The Rapid City Rush made two moves Monday, suspending defenseman Don Olivieri for non-disciplinary reasons and placing forward Peter Sivak on bereavement/ family leave, according to the ECHL transactions list.

Olivieri, according to a Rush official, asked Rapid City coach Daniel Tetrault to finish out the season in the SPHL, the league below the ECHL, with the Mississippi RiverKings.

Olivieri was not suspended for violating team rules or any other disciplinary reasons, the Rush official said the designation is in place so Rapid City can retain his ECHL rights in case it wants to use him or trade him later in the season.

Putting him on suspension means that for 45 days Olivieri may not participate in any activities with the Rush.  

The transactions list did not specify how long Olivieri is suspended for, only stating that he has been removed from the active roster.

Sivak leads the team in points with 43, 16 goals and 27 assists. Olivieri has nine points (three goals, six assists), in 27 games with a plus/minues of -4.

The Rush (15-28-2-0) have 32 points and will take on the Utah Grizzlies (17-20-6-4, 44 points) in a day game Wednesday, starting at 10:35 a.m.

St. Thomas More alum Kirsch transferring to Nebraska-Kearney 

Former St. Thomas More girls' soccer standout Kassidy Kirsch has joined the Nebraska-Kearney soccer program, after transferring to UNK at the semester break from South Dakota State where she was a student who didn't play soccer.

“Kassidy is a pleasure to have on the team.” said UNK coach Chloe Roberts said in a release. “She’s a very talented, passionate, and coachable player with unbelievable speed. She’s proving to be the overall athlete I knew she was – she ran the quickest 40-yard dash on the team in 5.05 seconds. That quickness along with her skillful attacking play and eye for the goal will make us more of a threat going forward.”

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Kirsch was a five-time letter winner in soccer at STM and six time winner in track and field. She was a five year starter for the Cavalier soccer team and was a 2016 co-captain.

The 2015 South Dakota Class A Player of the Year finished her career with 38 goals and 28 assists. She was a two-time first team all-state selection, and she scored four goals and notched three assists in the Cavaliers 2015 state championship game victory, where she was MVP.

“After high school I decided to focus on my studies and walk away from soccer, but I found out that I really missed the game.” Kirsch said in the release. “UNK recruited my sister Klaire to play basketball for them next season, and she and my parents came back from her visit to the campus really impressed with the university, the community, and the faculty.

"I contacted Coach Roberts and she invited me to drive down in October for a tryout with the team. That went well, and here I am today. I’m enjoying the spring workouts and can’t wait to get back on the field next fall.”

UNK is a Division II school that plays in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association. 

Contact Geoff Preston at geoffrey.preston@rapidcityjournal.com

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Sports Reporter

Sports reporter for the Rapid City Journal.