ECHL Series Preview — Wichita Thunder @ Rapid City Rush March 9-11

By Jim den Hollander  


ECHL Game Preview – March 9-11 

Wichita Thunder (26-25-5 – 57 points @ Rapid City Rush (24-29-1 – 49 points) 

This Mountain Division series is as close as you can get to critical for the Rush who need a ‘W’ to keep slim playoff hopes alive.  

Thunder currently holds down the fourth and final playoff spot with just 18 games to play. With three at home against the Thunder followed by three more against the last place Tulsa Oilers, the Rush are still in the hunt, but the time to take a stand and put a few wins together is now.  

However, the games are equally as important to the Thunder, as they always seem to be at this point of the season. They are currently in a third-place tie with the Allen Americans but are ranked fourth having played two extra games. Also, the Utah Grizzlies are just four points back so a bad weekend could be devastating to playoff chances. 

Both teams are looking to right their respective ships. They last met Feb. 4-5 in Wichita with the Thunder capturing 6-3 and 6-2 wins. Since then, the Thunder have collected just three points in six games against the Tulsa Oilers and Idaho Steelheads. 

The Rush collected a needed 7-3 win against the Oilers in it most recent match, Feb. 24 but prior to that the team dropped three to the visiting Toledo Walleye from the Central Division by a combined score of 14-1. Going back a little further, the Rush looked impressive Feb. 10-11 with back-to-back wins against the Grizzlies. 

Rush and Thunder have tangled eight times previously, the Rush winning two of three on home ice back in early December, but the Thunder have been unbeatable at home winning the last five meetings. After this series, the Rush will pay one last visit to Wichita April 6-7. 

Game time for all three games at The Monument in Rapid City is 8:05 p.m. MST. 

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