ECHL Game Recap: Rapid City Rush vs. Allen Americans | 3/27/2024

Photo Credit: Rapid City Rush via Instagram

The Rapid City Rush faced off against the Allen Americans Wednesday night in the first of a three-game series.

Starting Lineups

Starting with the visiting team, the Americans had a forward trio of Solag Bakich, Mikael Robidoux, and Gavin Gould. They had a defensive pairing of Justin Allen and Ryan Gagnon with goaltender Marco Costantini in net.

The Rush started with a forward trio of Parker Bowman, Keanu Yamamoto, and Jake Stella. They had a defensive pairing of Billy Constantinou and Will Riedell with goaltender Christian Propp in between the pipes.

First Period

The game started off with back-and-forth hockey that was a slightly tilted towards Rapid City’s offensive zone. The game would continue to go in Rapid City’s favor as the Rush were able to get on the board first. Brett Gravelle was able to find Rush forward Mark Duarte open on the other side of the zone who was then able to pot it home. Duarte’s powerplay goal came 9:04 into the first period and was assisted by Maurizio Colella and Will Riedell.

Duarte’s goal was the only goal of the first period that counted. 10:10 into the first, Blake Bennett picked up a rebound and put it in the back of the net. The goal was immediately called off and then was put under review. After a lengthy review, the officials called it a no goal due to goaltender interference.

The Rush came out and dominated in the first, looking like a team that wants to make the playoffs. Rapid City outshot Allen 14-7 in the first period.

Second Period

The Rush continued to dominate going into the second as they doubled their lead. 9:47 into the second period, Will Riedell picked up Mark Duarte’s rebound in front of the net and tapped it home to give the Rush a 2-0 lead. Riedell’s goal was assisted by Rylee St. Onge and Mark Duarte. The Rush continued to find success with a five-hole goal from Brett Gravelle 14:16 into the period. Gravelle’s goal lengthened the Rush’s lead to 3-0 and was assisted by Keanu Yamamoto and Will Riedell. Less than 30 seconds later, Rush forward Parker Bowman decided that he wanted to join in on the scoring fun. 14:45 into the second, Bowman found the back of the net off a pass from Riley Ginnell to extend Rapid City’s lead to 4-1. Bowman’s goal was assisted by Ginnell and Jake Stella. This goal would cause the Americans to pull goaltender Marco Costantini and put goaltender Mark Sinclair in the net. With the Americans finding themselves in a deeper hole, American head coach Chad Costello also called his time out to help fire up his team.

That would do it for goals in the second period, as the Rush continued to dominate the Americans, outshooting them 16-6.

Third Period

After a rough first and second period, the Americans came out to play and were not messing around. 5:56 into the third, Americans forward Easton Brodzinski got his team on the board with a shot from the blue line. Brodzinski’s goal was assisted by Grant Hebert and former Rush forward James Hardie, who was traded to the Americans earlier in the season. 11:26 into the period, Hardie was able to pick up a rebound and shot it in the back of the net to bring the Americans within two. Hardie’s powerplay goal was assisted by Blake Murray and Colby McAuley.

But the Rush were not going to let their lead get away from them. 14:54 into the period, the Americans turned over the puck in their zone. Brett Gravelle picked up the puck and took a shot but it did not go in. Mark Duarte then picked it up and went for the wraparound, this time finding the back of the net. The lone assist on Duarte’s second goal of the night went to Brett Gravelle.

The Americans ended up taking over the third a little bit and outshot the Rush 16-7.

Final Stats and Thoughts

The Rapid City Rush won by a final score of 5-2 and outshot the Americans 37-29. Marco Costantini had 23 saves on 27 shots for a save percentage of .852, and Mark Sinclair had nine saves on ten shots for a save percentage of .900. Allen’s two goalies had a combined save percentage of .865. Meanwhile, Rapid City’s goaltender Christian Propp stood on his head, making 27 saves on 29 shots for a save percentage of .931. While neither team was able to find a lot of success on the powerplay, both teams played really well while on the penalty kill, with both sides only giving up one goal each. Rapid City went 2/3 on the penalty kill, and Allen went 6/7 on the penalty kill.

The first two periods were not how this series was expected to be played, as the Rush were very dominant. But Allen started to find their game towards the end of the second and found some momentum in the third giving the game more of a playoff-like feel. This was by far one of Rapid City’s more put together games of the season, but the job is not done yet. Friday night, Allen is going to come out mad, wanting to push the Rush further away from the last playoff spot. This means the Rush will have to put this win behind them and come out ready to play on Friday.

The two teams will faceoff Friday, March 29, with puck drop at 7:05 pm MST. The series will wrap up Saturday, March 30, with puck drop also at 7:05 pm MST.

Felicity Harding

Hello! I'm Felicity and I mainly cover the Rapid City Rush in the ECHL here at Inside the Rink. You can find me on Instagram and X/Twitter at @fharding05

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