ECHL: The Rapid City Rush Look to Continue Their Winning Ways on the Road

Photo Credit: Rapid City Rush via Instagram

The Rapid City Rush currently have a record of 1-3 against the Tulsa Oilers this season. This weekend, the Rush will be looking to flip that record around.

Last Week

The Rapid City Rush had a very shaky start to their season, especially at home. But it seems that they may have started to find their groove now. This past weekend, the Rush welcomed the Iowa Heartlanders to the Black Hills, where they ended up getting a sweep against the Heartlanders, winning their games by scores of 4-2, 3-2, and 3-2. The Rush are now on a six-game winning streak at home and earned their second home sweep of the season, with the other being the home series prior. The Rush played really well in the first game, where they led the entire game and were able to hold off Iowa until late in the second period. But the Saturday and Sunday night games were a different story as the Rush had to work from behind and were able to come back from a two-goal deficit on Saturday and two one-goal deficits on Sunday. Both teams played exceptionally well on the penalty kill as the Rush went 11/12 on the penalty kill, and the Heartlanders went 10/11 on the penalty kill. While both teams were pretty good on the penalty kill, the Rush were able to get a foot up on the Heartlanders as they received a shorthanded goal in the Saturday game thanks to Alex Aleardi, who Jimmy Soper set up.

Last Series Against Tulsa

The Rush have played the Oilers four times this season and have a record of 1-3-0-0 against them, with one game being in Tulsa and the other three in Rapid City. The one game the Rush won was the game in Tulsa, while the Oilers won all three that were in Rapid City. This could be a good sign for the Rush, as this series has favored the road team. The Rush won their one game against the Oilers by a score of 4-3. While the three games they lost were by scores of 4-1 and lost by a score of 5-2 twice. Thus far, against the Oilers, the Rush don’t have any players who really stand out and dominate against the Oilers. This weekend could be the week that the Rush have a few players start to dominate in guys, such as Alex Aleardi or Blake Bennett, as both players have really found their stride recently and are finding the back of the net more often.

Milestones

The Rapid City Rush only have one player who has the chance to hit a milestone this weekend, and that guy is Alex Aleardi. Aleardi could register his 200th ECHL point this weekend, as he currently sits at 196. This season, Aleardi has played in 30 games where he has 11 goals and 19 assists for 30 points. He has 14 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of +3. Aleardi is currently in his fifth ECHL season, playing in 202 games with 94 goals and 102 assists for 196 points. He has 114 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of +21.

Roster Moves

The Rush have been pretty busy this week with making changes to their roster as they traded two players and released another. The Rush traded forward Keltie Jeri-Leon to the Savannah Ghost Pirates to complete future considerations earlier in the season that saw the Rush gain rights to defenseman Will Riedell. In 28 games with the Rush, Jeri-Leon had seven goals and seven assists for 14 points. He had four penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -1.

In a separate trade, the Rush sent forward Ty Enns to the Iowa Heartlanders in exchange for future considerations. In seven games with the Rush, Enns had zero goals and one assist for one point. He had four penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -7.

The final transaction the Rush had was placing forward Weiland Parrish on waivers. Parrish did not register a point in 12 games with the Rush. He had two penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -4. Parrish ended up signing with the Quad City Storm in the SPHL.

This Week

This weekend’s series will be a battle for third place as the Rapid City Rush currently sit in third, one point ahead of the Tulsa Oilers. The Oilers have a record of 13-14-3-0 for a win percentage of 0.483 with 29 points. Meanwhile, the Rush have a record of 14-14-2-0 for a win percentage of 0.500 with 30 points. The Rush are currently hot, as they are on a three-game winning streak, while the Oilers are not, as they are currently on a seven-game losing streak. While this may seem good for the Rush, it may not be, as this may mean the Oilers will be coming out angry and hungry for a win. While games with the Rush and Oilers are always pretty physical and intense, the Oilers seven game losing streak could cause the physicality and intensity of the game to go up a notch or three. The Rush are 6-3-1-0 in their last ten games and are 8-7-1-0 on the road. The Oilers are 3-7-0-0 in their previous ten games and are 8-5-2-0 at home. The Rush and Oilers seem to be pretty evenly matched, minus Tulsa’s current losing streak, which could create a really entertaining series. This series could quite possibly come down to which team comes out harder and hungrier for a win, which team makes the least mistakes, or which team can capitalize on the most mistakes.

The series will start on Friday with puck drop at 6:05 pm MST. The series will continue on Saturday with the game starting at 6:05 pm MST again, and the series will conclude on Sunday with an early puck drop of 3:05 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

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