Starting with the visiting Kansas City Mavericks, they started with a forward trio of Justin Nachbaur, Max Andreev, and former Rapid City Rush forward Garrett Klotz, who played in his 600th professional game. They had Marc-Olivier Duquette and Jake McLaughlin on the blue line, with former Rush goaltender Dillon Kelley between the pipes.
The Rapid City Rush started with a forward trio of Alex Aleardi, Maurizio Colella, and Brett Gravelle. They had a defensive pairing of Tyson Helgesen and Charles Martin with Matt Radomsky in net.
The Kansas City Mavericks came out with a lot of fire and momentum in the first period. The Mavericks struck first with 14:54 left in the period. The goal came from Jeremy McKenna, with the assists going to Jacob Hayhurst and Mark-Olivier Duquette. The goal was scored on Kansas City’s fourth shot of the game, and the Rush had yet to register a shot on goal at the time of Kansas City’s goal. Rapid City’s first shot on net came with 12:54 left in the period.
With 6:57 left in the first, Riley Ginnell scored his first career goal to tie the game at one. Ginnell’s powerplay goal was assisted by Tyson Helgesen and Charles Martin. To say Ginnell’s goal fired up the team would be an understatement.
“It’s pure excitement. Anytime a guy scores his first career or pro goal it’s a big deal. He’s battling and grinding in practice, working hard to get that first goal,” said Rush Captain Alex Aleardi on Ginnell’s first professional goal.
The first period ended tied at one, with the Mavericks outshooting the Rush 10-8.
The Rush started the second period on a powerplay but were not able to convert. The Mavericks ended up finding momentum after the penalty was killed, but the Rush were able to find their own momentum to take the lead. With 14:47, the Rush got a 3-on-3 heading down the ice. Rush forward Simon Boyko was able to find the back of the net to give the Rush their first lead of the game. Boyko’s goal was assisted by Billy Constantinou and Blake Bennett. Rapid City’s lead would not last long as Maverick’s forward Patrick Curry was able to pick up a rebound and put it in the back of the net. The assists on Curry’s goal went to Ryan Jones and Garrett Klotz.
The Mavericks would then regain the lead with 6:59 left in the period, thanks to a goal from Nolan Walker. Walker was able to squeeze the puck past Rush goaltender Matt Radomsky’s helmet to find the back of the net. Walker’s powerplay goal was unassisted. The Mavericks took a 3-2 lead with them to the locker room at the end of the second period. They outshot the Rush 13-9 in the second period.
The Mavericks came out fast in the third period scoring only 1:19 into the period. Maverick’s forward Nolan Walker got his second goal of the night to give the Mavericks a 4-2 lead. Walker’s second goal was assisted by Cade Borchardt and Patrick Curry. Walker’s goal was the only goal of the third period. Rapid City outshot the Mavericks 11-9 in the third period.
First- Cade Borchardt (KC)
Second- Patrick Curry (KC)
Third- Nolan Walker (KC)
Final Stats and Thoughts
The Kansas City Mavericks ended up winning by a final score of 4-2 and outshot the Rush 33-30.
“[We played] much better. We did a lot of right things still a couple minor mistakes that cost us, ended up in the back of our net. Overall, [Kansas City’s] the number one team in the league, and we hung with them in tonight’s game,” said Aleardi after the game.
The Rush definitely brought a lot more fight with them in this game and were able to show that they can play with teams that are higher in the standings. Both goaltenders played pretty good games, with Rush goaltender Matt Radomsky making 29 saves on 33 shots and Maverick’s goaltender Dillon Kelley making 28 saves on 30 shots. The Rush went 1/5 on the powerplay and 2/3 on the penalty kill.
The Rush are next in action Wednesday, February 14th, for their school day game at home against the Idaho Steelheads with puck drop at 10:35 am MST. “[These are] must win games. Just like every other game, don’t approach it any differently. Every game coming up here is massive as we head into the stretch towards playoffs,” Rush forward Riley Ginnell said of the upcoming series against Idaho.
The Mavericks are next in action Friday, February 16th, against the Wichita Thunder in Wichita, Kansas, with puck drop at 7:05 pm CST.