The Rapid City Rush, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes, announced today that Rush goaltender Gordon Defiel has been named the team’s Victoria’s Garden Player of the Month for February.
Defiel joins Peter Quenneville (November), Keeghan Howdeshell (December), and 2020 ECHL All-Star Brennan Saulnier (January) in earning the team’s monthly honor, and is the first goaltender to be selected.
Defiel registered a 3-2-1-1 record in 9 games in February, along with a 1.98 GAA and .942 SV%. Of his nine appearances, he made 35 saves or more in a game on four occasions and 40 or more in each of his last three starts in the month. Additionally, Defiel became a part of the Rush record book by starting in the second split shutout in team history, stopping all 8 shots he saw in the first period in a 1-0 win against Allen on our “School Day Game” on February 12th.
On behalf of Defiel, an arrangement of flowers will be donated to “Coffee and Conversations” program through the Alzheimer’s Association. It is an even held on the second Wednesday of each month at Harriet & Oak from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. serving as an opportunity to meet with trained Alzheimer’s Association staff and volunteers to get information regarding Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia, find resources in the community, and learn how the Alzheimer’s Association can ease the burden of the journey for the diagnosed and their caregivers.
“I’m honored to be selected as the Victoria’s Garden Player of the Month for February. I am truly thankful to play with the Rush organization, and I hope my compete level and success on the ice last month shows that appreciation,” Defiel remarked on his selection for the team’s monthly award. “For my flower donation, I chose ‘Coffee and Conversations’ through the Alzheimer’s Association to be my recipient. When playing for Indy last year, I lost my grandfather to Alzheimer’s Disease. The people that took care of my grandfather were so gracious and did everything they could to ensure he was comfortable. I have nothing but the utmost respect for those that choose to take care of people with this illness. I think this is a great opportunity for people to come together to help each other dealing with this disease, and am grateful for the opportunity to help support this group.”
A native of Stillwater, Minnesota, Defiel played in 24 total games last season, with a career-high 21 coming at the ECHL level with the Fuel and South Carolina Stingrays. He registered a 6-6-0-0 record with South Carolina in 14 games along with a 2.77 GAA and .913 SV% before finishing with the Fuel, where he logged an additional 7 games with a 1-5-0-0 record, 1 shutout, a 3.43 GAA and .900 SV%. He turned professional with the Orlando Solar Bears and the SPHL’s Pensacola Ice Flyers in the 2017-18 season. In 22 games with Pensacola, he registered a 13-5-3 record with one shutout, a 2.61 GAA, and .911 SV%. Prior to turning professional, Defiel played three seasons of NCAA hockey with Lake Superior State University, and posted a career record of 30-55-12 in 98 games, with 7 shutouts, a 2.91 GAA and .914 SV%. In the 2015-16 season with the Lakers, he was selected to the WCHA All-Academic Team and WCHA Third All-Star Team.
Residing in Rapid City’s first and oldest cold storage building, Victoria’s Garden has been serving Rapid City customers since 1989. Enjoy a stroll through their garden to experience a unique floral designery. Fabulous fresh flowers by the stem, or artistically designed, for all of your events, occasions, and celebrations! Victoria’s Garden is located on 320 7th Street in Rapid City, SD. Follow them on Facebook and on Instagram.