Rapid City Rush Look to Continue Their Win Streak on the Road

Photo Credit: Rapid City Rush via Instagram

The Rapid City Rush are coming off their first home wins of the season and their first home series sweep. Now, they will head to Boise, Idaho to take on the Idaho Steelheads, looking to add more games to the win column.

Last Week

Last week, the Rapid City Rush entered another home series looking for their first home win, still with a record of 0-7-1 at home. But, this time they got different results. The Rapid City Rush were able to play a full 60 all three nights and were able to come out of the week with three home wins under their belt against the Wichita Thunder. The Rush also were able to register a lot of shots. The Rush outscored the Thunder 10-7 and outshot them 135-63. The Rush had 55 shots in Saturday’s game and averaged 45 shots per game. They only allowed Wichita to get an average of 21 shots per game and held them to only 17 shots in Saturday’s game.

Not only were they able to play a full 60 and get pucks on net, they also started to get their special teams figured out. Their special teams are not amazing, but they were definitely better than they have been thus far. After last week, Rapid City’s home powerplay no longer sits last in the league as they were able to go 3/18 on the powerplay. Rapid City’s home powerplay now sits at 10.8% (was 5.3%), putting them in 26th place. Their overall powerplay has gone up to 13.6% (was 12.5%), which brings them up to 25th in the league. While their home penalty kill is still last in the league, the Rush did see improvements on their penalty kill, which went 11/15, last week. Their home penalty kill has gone up to 67.6% after being down at 63.6% coming into the week. Their overall penalty kill did drop down to an even 75.0%, was 75.4%, but their overall penalty kill did move from 24th in the league up to 20th in the league.

Moving Up and Down

The Rapid City Rush did lose Keltie Jeri-Leon on an AHL call-up to the Calgary Wranglers before last Saturday’s game, but Jeri-Leon did not suit up in any games and has now been returned to the Rush. With the Rush this season, Jeri-Leon has played in 20 games where he has four goals and six assists for ten points. He has a plus/minus of +4 and two penalty minutes. Throughout his ECHL career, he has played in 126 games where he has 35 goals and 33 assists for 68 points. He has 14 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -4.

Coming in Hot

After a strong series of play, the Rush have a couple players that are coming into this week with point streaks. Brett Gravelle comes into the series having just hit 100 ECHL career points and has a three-game point streak where he has one goal and three assists for four points. Gravelle has played in 21 games with the Rush this season, with four goals and nine assists for 13 points. He has ten penalty minutes and a plus/minus of +5. Gravelle has played in 139 ECHL games, where he has 46 goals and 56 assists for 102 points. He has 30 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of +16.

Logan Nelson comes into the week on a five-game point streak where he has two goals and four assists for six points. Nelson has played in 19 games for the Rush this season where he has six goals and 11 assists for 17 points. He has eight penalty minutes and a plus/minus of +4. Throughout his ECHL career, Nelson has played in 471 games where he has 128 goals and 205 assists for 333 points. He has 425 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -73.

This Week

This week will be another big test for the Rush as they head on the road. The Rush have done fairly well on the road this season, but they are about to face the Idaho Steelheads who are known for being a tough team to face. Idaho is currently first in the Mountain Division and second in the league with a record of 17-4-0-1. They have a home record of 8-2-0-1. When the Rush saw the Steelheads earlier this season, the Steelheads outscored them 15-7 in three games. In order for the Rush to leave Idaho with any points after this week, they will need to really tighten on defense and pressure Idaho. If the Rush are able to limit Idaho’s ability to enter the zone and get shots off, they might be able to get a few points in the standings. But that does mean the Rush will need to continue to get shots on net like they did against Wichita, and they will need to stay out of the penalty box as that is when the Rush can sometimes fall apart. This series is going to be a really tough series, but it is not impossible for the Rush to beat the Steelheads. The series will start Wednesday with puck drop at 7:10 pm MST. The teams will then play again Friday and Saturday with puck drop at 7:10 pm MST for both games as well.

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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