Rapid City Rush Look to Gain Consistency with a Home Series

Photo Credit: Rapid City Rush via Instagram

The Rapid City Rush are welcoming the Iowa Heartlanders to the Black Hills this weekend for a 3-in-3 series while looking to find some consistency in their season.

Last Week

The Rapid City Rush were on the road last week against the Allen Americans, where they only took two out of a possible six points. The Rush won the first game 10-5, but then ended up losing the second and third games 7-2 and 3-2. After the first game, the Rush just could not find the back of the net anymore, but it was not for a lack of shots. The Rush outshot the Americans 40-31 in the second game and 43-32 in the third game. While the Rush were able to go 4/15 on the powerplay, scoring at least one powerplay goal per game. But, the Rush only went 7/13 on the penalty kill for only a 53.8% success rate, which is not a great percentage for a penalty kill.

Possible Milestones

The Rapid City Rush have three players that will most likely hit milestones this weekend, two of which have multiple milestones.

The first player is Alex Aleardi, who could hit four milestones this weekend. Aleardi will most likely play in his 200th ECHL game and 100th Rush game on Friday, as he currently has played in 199 ECHL games and 99 Rush games. Aleardi could also hit 200 ECHL points and 100 Rush points, as he currently sits at 195 ECHL points and 94 points with the Rush. This season, Aleardi has played in 27 games where he has ten goals and 19 assists for 29 points. He has 12 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of +1. In 99 Rush games, Aleardi has 40 goals and 54 assists for 94 points. He has 44 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -5. In 199 ECHL games, Aleardi has 93 goals and 102 assists for 195 points. He has 112 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of +19.

The second player is Keanu Yamamoto, who will most likely play in his 100th ECHL and 100th Rush game on Saturday, as he currently sits at 98 ECHL and Rush games. This season, Yamamoto has played in 27 games, where he has nine goals and ten assists for 19 points. He has 12 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of +3. In 98 ECHL games, he has 27 goals and 37 assists for 64 points. He has 40 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -12.

Brandon Yeamans will most likely play in his 100th ECHL game on Sunday, as he currently sits at 97 games played. Yeamans played in ten games this season with the Allen Americans where he has zero goals and one assist for one point. He had 33 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -6. This season with the Rush, Yeamans has two goals and one assist for three points. He has ten penalty minutes and a plus/minus of +1. In 97 ECHL games, Yeamans has ten goals and seven assists for 17 points. He has 186 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -19.

Hot Streaks

The Rapid City Rush have a couple players coming into this weekend on point streaks and a couple other players coming into the weekend with a hot stick.

Maurizio Colella and Alex Aleardi are both coming into the weekend on four-game points streaks. Colella has three goals and three assists for six points in the last four games. Aleardi has one goal and seven assists for eight points in the last four games; four of his assists came in Rapid City’s 10-5 win last week.

While Blake Bennett and Charles Martin are not on point streaks, they have had a lot of success recently. In the last three games, Bennett has three goals and one assist for four points. In the last four games, Martin has zero goals and eight assists for eight points.

Returning Face

The Rapid City Rush announced that they acquired forward Mason McCarty from the Reading Royals in exchange for cash considerations. This is not the first time McCarty will be playing for the Rush, as he started his professional career with the Rush in the 2018-19 season. In the 2018-19 season, McCarty played in 15 games where he had six goals and four assists for ten points. He had 18 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of +4. This season with Reading, McCarty played in 14 games where he had one goal and four assists for five points. He had eight penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -1. McCarty has played in 72 ECHL games, where he has 20 goals and 20 assists for 40 points. He has 52 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -6.

This Week

The Rapid City Rush started their 2023-24 ECHL season against the Iowa Heartlanders in Iowa. The Rush played two games against the Heartlanders where they won both games by scores of 4-2 and 4-3. The Rush have struggled with special teams almost all season, and the powerplay struggled even when they played against the Heartlanders, as they went 1/5 on the powerplay. But the penalty kill was pretty good, as they were able to go 6/7 on the penalty kill. In the second game of the series, the Rush had something unusual happen as both teams were awarded penalty shots. The Rush were able to score on theirs thanks to Alex Aleardi, but Iowa was unable to score on theirs, with Connor Murphy making the save for the Rush. This will be an interesting series as both teams played each other very early in the season when the teams were still finding chemistry and ways to click. Now, Iowa is eighth in the Western Conference with a record of 11-12-4-1 for 27 points. The Rush are 12th in the Western Conference with a record of 11-14-2-0 for a total of 24 points.

Both teams are currently fifth in their respective divisions, but they are tied in standings points with their respective fourth-place teams; Rapid City is tied with the Wichita Thunder, while Iowa is tied with the Cincinnati Cyclones. Iowa has a record on the road of 4-9-0-0, which is normally good news for a team, but the Rush have really struggled on home ice this season with a record of 3-7-0-0. Both teams are going to come in looking for a win as they are both looking to snap two-game losing streaks. This could make the series a very tight and physical series as both teams are looking to snap their losing streak and start a winning streak. Both teams will be looking to find their footing and move up in the standings.

The teams will face off against each other Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with all three games starting at 7:05 pm 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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

ECHL Eastern Conference Finals Recap: Adirondack Thunder vs Florida Everblades Game 3 | 05/22/2024

The Adirondack Thunder and Florida Everblades played Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday Night as the series shifted to Estero. During the regular season, the Adirondack Thunder had their struggles vs. Everblades at Hertz Arena as they got swept during the three-game series in February, and Florida had won their last three […]

Read More

ECHL: Another Rapid City Rush Forward Signs with the Dundee Stars in the EIHL

Rapid City Rush forward Keanu Yamamoto has signed to play in Scotland for the 2024-25 season. He will be joining teammate Brett Gravelle and the Dundee Stars of the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL), whose teams are located in the United Kingdom. Collegiate Career Before going pro, Yamamoto spent five seasons at McGill University in […]

Read More

ECHL: Reading Royals 2023-2024 Season Review

Season Record It was no secret that Reading had a tough season. It takes a toll on a team, from losing games to losing a head coach in the middle of the season, to not making the playoffs. The Royals concluded the 2023-2024 season with a record of 29-35-6-2. The record at home ended the […]

Read More