The Rapid City Rush Look to Continue Their Home Win Streak

Photo Credit: Rapid City Rush via Instagram

The Rapid City Rush are back at home this week against the Fort Wayne Komets and will be looking to extend their six-game home win streak.

Last Week

The Rapid City Rush were in Tulsa, Oklahoma this past week to take on the Tulsa Oilers, but, things did not go in the way of the Rush in Tulsa. The Rush were only able to take two out of the six possible points while in Tulsa, losing the first two games by scores of 6-3 and 3-0. But they were able to win the third game by a score of 4-3 to bring some momentum back with them to the Black Hills. One area the Rush struggled in during the games was the powerplay, as they went 1/9 in the series. The Rush did have some good looks on some of their powerplays, but Tulsa was able to control the puck more and limit Rapid City’s powerplay chances. While the powerplay was not able to find a lot of success, the penalty kill was as they were able to go 12/12 on the weekend, not allowing Tulsa to find any success on their powerplays. This is a pretty big step in the right direction for the Rush, considering their penalty kill was last in the league earlier in the season. One area the Rush were pretty weak in this past week was playing with an empty net. The Rush allowed Tulsa to get three empty net goals, two on Friday and one on Saturday. If the Rush are able to start finding ways to convert with the extra man, they may be able to start making some late third-period comebacks to win games or force overtime. This may be hard as the Rush do not have a lot of consistency with which defensemen are on the roster and able to play, but it is definitely not impossible.

Milestones

The Rush have a few players who could hit some milestones this weekend. The first milestone is for forward Jimmy Soper. Soper will most likely play in his 200th ECHL game, as he currently sits at 197. This season, Soper has played in 33 games with the Rush, where he has five goals and seven assists for 12 points. He has 31 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -25. Currently, in his fifth ECHL season, Soper has played in 197 games, putting up 44 goals and 64 assists for 108 points. He has 214 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -17.

Defenseman Kenton Helgesen was put on reserve by the Rush, but in the case that he is brought off reserve, he could play in his 100th game with the Rush as he currently sits at 98. Helgesen suffered a lower-body injury last season, which caused him to not sign with the Rush at the start of this season. But so far this season, Helgesen has played in eight games where he has one assist. He has 14 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -2. In 98 games with the Rush, Kenton has seven goals and 31 assists for 38 points. He has 141 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of +1. In seven seasons in the ECHL, he has played in 212 games, where he has 18 goals and 59 assists for 77 points. He has 235 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -23.

Rush Forward Alex Aleardi also has some milestones he could hit this weekend. Aleardi will most likely hit 200 ECHL points, as he currently has 199, and he will most likely hit 100 points with the Rush, as he currently has 98. He could also hit 100 ECHL goals, as he currently sits at 95. This season, Aleardi has played in 33 games with the Rush, where he has 12 goals and 21 assists for 33 points. He has 16 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of +1. In his two seasons with the Rush, he has played in 105 games, where he has 42 goals and 56 assists for 98 points. He has 48 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -5. Aleardi is currently in his fifth ECHL season. He has played in 205 games, where he has 95 goals and 104 assists for 199 points. He has 116 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of +19.

Coming in Hot

After being shutout on Friday against the Tulsa Oilers, the Rush do not have a lot of players on points streaks. But they do have one player who is currently on a point streak at home. Forward Logan Nelson is currently on a seven-game home-point streak. In that time, Nelson has four goals and five assists for nine points, and will be looking to add to that this week at home.

He Is Back

The Rapid City Rush have announced that defenseman Charles Martin is back from a short stint with the Calgary Wranglers. Martin did not get to play in any games with the Wranglers, but he did get to take the ice for warmups in a game with the Wranglers. This is a pretty big return for the Rush, as Martin has been arguably one of the better and more consistent defensemen for the Rush this season. In 28 games played with the Rush, he has one goal and 16 assists for 17 points. He has 18 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of +11.

This Week

The Rapid City Rush are welcoming the Fort Wayne Komets back to the Black Hills for the first time since November 2018 where the Rush went 1-2 against the Komets. The Rush played the Komets in March 2023, winning the first game in a shootout and then losing the other two games. The Komets are currently fourth in the Western Conference, while the Rush are tenth. The Komets have a record of 17-14-1-2 for 37 points. They are 5-5 in their last ten games and have been able to find some success on the road this season, as they have a record of 9-6-0-1. The Rush currently have a record of 15-16-2 for 32 points and a win percentage of 0.485. They are 6-4 in their last ten games and are 6-7-1-0 at home. While the Rush did have a rough start to their season at home, they are on a six-game win streak with back-to-back sweeps at home.

This weekend could be a very fun weekend of hockey as these are two teams that do not get to play each other a whole lot and really do not know a lot about each other. The Komets are coming to Rapid City after playing the Iowa Heartlanders in Fort Wayne in a two-game series where they went 1-1. Meanwhile, the Rush are coming back home after going 1-2 in Tulsa. Both teams will be coming to the Black Hills looking for wins and more standings points. The Komets are a team that is known for being hard to play against, but they are coming to play against a Rush team that is currently red hot at home. This could make for a very physical, intense, and fun series between the two teams this weekend.

The series will start Wednesday night, with the puck dropping at 7:05 pm MST. The series will the continue Friday night and end Saturday night with both puck drops at 7:05 pm MST also.

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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