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Brendon Hodge, laughs while talking with players during a Rushmore Thunder practice in 2015 at the Rushmore Thunderdome. Hodge, a former player for the Rapid City Rush, will return for opening weekend ceremonies in October.

Two more members of the 2010 CHL Ray Miron Presidents’ Cup Championship Rush team goaltender Miguel Beaudry and forward Brendon Hodge will be present for the championship festivities in Rapid City as the Rush open the 2019-20 ECHL season against the Utah Grizzlies on Oct. 25-26.

Beaudry and Hodge join teammates Danny Battochio, Cody Bostock, Derek Campbell, Brendan Cook, Luke Erickson, Gio Flamminio, Dave Grimson, Colt King, Corey Laurysen, Jamie VanderVeeken, and Blaine Jarvis’ family from the 2009-10 Rapid City Rush in attending the opening weekend festivities.

Beaudry was a member of the inaugural Rapid City Rush in 2008-09, and remained with the team for the 2009-10 season. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound net-minder appeared in 29 games, and posted a 15-9-3 record along with a 3.28 GAA and .896 SV%. In the playoffs, he backstopped an additional four games, starting one, and went 0-1-0 with a 3.04 GAA and .877 SV%.

“In many ways, this seems like a lifetime ago because so much in my life has changed since then, but it’s been pretty surreal,” Beaudry said. “Being a part of something new and building it from the ground up was really special. The night we won the championship, I immediately flashed back to that home-opener in 2008 when we shut out Colorado. The building was packed, and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life."

 Hailing from Verner, Ontario, Beaudry retired following the 2009-10 season, concluding a professional career of seven seasons, all played in the CHL. 

Hodge came to the Rush in the 2009-10 CHL season after having recently played for the Tulsa Oilers for two seasons. Then a seven-year professional, the 6-2, 200-pound forward averaged nearly a point-per-game pace with the Rush, registering 23 goals, 34 assists, and 57 points in 61 games, finishing in the top-five in all offensive categories. In the playoffs, Hodge added another 12 points (3g-9ast) in all 17 playoff games. Hodge’s shining playoff moment came in Game 2 of the 2010 Finals against the Allen Americans. Trailing 1-0 in the series, Hodge recorded a three-assist performance, including a helper on Blaine Jarvis’ game-winning goal 4:17 into overtime to split the first two games of the Finals.

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“Ten years has gone by way too fast. It really doesn’t feel that long ago that we were hoisting the cup and passing it around on the ice,” Hodge remarked of the Rush’s 2010 CHL Championship. “That team was the most talented I played on in my career. It didn’t matter who you were playing with on any night: someone different would always chip in to help us win. That championship was a highlight of my career, especially winning in front of, and sharing the moment with my father, a two-time Stanley Cup Champion. It is still a very special moment for me.

A native of Lynnfield, Massachusetts, Hodge recently accepted a position as the varsity boys head coach and director of player development for the Rushmore Hockey Association.

Rush sign forward Criz Izmirlian

The Rush announced Monday that forward Chriz Izmirlian has signed with the Rush for the 2019-20 ECHL season.

 Izmirlian comes to the Rush following his second ECHL season, which was spent with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound forward appeared in 49 games in “The Upstate” last season, registering career-highs with 15 goals, 14 assists, 29 points, and a +5 rating.

“One of the reasons I decided to come to Rapid City was Coach Tetrault. Speaking with him and hearing his excitement for next season, it gave me great confidence in him, the Rush, and Rapid City,” Izmirlian said. “Although our results didn’t show in Greenville last season, it was a great year of professional hockey for me because I got to play in all situations, and was responsible enough to succeed in those situations. I plan to take all that I learned in Greenville and bring it to Rapid City to help win a championship."

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