal game at The Monument this season. The largest margin of victory at home this season was a 9-5 demolition of the Fort Wayne Komets in the middle of January. That was also the last Rush home win.


After tonight, here's the full breakdown of the Rush divisional schedule

Opp. Games remaining

Kansas City 2 (road)

Idaho 3 (road)

Tulsa 0

Utah 6 (3 home / 3 road)

Allen 3 (home)

Wichita 3 (home)


Blake Bennett scored his 23rd goal of the year to extend his goal-scoring lead for the Rush this season. Bennett's goal was assisted by Alex Aleardi and Logan Nelson, and put the Rush within one of Savannah. Bennett is a rookie out of AIC, Aleardi and Nelson are two of three veterans on the roster for the Rush (Garrett Klotz, the other).


The two teams combined for only four powerplay chances last night (one for Rapid City, three for Savannah), despite a physical game. The Rush had six chances on the Powerade Power Play on Wednesday while Savannah mustered only four. The Rush have two powerplay goals in the series, while Savannah has only one.


The Rush are 2-3-0 this season vs. teams they hadn't face previously in team history. The Rush won two-of-three against Maine at the beginning of February, but look to get back to .500 against new faces with a win tonight over Savannah.

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