Rapid City Rush
|Rapid City Rush|
|2016–17 ECHL season|
|City||Rapid City, South Dakota|
|Founded||2008 (In the CHL)|
|Home arena||Rushmore Plaza Civic Center|
|Colors||Red, Black, White|
|General manager||Joe Ferras|
|Head coach||Mark DeSantis|
|Media||100.3 The Fox|
|Affiliates||Arizona Coyotes (NHL)
Tucson Roadrunners (AHL)
|2008–present||Rapid City Rush|
|Division Championships||1 (2010–11)|
|Conference Championships||1 (2009–10)|
|Ray Miron President's Cup||1 (2009–10)|
The Rapid City Rush are a professional ice hockey team in the ECHL which are currently affiliated with the National Hockey League's Arizona Coyotes and the American Hockey League's Tucson Roadrunners. Based in Rapid City, South Dakota, the Rush play their home games at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
On June 2, 2007, the Central Hockey League announced an expansion team for Rapid City, which began play in the 2008–09 season. Two months later, the team named Joe Ferras as their head coach and Director of Hockey Operations, and Jason Rent as General Manager. Jason Rent resigned from the organization and Tim Hill was named General Manager in the spring of 2009. In September 2007, the Rush unveiled their name, colors, and logo. The team is owned in majority by Scott Mueller. Mr. Mueller was previously involved in ownership with the Colorado Eagles, also of the Central Hockey League. Barry Petersen and Luke Petersen are combined minority owners.
In their second season (2009–10) the Rapid City Rush defeated the Allen Americans 4 to 3 with 39.3 seconds left in double-overtime in game 6 of the Ray Miron President's Cup Finals at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City to win the Ray Miron President's Cup. The Rush lost game one of the series but rebounded to win game 2 in overtime on a Blaine Jarvis goal. The Rush then traveled to Allen for three straight games where Allen won game 3 but the Rush responded to win games 4 and 5. In game six of the series, it returned to Rapid City and looked as if there would be a game 7 when entering the third period with the score 3-1 in favor of the Americans. The Rush's Blaine Jarvis scored with 5:06 remaining in the third to bring the Rush within one. Exactly two minutes later, Brendon Cook scored, evening the score at 3 and forcing overtime. With 39.3 seconds left in the second overtime, a shot by Les Reaney deflected off the Allen goaltender Chris Whitley and the Rush's Scott Wray, rolling into the goal, sealing the win for the Rush and their first President's Cup.
During the 2010–11 season, the Rush were the host to the 2011 Central Hockey League All-Star Game. The Rush ended up losing to the All-Stars 11-6. Also, the Rush made the playoffs for the second straight season. In the first round, the Rush swept the Dayton Gems. During the second round against the Fort Wayne Komets, the Rush's leading scorer, Ryan Menei, was blindsided in game 2 on a dirty hit by the Komets' Sean O'Connor. O'Connor was suspended the rest of the series and the Rush went on to win the series in 7 games. Next, the Rush faced their arch rivals, the Colorado Eagles. The series lasted 7 games but the Eagles came away with the series win.
The 2012–13 season brought new changes to the Rush organization. Assistant coach and former team captain Mark DeSantis accepted the head coaching position with the Fayetteville FireAntz of the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) and head coach, Joe Ferras, became the lone bench boss for the season. Rush All-Star and fan favorite goalie Danny Battachio was able to return to the team after suffering a serious injury in the 2011–12 season. During the regular season, inconsistent play left the Rush battling for a play-off spot and were plagued with a low-scoring offense (last in the league). The Rush finished the regular season strong, finishing fourth in the regular season standings.
For the 2014–15 season, Rapid City announced that former assistant coach and team captain Mark DeSantis would return as an associate coach. DeSantis had a successful 2013–14 season as the head coach of the expansion Brampton Beast. In addition, several roster changes were made. Goaltender Tim Boron was released and former CHL Rookie of the Year Danny Battochio was signed to replace him. Also, longtime team captain Scott Wray and Konrad Reeder both announced their retirements.
On October 7, 2014, soon before the 2014–15 Central Hockey League season was set to begin, it was announced that the CHL had ceased operations and the Rush, along with the Allen Americans, Brampton Beast, Quad City Mallards, Missouri Mavericks, Tulsa Oilers, and Wichita Thunder, were all approved for membership into the ECHL for the 2014–15 season.
On August 11, 2015, the Rush announced that they had signed a one-year affiliation agreement with the National Hockey League's Arizona Coyotes and the American Hockey League's Springfield Falcons. This marks the first time the Rush has ever been affiliated with an NHL team. On February 18, 2016, head coach and general manager, Joe Ferras, announced he was stepping down from his coaching position and promoting Mark DeSantis to head coach.
|Season||GP||W||L||OTL||SOL||PTS||GF||GA||PIM||Regular Season Finish|
|2008–09||64||22||33||2||7||53||183||231||1376||3rd, Northwest Division|
|2009–10||64||43||14||1||6||93||253||197||1334||1st, Northern Conference|
|2010–11||66||40||22||1||3||84||210||200||1285||1st, Turner Conference|
|2011–12||66||38||22||1||5||82||226||176||1142||4th, Turner Conference|
|2014–15||72||37||28||2||5||81||218||206||1229||3rd, Central Division|
|2015–16||72||30||35||3||4||67||177||210||974||4th, West Division|
|Season||1st Round||2nd Round||3rd Round||League Finals|
|2009||Did not qualify|
|2010||—||W, 4-0, Missouri||W, 4-3, Bossier-Shreveport||W, 4-2, Allen|
|2011||W, 3-0, Dayton||W, 3-2, Fort Wayne||L, 3-4, Colorado||—|
|2012||—||L, 2-4, Fort Wayne||—||—|
|2013||L, 2-4, Missouri||—||—||—|
|2014||L, 4-3, Quad City||—||—||—|
|2015||W, 4-3, Quad City||L, 2-4, Allen||—||—|
|2016||Did not qualify|
- "Rapid City, SD to join Central Hockey League in 2008-09". National Hockey League. 2008-06-02. Retrieved 2012-03-14.
- "Rapid City Names GM & Head Coach". Central Hockey League. 2009-09-02. Retrieved 2009-09-02.
- "CHL Clubs Join ECHL for 2014-15 Season". Central Hockey League. October 7, 2014. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
- "ECHL Accepts Seven Members". ECHL. October 7, 2014. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
- "Coyotes Announce New Affiliation Agreement with Rapid City of ECHL". Arizona Coyotes. August 11, 2015. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
- "Ferras Steps Down". OurSportsCentral. February 18, 2016.
- "Rush Re-Affiliate with Coyotes". OurSports Central. July 14, 2016.
- "Rapid City Rush roster". Rapid City Rush. 2015-08-12. Retrieved 2015-08-12.