The Rapid City Rush played their last home game of the first half of the season tonight against Wichita in a game between the fourth- and fifth-place teams in the Mountain Division of the ECHL ... Rapid City will hit the road for a game in Indianapolis and two in Cincinnati before the all-star game in Wichita on January 22nd ...
First period and the Rush on the power play ... Matteo Gennaro wins the face off, puck goes to Jalen Smereck who finds Charles-David Beaudoin and he fires shot and beats Wichita goalie Dylan Wells to get the Rush on the board late in the first period, 1-0 Rapid City ... Beaudoin's fourth of the year ... he added three assists on the night. Minutes later and Wichita's Chris Crane finds some space and he's going to beat Alex Sakellaropoulos glove side over the shoulder and this one is all tied at 1 apiece as things really got going over the final five minutes of the opening period ... More from the Rush and this time it's Smereck taking matters into his own hands as he beats the Wichita defenseman through the legs and deposits the sweet backhanded goal to put the Rush back in front .. that was Smereck's first goal of the season in a Rush sweater and Rapid City is up 2-1 ... Right before the final buzzer ... former Rush player Shaquille Merasty and Josh Elmes go to the boards .. and Elmes puts a hit on the Thunder forward and Merasty didn't like it too much ... that is going to cause a bit of a skirmish as Elmes and Merasty both get five-minute penalties ... and the Rush win their final home game before the ECHL All-Star break by a final of 8-2 as eight different players scored tonight ...
The Rapid City Christian boys basketball team is off to a great start so far this season, keyed in large part by disappointment at the end of last season ... I caught up with the Comets the other day to talk about it.
The Rapid City Christian boys basketball team was a game away from reaching the SoDak 16 last year, falling in the Region 8A semifinals to eventual state tournament qualifier Hot Springs in a 57-52 loss ... This season, the returning Comets are looking to make the next step and put themselves in a position for the school's first-ever trip to the Class A state tournament.
Payton Causey said, "It was a very tough loss obviously we didn't get to the Sweet 16 like we wanted to and we lost a couple of seniors and that was kind of hard just for the basketball aspect and for the brotherhood aspect, I mean you build relationships with those people so it's sad to see them leave but it also kind of built a fire I think underneath the guys to really improve and get better this season so we can get where we want to be."
The Comets' chemistry and communication is a big key to their undefeated start so far this season and something they will continue to build and rely upon as their schedule increases in difficulty as the season moves on.
Jack Roisum said, "Just continuing to build team chemistry, team bonding is always important, getting along with all the guys, if you get along off the court you're going to get along on the court, good ball movement, communication is always a big thing, especially for this group, just being able to talk to other on the court, just letting each other know what's going on, on defense, on offense, just kind of all over the place."
The Comets have gotten off to a 6-0 start to the season, with their best win a 60-49 victory over No. 5-ranked Class B Lyman in Presho back on December 20th. They are currently second in the region behind No. 1-ranked St. Thomas More.
Kyle Courtney said, "I mean STM, No. 1 in the state, you know in our region, obviously with the SoDak 16, honestly, you'd probably want to align yourself on the other side of the bracket from STM in the region playoffs, so that becomes big, you know I think Custer and Belle Fourche have good teams this year in our region as well and so they're going to be tough when we play them, so we know they're right there."
And while the Comets understand they will be facing some much tougher tests as the season moves along, the excitement generated already this season is something that will always be remembered.
Roisum said, "It's a blast, yeah. It's a blast, no matter what, but especially with guys that you get along with. This team is special."