The Rapid City Rush have been a member of the ECHL since 2014, and since they were first instated, hundreds of players have represented have the club. Whether they play one game or stay in town for multiple seasons, each individual leaves an impact on the franchise. But some players stand out above the others, bringing talent, clutch play and leadership in every game that they play in. Here are the three players that I believe have left the greatest impact and legacy for the Rush so far:
Coming off a CHL championship in 2014 with the Allen Americans, Tetrault joined the Rapid City Rush for what would be their first ECHL campaign. He served as team captain and posted 25 points in 55 games to help the Rush earn a playoff berth. Despite playing only one season in Rapid City, Tetrault left an impact on the club, both on the ice as well as in the locker room.
Despite that, Tetrault has left an even larger impact on Rapid City since his retirement as a defensemen. He joined the hockey club’s coaching staff, named as an assistant in 2016-17. The following year, he was promoted to head coach and maintains that position heading into next season. Under Tetrault, the club has improved more and more every season.
Tetrualt’s time as captain and coach has cemented the bench boss onto this list. He continues to lead the Rush into puck drop, preparing for other teams, COVID-19 and whatever else may lie ahead.
Danny “The Batman” Battochio was also a member of the the 2014-15 Rush team that made an appearance in the Kelly Cup playoffs. He was Rapid City’s starting goaltender and posted a .912 save percentage in 52 games. The following season, he had a repeat performance, once again posting a .912 percentage across 46 games. He was a consistently successful player while a part of the Rush, both during their CHL years and when they were establishing themselves as an ECHL member.
For his efforts, Battochio earned the team’s first Blaine Jarvis Heart and Soul Award, having been recognized in 2016. This award was created after the tragic death of former Rush forward (and former teammate of Battochio’s) Blaine Jarvis and has been given out yearly to the Rapid City player who best exemplifies “professionalism, perseverance, determination, commitment to the game, work ethic and excellence in both the locker room and community.”
Battochio was also the second player on the team to have his number retired by the organization. His #30 hangs in the rafters of the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center as a permanent reminder of his spectacular play and leadership for the team.
Peter Quenneville has only played one season for the Rush, but he has not needed much time to prove his worth to the club. During the 2019-20 campaign, Quenneville served as team captain and scored 58 points in only 51 games. His play helped the Rush make a playoff push following several years of futility. He is returning to the roster for next season as he and the team will both try to pick up where they left off when the league halted play.
Quenneville’s skill and quick decision making on the ice can lead to highlight-reel goals, but he is also a consistent player who can be trusted by his teammates and coaching staff. These qualities, as well as his leadership, make the Rush a better team and makes him one of their three stars.