ECHL Game Recap: Rapid City Rush vs. Fort Wayne Komets | 01/12/2024

Photo Credit: Fort Wayne Komets via Instagram

The Rapid City Rush faced off against the Fort Wayne Komets in the second game of their three-game series on Friday night. The Rush came into the game with a record of 3-8-0-0 on Friday games and were looking to improve their record. But what started out as a decent hockey game quickly turned into a nightmare for the Rapid City Rush.

Starting Lineups

The Fort Wayne Komets started the game with a forward trio of Ethan Keppen, Shawn Szydlowski, and Jake Chiasson. The had a defensive pairing of Xavier Bernard and newly acquired Dajon Mingo. The Komets had the same starting goaltender as Wednesday night, Tyler Parks.

The Rapid City Rush started with a very similar starting lineup as Wednesday night. They had a forward trio of Keanu Yamamoto, Brett Gravelle, and Alex Aleardi, who replaced Logan Nelson in the starting lineup. They stuck with the same defensive pairing of Charles Martin and Tyson Helgesen and the same starting goaltender, Matt Radomsky.

Period One

The first period started with some back-and-forth hockey with both teams defending really well and not allowing each other to get very many shots on net. The Rush were trapped in their own defensive zone when they turned over the puck to Fort Wayne. Komets’ forward Carl Berglund got the puck up to defenseman Dajon Mingo, who took a shot from the blue line. The puck ended up in the back of the net. and the Komets took a 1-0 lead. Mingo signed with the Komets and was added to the roster earlier today. His goal was assisted by Carl Berglund and Ethan Keppen. This was the only goal of the first period, and to say this goal was deflated the Rush would be an understatement. The Komets ended up outshooting the Rush 10-4 in the first period.

Period Two

After a rough end to the first period for the Rush, the Rush were looking for a better second period, but it somehow was worse than the first. The Rush played defense for practically the entire period, and it was only a matter of time before a shot found the back of the net. While setup in the offensive zone on a powerplay, Ethan De Jong took a shot that did not get in the net, but Komets forward Ture Linden was able to pick up the rebound and get the puck past Rush goaltender Matt Radomsky. Linden’s goal came 10:01 into the second and was assisted by Ethan De Jong and Jack Dugan. That was the only goal of the second period. The Komets outshot the Rush 17-1 in the second period. Rapid City’s lone shot of the period came 3:37 into the period as they went the rest of the period without getting another shot on net. The Rush were being outshot 27-5 at the end of the second period.

Period Three

The Rush came into the third period with some fire, looking to make a comeback. Komets forward Alexis D’Aoust got behind the Rush defense for a breakaway. Radomsky made the initial save on D’Aoust’s shot, but Komets forward Xavier Cormier was trailing behind him. With Radomsky already out of position after making the breakaway save, Cormier was able to pick up the rebound and find the back of the net to give the Komets a 3-0 lead. Cormier’s goal came 4:09 into the period and was assisted by Alexis D’Aoust and Ture Linden. But, the Rush would not go out without a little bit of a fight. 14:30 into the period, Rush forward Alex Aleardi took a shot that squeezed between Komets goaltender Tyler Parks and the goal post to get the Rush on the board. Aleardi’s powerplay goal was assisted by Maurizio Colella and TJ Fergus. The Rush ended up outshooting the Komets 15-8 in the third period.

Final Recap and Thoughts

Rapid City’s fire and comeback effort came a little too late into the game as they ended up losing 1-3 to the Komets and were outshot by the Komets 35-20. The first period was pretty decent for the Rush until the Komets’ first goal, which absolutely deflated the Rush, and then the second period somehow managed to get worse when they only got one shot the entire period. There were not a whole lot of positives that came out of this game for the Rush, but they were able to hold the Komets to only one powerplay goal, going 4/5 on the penalty kill. Fort Wayne held Rapid City to only one powerplay goal and was able to go 3/4 on the penalty kill. The main star in this game for the Rush was goaltender Matt Radomsky. Radomsky stopped 32 of 35 shots and most definitely kept the team in the game, making some really good saves, especially in the second period. Komets goaltender Tyler Parks made 19 saves on the 20 shots he faced.

The Rush and Komets will finish off their series today, January 13, with the game starting 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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