RAPID CITY, SD — The Rapid City Rush started the season strong with an impressive list of stats that helped lead the team to dance at the top of the division numerous times.
The team is suffering a minor slump, however, as the calendar turns to 2019 and the Rush take to the road to start the new year.
Ending on a Low Note
Heading into the final month of 2018 the Rush were flirting with the top spot in the Mountain Division as well as a Top 10 spot in the entire league.
The wheels started to rattle, though, as a handful of tough games dealt the Boys from the Black Hills some difficult losses.
Through December Rapid City posted a 5-8-0-1 record and is currently in the midst of a 4-game slump.
Most recently Rapid City suffered a difficult sweep to the visiting Idaho Steelheads being outscored 15-2 in the first two games and losing a 6-5 back-and-forth contest to close out New Year’s Eve.
It doesn’t help that they faced Tomas Sholl during those first two games who leads the league in save percentage with 0.940.
Rush netminder Adam Carlson has fallen to #9 in the league in the same statistical category, with a 0.920 SV%, and is boasting a 10-7-2-2 record through 22 games.
Trio Down to Two
To ring in the New Year the Rush completed their trade agreement with the Atlanta Gladiators. They sent netminder Michael Bitzer down south to complete the trade that started with Darby Llewellyn at the start of the season.
Gut Check Time
The “never say die” attitude will be in full effect in the month of January as the Rush look to get back above 0.500 while facing stiff competition.
Rapid City starts the new year with a road trip to Kansas City to take on the #5 team in the division. Both teams split their 2-game series earlier this season in Rapid City with the Mavs getting a 3-2 win in regulation followed by the Rush securing a 4-3 win in overtime.
You can be sure the Mavs will be ready for everything the Rush plan on throwing at them this weekend.
Following that 2-game series the Rush will travel to #3 team in the Mountain Division, Tulsa, for a mid-week tilt before welcoming the Oilers to the friendly confines of the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center for a Friday/Saturday series.
The January home stand will conclude with the current league leader, the Florida Everblades.
If they hope to climb back up the standings they need to quickly learn from their recent losses and move on. We’ll know soon enough which direction this team is headed and if they can regroup and regain their early season success.
Rapid City travels to Kansas City for a 2-game series on Friday and Saturday at the Siverstein Eye Centers Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:05pm MT.