Rapid City Rush optimistic about upcoming season
RAPID CITY, S.D. – The Rapid City Rush never found their stride last season and missed the playoffs for the fourth year in a row.
But the team is feeling optimistic heading into the new season after making several changes including hiring a new team president and renewing their affiliation with the Arizona Coyotes.
The Rush are set to open the new season with three games on the road.
Rapid City will play the Allen Americans on Friday, Oct. 11 followed by a game against Wichita on Saturday and Tulsa on Sunday.
Rapid City finished sixth in the Mountain Division last year with a 30-33-9 record for 69 points.
Scoring more goals this year is a priority for head coach Daniel Tetrault after the Rush finished last in the league with just 168 goals.
“I’ve got some good talent here this season,” Rush head coach Daniel Tetrault said. “Guys that can put the puck in the net. It’s a situation where I never had here in the previous seasons. We’ve got some high end talent. Guys that have scored at the major junior level or at the college level. Actually a couple of guys that played a lot of American League games. It just solidifies my lineup. And scoring, I believe, is not going to be a problem this year like it was last year.”
Rapid City lost its top goalie from last year, Adam Carlson, who’s now playing in the American Hockey League.
But the Rush return 12 players from last year including forward Cedric Montminy who finished with a team high 38 points.
Rapid City also has seven players on its roster from the Tucson Roadrunners.
“Things are starting to move in a much better direction here and we’re really excited to get going,” Rush goaltender Merrick Madsen said. “I think anywhere you go, its like guys get up for the first couple of games. Once we hit game 10, game 20, are we keeping that momentum going? I think that’s going to be really important to keep.”
“I have a lot of high expectations out of myself and out of the other players,” Rush defenseman Josh Elmes said. “Pretty much just everyone in the organization. We’ve got a lot of expectations to make the playoffs this season.”
After opening the season with five games on the road, the Rush finally return home on Oct. 25 to take on the Utah Grizzlies.