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Rush Acquire Mike Vaskivuo from Evansville in Exchange for Josh Beaulieu

July 22, 2011 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Rapid City Rush News Release

(Rapid City, SD) - On Friday, the Rapid City Rush, in conjunction with the Evansville IceMen, announced the completion of a trade that will bring Mike Vaskivuo to Rapid City in exchange for Josh Beaulieu. Vaskivuo was obtained by the IceMen from the Dayton Gems earlier this offseason.

"After the great success that we had last season, players will be sought after and there will be numerous changes with the roster and that includes players advancing, retiring, as well as trades," said Rush Head Coach Joe Ferras. "In Josh, we lose a quality person and a player that played very well for us and played a key role on our penalty kill. We want to wish Josh and his family great success in Evansville. That being said we know you have to give up quality players in order to get quality players in return and that's exactly what I feel we did today. We are very excited to be able to acquire Mike Vaskivuo a player that we know very well after last season's opening round against the Dayton Gems. He is extremely versatile and possesses a tremendous skill set. Mike was one of Dayton's top players that we keyed on during the playoffs. After a pair of twenty-five goal seasons and with his potential, a thirty-goal season is not unrealistic. A player like Mike makes it harder for other teams to focus on who to shut down, and instantly give us another offensive threat and I feel we are a better team as a result."

The swift-skating 6-1, 185-pound winger produced a team-best 60 points in 65 games in the 2010-11 season, also leading the Dayton Gems in goals (26) and assists (34). Attaining status as one of the pre-eminent penalty-killing artisans of the CHL, the left-hand shooting forward poured in five shorthanded goals, good enough for second most in the league. In Dayton's brief appearance in the 2011 post-season playoffs, he once again paced his team in point-productivity with five points in three games against the Rush.

"As soon as I got call from coach Ferras, I was ecstatic," said Vaskivuo. I am very excited to be a member of the Rapid City Rush. We played them about five times this season and I had a chance to see what it was about, and it is an exciting place to play. It's great to see the nucleus of the team coming back. They have a ton of experience, and from what I've heard a great group of guys. I'm thrilled to get to know them and get the season started."

In his rookie season of 2009-10, the native of Helsinki, Finland also led the Gems in scoring while finishing fourth overall in IHL rookie point production, engineering 49 points in 75 games (25G, 24A) and led all rookies with 6 game-winning goals. Overall, Vaskivuo saw his 25 goals rank third best in the league.

Previous to launching his career in the hockey professional ranks, he saw service at the Division I collegiate level, performing for Merrimack College of North Andover, MA in the prestigious Hockey East Conference. Vaskivuo has also seen action in his native country of Finland.

Beaulieu was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 5th round, #152 overall, in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. The 4th-year pro totaled 26 points (11G, 15A) in 65 games for the Rush during the 2010-11 season.

"This is a good thing for my family and I," said Beaulieu. "I love Rapid City and the support we received. The booster club was amazing and the whole area is great for hockey. I'd like to thank coach Ferras for the chance to play for Rapid and now getting me closer to home and sending me to a first class team in Evansville."

Other Rush News:

Season tickets for the 2011-12 season start at $412 and are available by calling (605) 716-PUCK (7825). Season ticket holders will receive complimentary tickets to both Rush preseason games as well as numerous other exclusive benefits.

Stay informed on Rush happenings through the official Rapid City Rush team website, www.RapidCityRush.com .


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