(RAPID CITY, SD) – New Year’s Eve brought great hockey to the ranks of the CHL, as the Rapid City Rush took on the St. Charles Chill for the second time this season. The Chill came into the game looking to end their six game skid, but the Rush had other plans in trying to extend their record road winning streak in The Family Arena. It would come down to the wire, but the Rush would steal the two-points from the Chill in the standings column, 4-3, powered by Winston Day Chief’s natural hat-trick.
The Rush dominated the first period early, out-chancing the Chill within the early moments of the first period. Despite not scoring for a majority of the opening frame, the Rush continued to pressure the Chill with their overwhelming possession of the puck and solid passing leading to their chances. Eventually, it would all pay off. With 5:03 left in the first period, Kyle Stroh would barrel through the St. Charles defense, and while being held the entire way, would deke Chill goaltender Robert Moss out of his crease and tuck the puck in the net to give the Rush a 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
The Chill would come out of the locker room ready to answer the challenge of the Rush. The Chill would score three unanswered goals and turn the tide of the game. Kyle O’Kane would start off the rally with his first of the night with 12:58 left in the second period, putting a rebound in front of Rush net-minder Tim Boron to tie the game at 1-1. Kyle O’Kane would strike yet again moments later, as he’d bury a centering pass in the low slot to give the Chill a 2-1 lead with 6:06 left in the second period. The middle frame also signaled the first appearances of each team’s specialty unit, and the Chill would be the beneficiaries of back-to-back power plays. On their third power play of the night, Andrew Conboy would score the third unanswered goal for the Chill, giving them a 3-1 lead late in the second. But the Rush would be able to cut into the deficit, with Winston Day Chief scoring bar-down with 1:37 left in the second, cutting the Chill lead to 3-2 heading into the third.
It would take awhile for either team to get involved on the scoresheet, but the Rush would do so late in the final moments of regulation, and do so dramatically. Late in the period, the Rush would go on their third and final power play of the game, as Steve Anthony would go to the box for high-sticking. In the waning moments of the man-advantage, Sean Erickson would fire a rocket from the point, only to be tipped in by Winston Day Chief to tie the game at 3-3 on his second goal of the evening. However, the referee would wave the goal off, stating that Day Chief played the puck on a high-stick in order to deflect the puck in the net. The officials huddled together to discuss the call and determined that the goal would be allowed, as Day Chief did not play the puck with a high-stick after all. With the score tied at 3-3, Winston Day Chief would receive a pass from Jesse Schultz in open ice in the neutral zone, and would flip the puck on his backhand over the glove of Moss. Day Chief would end up scoring the game-Winning%20Goal with 57.9 seconds left in regulation, completing the natural hat-trick for the 4-3 win for the Rush.
Tim Boron won his nineteenth game in his twenty-third appearance of the season (19-4-0), stopping 22 shots on the evening. The Rush have now won 12 consecutive road games, furthering their CHL-record win streak away from home. Winston Day Chief scored a natural hat-trick to win the game, scoring the fifteenth hat-trick in Rush history. Both Reeder’s and Day Chief’s hat-tricks have each come against the Chill this season. Rapid City has recorded a power play goal in five straight games now, clocking in at 23.3% (7/30) in that span. Konrad Reeder and Winston Day Chief extended their point streaks to seven and five games, respectively, while Jesse Schultz also extended his assist and point streaks to seven games. With the win, the Rush move to 5-1-0 all-time on New Year’s Eve in their six-year history. The Rush now travel to Texas to take on the defending CHL Champions, the Allen Americans on Friday and Saturday, January 3rd and 4th.
Other Rush News:
Season tickets for the 2013-14 season are available now by calling the Rush office at 716-7825.
Don’t forget to join Mark Binetti, “Voice of the Rush”, and Head Coach/GM Joe Ferras for “The Rush Hour with Coach Ferras”, presented by Miller Lite. The show returns to the air next year on Monday, January13th, and will be held at 6 PM at Boston’s Restaurant and Sports Bar. The show is broadcast on 100.3 The FOX, the official radio home of your Rapid City Rush.
Stay informed on Rush happenings through the official Rapid City Rush team website, www.RapidCityRush.com, and the Rapid City Rush mobile app, available on iTunes and Google Play.