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The Rapid City Rush announced Thursday that rookie defenseman Blake Heinrich has signed with the Rush for the upcoming 2018-19 ECHL season.

 Heinrich comes to the Rush after spending the last two seasons at the University of Manitoba in USports with now current teammate Quintin Lisoway. The 5-foot-11, 205-pound blue-liner suited up in 39 games in the Canadian college ranks, and earned 11 points (five goals, six assists). 

“It’s crazy to think I’ll be a professional hockey player in October," Heinrich said. "I’ve heard so many great things about Rapid City. I have some old friends that used to play here, and they caught me up to speed and helped me realize what a great situation I’m coming into for my first year pro.

“Simply put, I’m a two-way defenseman. I play hard and like taking the body, but I can also chip in offensively. Talking to Coach Tetrault, the playing style we’ll have come October is exactly me as a player right down to a t. I can’t wait to get started in two months.”

 Rush head coach Daniel Tetrault said Heinrich is a 200-foot hockey player.

“Coming from the WHL, I know Blake takes care of his own zone on the back-end, but exercises great hockey sense on when to join in offensively," Tetrault said. "Blake brings a great skill-set, a ton of youth, and a wealth of enthusiasm to this team, and I can’t wait to see what he’s made of in training camp.”

Jacks open Canadian tour with win over McGill

South Dakota State men's basketball opened its Canadian preseason tour in Montreal with a 76-69 victory Thursday evening over McGill, using a strong second half to pull away in the win.

The Jacks never trailed and had three score in double figures, led by Skyler Flatten's 22 points and Brandon Key's 20. Flatten hit a game-high four 3-pointers in the showing while Key and David Jenkins (11 points) added three 3-pointers apiece. Mike Daum finished with eight points, five rebounds and three assists on the night.

Nine Jackrabbits saw time in the exhibition, with newcomer Owen King logging 27 minutes in the starting lineup, scoring five points and grabbing six rebounds.

"McGill is a physical, well-coached team," head coach T.J. Otzelberger said. "I was pleased how our team responded to adversity. Brandon Key and Skyler Flatten brought tremendous energy from start to finish, and they were certainly the difference for us tonight."

South Dakota State heads for Ontario, Ottawa for the first of two matchups this week with Carleton. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. MDT.

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