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Rapid City wins 2020-21 Best Ice Award

Overhead photo of the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center

The ECHL announced on Friday that the Rapid City Rush are the 2020-21 recipient of the League’s Best Ice Award.

The winner is determined in a vote of ECHL coaches, focusing on those arenas and staffs that provide the best playing surfaces in the League, including the quality of the ice, temperature of the building and surrounding dasher board system.

“Our game is predicated on having a playing surface of the utmost integrity so that our players can perform at their highest level and our fans enjoy quality entertainment,” said ECHL Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations Joe Ernst. “This award recognizes the hard-working crews in our League who pride themselves on ensuring that the athletes in the ECHL will have the best ice to perform on.”

“I want to not just congratulate, but most importantly thank, Nate Kleinschmit and his crew at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Ice Arena for their diligence and outstanding work that came with receiving this recognition,” said Spire Hockey President Todd Mackin. “Nate and the arena take great pride in making sure that we have a top-notch playing surface for our entire season. This is not a new recognition, as Nate and the arena staff have been regularly recognized for the hard work they've put into making our arena a top place to play since the organization's beginning 13 years ago. We're thankful for our great relationship with Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Ice Arena, and are excited to continue to work together towards excellence in seasons to come.”

“On behalf of our players and organization, I want to congratulate Nate and his crew for this well-deserved recognition,” Rush Head Coach/Director of Hockey Operations Daniel Tetrault said. “What stands out to me the most is the pride that Nate and his crew take in maintaining the rink, ensuring that the integrity of the ice and the playing surface are always up to standard. He's always asking for input from our players and opponents and makes the necessary adjustments to make sure the ice is ready for competition. Nate has also become a great friend of both me and Assistant Coach Jeremy Gates. We can't thank him enough for his friendship and hard work and are so proud to work with an outstanding man and crew in our arena.”

ECHL Best Ice Award
2020-21    Rapid City Rush
2019-20    Toledo Walleye
2018-19    Toledo Walleye
2017-18    Toledo Walleye
2016-17    Toledo Walleye
2015-16    Colorado Eagles and Toledo Walleye