ECHL Series Preview: Rapid City Rush vs. Kansas City Mavericks | 03/15-16/2024

Em Behringer/InsideTheRink

The Rapid City Rush are headed to Independence, Missouri, to take on the Kansas City Mavericks in a two game series.

Last Week

Last week, the Rapid City Rush took on the Utah Grizzlies, where they took five of a possible six points on the weekend. the won the first game 3-2 in overtime, lost the second game 5-4 in overtime, and then won the third game 5-1. This was one of Rapid City’s better-played series this season, as they were able to play more as a team and get more accurate shots off. The Rush averaged 33 shots per game and were able to outshoot the Grizzlies in two of the three games. While the Rush played really well against the Grizzlies, they are going to have to step their game up another couple of notches as they take on the Kansas City Mavericks.

Milestones

The Rapid City Rush have a couple of players who could hit milestones this weekend. Rush forward Logan Nelson could hit 200 points in a Rush uniform, as he currently sits at 197. This season, Nelson has played in 56 games for the Rush where he has 17 goals and 38 assists for 55 points. He has 22 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of +8. In his time with the Rush, Nelson has played in 208 games, where he has 70 goals and 127 assists for 197 points. He has 179 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -12. In 508 ECHL games played, Nelson has 139 goals and 232 assists for 371 points. He has 439 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -69.

If activated from injured reserve, defenseman TJ Fergus could play in his 100th ECHL game, as he currently sits at 98. This season, Fergus has played in 36 games for the Rush, where he has two goals and 14 assists for 16 points. He has ten penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -6. In 98 ECHL games played, Fergus has six goals and 32 assists for 38 points. He has 18 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -7.

Hot Streak

The Rush have three players on hot streaks coming into this series, starting with defencemen Billy Constantinou. In his last three games played, Constantinou has four points, one goal, and three assists. In 17 games played with the Rush this season, Constantinou has two goals and seven assists for nine points. He has zero penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -6. Rush forward Logan Nelson is also on a point streak. In the last seven games, Nelson has three goals and seven assists for a combined total of ten points.

Rush forward Alex Aleardi is on an eight-game point streak. He has four goals and seven assists for a total of 11 points. In 58 games played with the Rush, Aleardi has 21 goals and 37 assists for 58 points. He has 49 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of +1.

Blake Bennett is not on a point streak, but he has been hot for the Rush recently. In his last ten games played, he has six goals and three assists for nine points. In his most recently played game, Bennett had a two-point night with a goal and an assist. In 58 games played with the Rush this season, Bennett has 26 goals and 18 assists for 44 points. He has 30 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -15.

Roster Changes

The Rapid City Rush saw a few changes to their roster this week starting with Will Riedell being reassigned to the Rush from the Calgary Wranglers in the AHL. While with the Wranglers, Riedell played in nine games where he had one goal and one assist for two points. He had two penalty minutes and a plus/minus of +1. In his time with the Rush this season, Riedell has two goals and five assists for seven points. He has 11 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -5.

The Rush also signed Rylee St. Onge from Robert Morris University (RMU). With Robert Morris, St. Onge played in 38 games where he had 11 goals and nine assists for 20 points. He had 45 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -18. St. Onge spent the three seasons prior at Mercyhurst University where he played in 69 games with 24 goals and 18 assists for 42 points. He had 45 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -1.

While the Rush gained a couple players, they also lost a couple. The Rush announced that forward Simon Boyko has been suspended in order for the team to protect his rights. Boyko headed back down to the SPHL to his prior team, the Fayetteville Marksmen who are in making a push for the playoffs. With the Rush, Boyko played in 19 games where he had eight goals and three assists for 11 points. He had four penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -2.

The Rush also lost goaltender Connor Murphy back to an AHL with the Calgary Wranglers. Murphy played in three games during his short stint with the Rush, where he played in a total of 186:13 and went 2-0-1-0. he faced 98 shots and had 90 saves for a save percentage of .918 and a goals against average of 2.67.

This Week

This week, the Rush are headed to Independence, Missouri, to take on the Kansas City Mavericks. The Rush have a record of 1-5-1-0 against the Mavericks this season. The Mavericks are currently first in the Mountain Division and first in the league with a record of 43-10-4-1 for 91 points and a win percentage of .784. They currently have ae record at home of 19-8-2-0 and are 7-1-2-0 in their last ten games. The Rush are currently last in the Mountain Division and 27th in the league with a record of 22-33-3-0 for 47 points and a win percentage of .405. There are 14-15-2-0 on the road and are 3-6-1-0 in their last ten games. The Rush are currently on a three game point streak with a record of 2-0-1-0 in that time, meanwhile the Mavericks are on a nine game point streak with a record of 7-0-2-0 in that time.

This week is going to be a big week for the Rush as they will be hoping to steal a few points from the Mavericks, but it is not going to be an easy week at all for the Rush. If the Rush put in the work and play as a team, it will not be impossible to beat the Mavericks. The Mavericks are a hot team right now and will not go easy on the Rush in this series, but that does not mean the Rush should be counted out. One big thing to watch with the Rush will be the new college players, Rylee St. Onge and Peter Muzyka, the Rush have acquired to see how they fit in the team.

The series will kick off Friday, March 15, with puck drop at 6:35 pm MDT. The season will wrap up Saturday, March 16, with puck drop at 5:05 pm MDT.

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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