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. The Rush posted a 5-8-0-1 record in the month of December and are currently in the midst of a four-game slide. 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 they faced Tomas Sholl during those first two games who leads the league in save percentage with .940 and allowed just two goals in the first two games of the mini-series. Rush netminder Adam Carlson has fallen to ninth in the league in the same statistical category, with a .920 save percentage 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 with the Atlanta Gladiators. They sent netminder Michael Bitzer down south to complete the swap which saw Darby Llewellyn join the team 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 .500 while facing stiff competition. Rapid City starts the new year with a road trip to Kansas City to take on the fifth-placed team in the division. Both teams split their two-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 set, the Rush will travel to Tulsa, for a mid-week tilt before welcoming the Oilers to the friendly confines of the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center for games on Friday and Saturday. The January homestand will conclude with the current league leader, the Florida Everblades coming to town the following week. 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.