ECHL: Rapid City Rush Cruise Past the Allen Americans in a 10-5 Win

Photo Credit: Rapid City Rush via Instagram

The Rapid City Rush faced off against the Allen Americans for the first time in the 2023-24 Season in what was an exciting game became a nice win for the Rush with lots of goals, a hat trick, and even a goalie getting into a fight.

1st Period

The Rush came into this game wanting to win and got straight to business. The Rush took a penalty only 39 seconds into the game. But an American’s player turned over the puck, which ended up getting picked up by Keanu Yamamoto, creating a two-on-one with Brett Gravelle. Yamamoto held onto the puck the entire way up the ice and then found the back of the net. The shorthanded goal came only 1:59 into the game from Keanu Yamamoto and was unassisted. The Rush were able to get a couple of other shorthanded chances during the penalty as well, but none of them ended up in the back of the net. The teams then played a lot of back-and-forth hockey for a while until Blake Bennett was able to find the back of the net with a pass from Alex Aleardi. Bennett’s goal gave the Rush a 2-0 lead and was assisted by Alex Aleardi and Charles Martin. The third and final goal of the period came 16:23 into the period for the Americans on the powerplay, bringing them within one of the Rush. The goal came after Kris Myllari shot the puck from the blue line, and Spencer Asuchak deflected the puck in front of Rush goaltender Matt Radomsky. The remaining three and a half minutes saw Allen start to heat up, and the ice started to slant in their favor, but Radomsky and Rapid City’s defense were able to hold the Americans off. The Americans outshot the Rush 13-9 in the first period.

Second Period

The second period then saw an offensive outburst from the Rush, with them scoring five of their ten goals. Rush forward James Hardie got the scoring started in the second period when he got the rebound on his initial attempt to slide the puck under Allen’s goaltender, Leevi Merilainen. Hardie’s goal came 3:36 into the second, giving the Rush a 3-1 lead, and was assisted by Jimmy Soper and Charles Martin. 6:55 into the second, the scoring continued for the Rush when Bennett found the rebound on an Alex Aleardi shot and put the puck in the net, giving Bennett his second of the night. Bennett’s goal was assisted by Aleardi and Maurizio Colella, giving the Rush a 4-1 lead. But, it did not take the Americans long to answer back with a goal from Bennett MacArthur 7:46 into the period, making the score 4-2. Yamamoto then got his second of the game when a shot from Logan Nelson deflected off of Yamamoto as he was crashing the net. Yamamoto’s goal came 12:36 into the period, with the lone assist going to Logan Nelson. It did not take long for the Rush to find the back of the net again to make the score 6-2 as 15 seconds after Yamamoto’s goal, a Tyson Helgesen shot from the blue line deflected off an Allen player and went into the net. Helgesen’s goal came 12:51 into the second and was assisted by Maurizio Colella and Aleardi. This goal saw Americans goaltender Merilainen’s night end as the Americans pulled him and put Chase Perry in. The American’s then took a double-minor for high-sticking and only 11 seconds later took a minor penalty for delay of game. The Rush were able to take advantage of the 5-on-3 with a slapshot coming from James Hardie, giving the Rush a 7-2 lead. The Rapid City Rush absolutely dominated in the second period as they had as many goals in the second as the Americans had shots. The Rush scored five goals and outshot the Americans 20-5 in the second.

3rd Period

After a dominant third period, the Rush started to step off the gas, and it ended up costing them part of their lead as Allen struck twice in 38 seconds. The Rush again took an early penalty, giving the Americans a power play. After the Rush had a couple of shorthanded chances and breakaways, Hank Crone squeezed the puck past Radomsky’s head to put the Americans within four. Crone’s powerplay goal came 4:13 into the third and was assisted by Colby McAuley and Blake Murray. Then, 4:51 into the third, Easton Brodzinski found the back of the net on a wrist shot to put the Americans within three of the Rush. But just 12 seconds later, James Hardie found the back of the net to put the Rush back up 8-4 and completed his hat trick. Hardie’s goal came 5:03 into the period and was assisted by Jimmy Soper and Charles Martin. The next and final goal for Allen came 7:43 into the third when Bennett MacArthur picked up the rebound from Sredl’s original shot. MacArthur’s goal was assisted by Sredl and Eric Williams. 10:04 into the third, a shot from Maurizio Colella found the back of the net to put the Rush up 9-4. Colella’s goal was unassisted. The final goal of the game came 13:59 into the period on a powerplay when Brett Gravelle got behind Allen’s defense and went five-hole on a breakaway. Gravelle’s powerplay goal put the Rush up 10-5 and was assisted by Alex Aleardi. The Rush outshot the Americans 14-12 in the third.

Third Period Fighting

With only 20 seconds left in the game, tempers started to flare, and Rush goaltender Matt Radomsky dropped his gloves with Americans forward Jordan-Ty Fournier. After the fight started everybody had a dance partner, causing many penalties and a few players being sent to the locker room early. Rush forward Rhett Kingston got a two-minute roughing minor and a ten-minute misconduct for continuing altercation, and Radomsky got a five-minute fighting major and a game misconduct for fighting/continuing altercation. On the Allen side of the penalties, Fournier got a two-minute roughing minor, a two-minute cross-checking minor, a five-minute fighting major, and a game misconduct for fighting/continuing altercation. Andrew Jarvis was given a two-minute roughing minor and a ten-minute misconduct for continuing the altercation as 58 of the 98 penalty minutes were handed out in the final 20 seconds of the game.

Final Stats and Thoughts

The Rush ended up beating the Americans 10-5 and outshot the Americans by a total of 43-30. Both teams went 2/5 on their respective powerplays. While the Rush did step off the gas a little in the third period, they still played a pretty dominant game. The main standout players for the Rush were Alex Aleardi, Charles Martin, James Hardie, Blake Bennett, Keanu Yamamoto, and Maurizio Colella. Both Aleardi and Martin had four assists in the 10-4 win. This puts Aleardi at 99 ECHL career assists. James Hardie had a hat trick, giving him four goals in his last two games. Bennett had a pair of goals, and Yamamoto had two goals and an assist,t giving him five points in his last two games. Colella had one goal and two assists, giving him four points in his last two games. The Rush are back in action Friday, December 22, against the Americans again with a puck drop of 6:10 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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