According to the official Twitter account of the Rapid City Rush, the team is bringing back goalie Danny Battochio to dress, and possibly play, in their final two games of the 2016-17 ECHL season. Battochio had been with the team from 2009-10 until 2015-16 but had not played a single game in 2016-17.
Battochio, the Ottawa 67’s grad, has been between the pipes for much of the franchise’s existence. He helped them to a Ray Miron President’s Cup championship in his rookie Central Hockey League season. He joins fellow OHL grad Nick Trecapelli on the roster with former Cornwall Royals player Mark DeSantis behind the bench as head coach.
Danny Battochio played three years in the Ontario Hockey League from 2003-04 to 2005-06 with the Ottawa 67’s. In his second season, he played the bulk of post season action as the 67’s lost in the finals to the London Knights and competed in the Memorial Cup tournament held in London, Ontario.
As much brains as brawn, Battochio was twice honoured with the Roger Neilson Award as the OHL’s top academic post secondary player, 2004-05 and 2005-06. In 2005-06, he was also handed the Bobby Smith Trophy as the OHL scholastic player of the year.
Undrafted to the NHL, he followed the educational route to St. Francis Xavier University and played three years in the AUS. In 2008-09, his final year with St. FX, Danny was named a Second Team All-Star.
Battochio has played pro hockey since 2009-10, mostly all with the Rapid City Rush, except 2013-14. That year, he played for Beibarys Atyrau in Kazakhstan. From 2009-10 to 2012-13 the Rush were in the CHL and since Danny’s return from Kazakhstan, they have been in the ECHL.
In his rookie season, 2009-10, Battochio was the team’s number one goalie as they captured the Ray Miron President’s Cup championship, beating the Allen Americans in the finals. That year, Danny named the CHL Rookie of the Year.
Battochio last played pro in 2015-16. With the Rush, he played 46 games, posting a 2.79 goals against average and a .912 save percentage. Certainly not numbers for someone ready to give up the game.
Rapid City Rush
The team came into existence for the 2008-09 Central Hockey League season. In just their second CHL season, Rapid City captured the championship over the Allen Americans. However, they have not qualified for the post season since 2014-15 and will not in 2016-17.
Defenseman Nick Trecapelli played three years in the Ontario Hockey League from 2008-09 to 2010-11 with the Saginaw Spirit, Sudbury Wolves and Peterborough Petes. Head coach Mark DeSantis played four years in the OHL from 1989-90 to 1992-93. His first three were with the Cornwall Royals and the last was with the Newmarket Royals.
The Rapid City Rush play home games at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City, South Dakota. The venue opened in 1977 and can seat 5,132 for hockey. The Rush are affiliated with the Arizona Coyotes in the NHL and the Tucscon Roadrunners in the American Hockey League.