ECHL Game Recap: Rapid City Rush vs. Maine Mariners | 02/04/2024

Photo Credit: Rapid City Rush via Instagram

The Rapid City Rush and Maine Mariners faced off in their series finale Sunday afternoon where an energized Mariners team created a lot of issues for an undisciplined Rush team.

Related Post: Maine Mariners Forward Nathan Noel Suspended

Starting Lineups

For the final game of the series, the Rush started with the same forward trio of Simon Boyko, Brett Gravelle, and Logan Nelson. They stayed with Billy Constantinou on the blue line, but Kenton Helgesen replaced his brother, Tyson, as Constantinou’s linemate. The Rush changed things up in net with Connor Murphy between the pipes.

The Mariners also changed up their starting lineup as they had a forward trio of Wyllum Deveaux, Gabe Guertler, and Tyler Drevitch. They had a defensive pairing of Alex Sheehy and Zach Malatesta with Shane Starrett in net.

First Period

The game started with Maine controlling the puck, but the Rush were able to find the back of the net first. 17:23 into the period, the Mariners turned over the puck, and Rush forward Simon Boyko picked up the puck and and found the back of the net. His goal gave the Rush a 1-0 lead and was unassisted. Boyko’s goal was the only goal of the first period, where the Rush outshot the Mariners 10-9.

Second Period

The second period was massively dominated by the Mariners, which helped them tie up the game. While on the powerplay, Mariners defenseman Gabriel Chicoine took a shot from the blue line. Mariners forward Adam Mechura was able to pick up the rebound and send it home. Mechura’s game-tying powerplay goal came 6:25 into the second period and was assisted by Chicoine and Brooklyn Kalmikov. The second period was also a one-goal period, although Maine did score 10:53 into the period, but the goal was waived off for goaltender interference. Rush goaltender Connor Murphy kept the Rush in the game, making many saves as the Mariners outshot them 20-6 in the period.

Third Period

The third period saw a lot more action, with Maine taking an early lead. 1:23 into the period, Mariners defenseman Ryan Mast was able to find a rebound in front of Connor Murphy to give the Mariners a 2-1 lead. Mast’s goal was assisted by Curtis Hall and Ethan Ritchie. 5:32 into the period, Rush defenseman took a shot and went bardown to tie the game at two. Martin’s powerplay goal was assisted by Alex Aleardi and Blake Bennett. Maine ended up regaining the lead 17:29 into the period with a powerplay goal from Mariners forward Curtis Hall. Hall’s powerplay goal and eventual game-winning goal were assisted by Brooklyn Kalmikov and Gabriel Chicoine. Rapid City ended up outshooting the Mariners 12-10 in the third period, but it just was not enough to get the win.

Final Stats and Thoughts

Both goaltenders played really good games, with Shane Starrett stopping 26 of 28 shots faced and Connor Murphy stopping 36 of 39 shots faced. Both teams were also able to find some success on their respective powerplays as Rapid City went 1/4 and Maine went 2/5. This game was by far Maine’s best game of the series as the were able to possess and control the puck a lot more than the previous two games, and they were able to get a lot more quality chances. The Rush did not have as great of a game as they could not control the puck very well and were making a lot of little mistakes. While the Rush only had eight penalties against them, many of them were the results of playing undisciplined, not controlling their stick, and letting their tempers get the best of them.

The Maine Mariners are back in action for a two-game series starting on Friday, February 9th. They will take on the Worcester Railers, with puck drop at 7:05 p.m. EST. The series will conclude on Saturday, February 10th, with puck drop at 7:05 p.m. EST.

The Rapid City Rush will also have a two-game series starting on Friday, February 9th. They will take on the Kansas City Mavericks, with puck drop at 7:05 p.m. MST, and the series will conclude on Saturday, February 10th, with puck drop at 7:05 p.m. 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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