RAPID CITY, SD — The Kelly Cup Finals are coming down to the wire and the ECHL off-season will soon be in full swing for the entire league. For fans in the Black Hills, however, they already have October 13th circled on their calendar when the Rapid City Rush will host the Allen Americans to kick off their 10th Anniversary season.
The opening month will feature six games split with three at home and three on the road. The Rush open their season with a weekend series against the Allen Americans before traveling to Wichita for a two-game weekend series. They’ll close out their opening month with a home-and-home series against their rivals (and possible defending Kelly Cup Champions) the Colorado Eagles on October 27th and 28th.
November will feature the largest number of home games on the schedule with 10-out-of-11 games being played at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. Rapid City kicks off November with a three-game series against the Brampton Beast starting on November 3rd. They trade another home-and-home series with the Eagles on the 11th and 12th and finish off the month with two more three-game series. The first will be against the Idaho Steelheads starting on the 15th and the second will be against the Tulsa Oilers starting on the 22nd.
The Rush will split their December schedule with half of the twelve games being played at home. They start the month off with a two-game weekend series at Allen on December 1st. Following that they return home to face the Eagles on the 6th before traveling to Colorado to wrap up the three-game weekend series at the Budweiser Events Center on the 8th and 9th. The Rush then travel for a mid-week game against the Steelheads on the 13th before wrapping up their road trip with a two-game series against the Utah Grizzlies on the 15th. Rapid City caps off 2017 with a five-game home stand starting with a three-game series against the Steelheads on December 20th and wraps up the year with a two-game series against the Eagles starting on December 29th.
The Rush will ring in the new year by putting a lot of miles on the team bus. Of the thirteen games played in January only three of them will be on home ice. The Rush first travel for a two-game series against the Grizzlies on January 5th before embarking to Colorado for a three-game series starting on the 10th. The team heads back west again for a mid-week game against the Grizzlies again on the 15th before returning home to complete the four-game series against Utah starting on the 19th. The Rush then hit the road again to face the Americans on the 24th, the newly renamed Kansas City Mavericks in a two-game series starting on the 26th, and finish out the month against the Oilers on the 30th.
Rapid City will continue their road trip into February as they head to Fort Wayne to take on the Komets on the 2nd then to Kalamazoo to face the Wings on the 3rd. The Rush will return home for a three-game set against the Grizzlies starting on February 7th before embarking on another short road trip to face the Wichita Thunder on the 17th and 18th. The team comes back for another three game stint against the Steelheads starting on the 21st and wraps up the month with another road trip starting with the Mavericks on the 27th.
From Kansas City, the team heads to Allen for a two-game series starting on March 2nd before wrapping up their road trip on the 4th against the Thunder. Rapid City returns home to face the Oilers for a mid-week game on the 7th before facing the Eagles in a three-game series. The first two will be at home starting on March 9th and finishing up in Colorado on the 11th. The Rush will then play host to the Americans on the 14th and the Thunder on the 16th and 17th, respectively. Rapid City hits the road one last time in March for a three-game series against the Steelheads starting on March 21st before closing out the month with a two-game home stand against the Quad City Mallards starting on the 30th.
The weekend series against the Mallards will also serve as the regular season home finale for the Boys from the Black Hills as they travel to Quad City on April 4th for a mid-week game. The 2017-18 regular season will finish up at Tulsa for a two-game series starting on April 6th.
The season is pretty balanced with a mix of home/away games throughout. The first three months of the season will feature 19 home games while the last three months of the season (January-March, not including April) will feature 17 home games) with October and January being the only months to host three contests each.
Here’s a breakdown of the teams you can look forward to seeing at home this coming season:
Allen Americans (3 games)
Brampton Beast (3 games)
Colorado Eagles (7 games)
Idaho Steelheads (9 games)
Quad City Mallards (2 games)
Tulsa Oilers (4 games)
Utah Grizzlies (6 games)
Wichita Thunder (2 games)
Home games by “Days of the Weeks”
Sunday (1 game)
Wednesday (9 games)
Friday (12 games)
Saturday (14 games)
While it’s not the greatest variety of games two see each one of these home games will be pivotal in divisional standings as the Rush look to insert itself back into the playoff picture.
With the announcement of a new head coach just days away, this organization could have a different look and style of play for their anniversary year. We look forward to reporting on additional roster moves during the off season as the Rush look to put together a championship caliber team for “Year 10”. It could potentially be a banner year, indeed.