ECHL Game Recap: Rapid City Rush vs. Allen Americans | 3/30/2024

Photo Credit: Rapid City Rush via Instagram

The Rapid City Rush and Allen Americans faced off in the series finale of their three-game series on Saturday night.

Starting Lineups

The Allen Americans started the game with a forward trio of Grant Hebert, Mikael Robidoux, and Solag Bakich. They had a defensive pairing of Ryan Gagnon and Andrew Jarvis with Marco Costantini in the net.

The Rapid City Rush started with Alex Aleardi, Brett Davis, and Blake Bennett as their forward trio. They had a defensive pairing of Zack Hoffman and Tyson Helgesen with Christian Propp between the pipes again.

First Period

The first period did not have a whole lot of action as it was a lot of back-and-forth chances, with both teams seeing their own fair share of chances. Unlike the first two games of the series, the Americans were the first to find the back of the net. 5:29 into the first period, the Rush turned over the puck in their own zone. Liam Finlay was able to get the puck and send it home to give the Rush a 1-0 lead. Finlay’s goal was assisted by Colby McAuley and Chaz Smedsrud.

Allen would end the period with a 1-0 lead after the Rush outshot them 12-11 in the first period.

Second Period

After finding success in the first period, the Americans came out with a lot more energy than the Rush did to start the second period. 17 seconds into the first period, Americans forward Mikael Robidoux was left uncovered with a wide-open net and was able to shoot it in, giving the Americans a 2-0 lead. Robidoux’s goal was assisted by Colin Jacobs and Grant Hebert. Then, 1:15 into the second, the Rush failed to clear the puck out of the zone and gave Americans forward Liam Finlay a 1-on-1 chance with Christian Propp as Finlay was able to beat Rush goaltender Christian Propp on his glove side to give the Americans a 3-0 lead.

The Rush had dug themselves a hole early on, but they were not going to go out quietly. 3:13 into the period, Rush forwards Blake Bennett and Ilya Nikolaev entered the zone 2-on-2. Bennet found Nikolaev who sniped it home to get the Rush on the board making the score 3-1. Nikolaev’s goal was assisted by Bennett and Alex Aleardi.

The rest of the second period was pretty quiet without anymore goals. The Americans would take a 3-1 lead into the locker room after being outshot by the Rush 12-8 in the second period.

Third Period

After a rough first and second period, the Rush came out with a lot more fire in the third. 14:51 into the period, Blake Bennet found Rylee St. Onge in front of the net. St. Onge was then able to sneak the puck past Americans goaltender Marco Costantini to make it 3-2. St. Onge’s first professional goal was assisted by Keanu Yamamoto and Zach Taylor. A little over 30 seconds later, Blake Bennett put a shot on net. Costantini missed the puck, and Rush forward Alex Aleardi picked up the rebound and put it home to tie the game at three. Blake Bennett and Brett Davis assisted Aleardi’s goal.

The third period would end tied at three after the Rush outshot the Americans 12-4.

Overtime

The Rush started out in control in overtime but only registered one shot on net. The Rush then got stuck in their own zone with Allen in control of the puck. 2:50 into the overtime period, Ty Farmer was able to shoot the puck on net and beat Christian Propp on his blocker side to win the game for the Americans. Farmer’s goal was assisted by Colby McAuley and Ryan Gagnon.

Both teams only registered one shot on goal in overtime.

Final Stats and Thoughts

The Americans won the game by a score of 4-3 after being outshot by the Rush 24-37. Rush goaltender Christian Propp made 20 saves on 24 shots for a save percentage of .833. Americans goaltender Marco Costantini had 34 saves on 37 shots for a save percentage of .919. Both teams did well on the penalty kill, but neither team could convert on the powerplay as both teams went 0/2 on their respective powerplays.

This game was not one of Rapid City’s best games as they came out a bit flat-footed and were not getting the best shots on net. After digging themselves into in a hole early on, they were able to get themselves back in the game to take one of two possible points, but the team would have benefitted a lot more from getting both points. The main highlight of this game for Rapid City was that they continued to be resilient and fight to get themselves back into the game after going down early.

The Allen Americans will next be in action Wednesday, April 3, to take on the Wichita Thunder on the road with a puck drop time of 10:30 am CDT. They will then be back on home ice Friday, April 5, and Saturday, April 6, to take on the Adirondack Thunder with puck drop at 7:10 pm CDT. The series with Adirondack will wrap up on Sunday, April 7, with an early puck drop time of 2:10 pm CDT.

The Rapid City Rush will next be in action Wednesday, April 3, to take on the Idaho Steelheads in Boise, Idaho, with puck drop at 7:10 pm MDT. The series will continue Friday, April 5, and will wrap up Saturday, April 6, with puck drop at 7:10 pm MDT for both games.

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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