Rush silence Thunder

Rapid City Rush silence the Thunder Thursday night

RAPID CITY, S.D. – The Rapid City Rush, proud affiliate of the NHL’s Calgary Flames, defeated the Wichita Thunder at home on Thursday night 6-2.

Alex Aleardi, who entered the night with 75 points, shattered the Rush ECHL single-season points scoring record with his second four-point performance of the year. Aleardi helped open the scoring with a secondary assist on a Brett Davis goal less than six minutes into the game.

The line of Davis, Aleardi, and Blake Bennett factored in on four of the six Rush goals in the game. Bennett, the ECHL rookie goal scoring leader, was left off the ECHL all-rookie team despite leading all first-years in goals.

Will Riedell enjoyed a strong showing as well, scoring twice, including a powerplay goal at the end of the first period to stretch the lead to 2-0. Rapid City finished 1-for-1 on the powerplay while the penalty kill staved off all three Wichita powerplays.

Early in the second, Aleardi scored his lone goal of the game to tie Jesse Schultz’s Rush ECHL single-season points record at 77. Bennett and Davis both assisted.

As the period drained to a close, Wichita caught a much-needed break when Nick Nardella batted a rebound out of midair and into the net to break Christian Propp’s shutout bid. Propp finished with 29 saves and has yet to lose a game in regulation in Rapid City.

The Thunder clawed closer late in third period with Mitchell Russell hammering home a one-timer with under five minutes to go, making it a one-goal game. However, the Rush slammed the door on the comeback.

Aleardi and Bennett broke free for a two-on-none chance that saw Aleardi feed Bennett who hammered home a record-breaking goal. Aleardi’s second assist of the night gave him sole possession of the Rush ECHL single-season points record, while Bennett is now tied with Jesse Schultz for the most single-season Rush ECHL goals.

Aleardi added one more assist on Riedell’s second tally, an empty-net goal, and Jake Stella, a rookie forward from UMass-Lowell, scored his first professional goal on an empty-netter set up by Brett Gravelle.

The Rush win nearly dashes the Wichita hopes of the post-season, as the Thunder would need to win both games against the Rush this weekend while two of Utah, Allen, or Tulsa would need to lose every possible point remaining.

Rapid City rematches with the Thunder Friday night at 7:05 p.m. at The Monument.

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Rapid City, US
2:45 pm, July 19, 2024
temperature icon 91°F
clear sky
Humidity 32 %
Pressure 1011 mb
Wind 16 mph
Wind Gust: 26 mph
Visibility: 0 km
Sunrise: 5:27 am
Sunset: 8:30 pm
Kierra Killinger

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