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RUSH SWEEP DEFENDING CHAMPS IN SHOOTOUT BEHIND ROOKIE GOALTENDER

Saturday, December 7th
RUSH SWEEP DEFENDING CHAMPS IN SHOOTOUT BEHIND ROOKIE GOALTENDER

(ALLEN, TX) – Saturday’s rematch between the Allen Americans and the Rapid City Rush would be delayed for a while, as the ice in Allen, TX made it impossible for the league-mandated officials to arrive to the Allen Events Center. Taking their place was last night’s officials crew, and once that was determined, the highly anticipated rematch could commence. Overtime may have been pulled out from under the Americans last night, but this already late game would go on past 60 minutes and into the depths of the shootout round. When all was said and done, the Rush would complete the sweep over the defending CHL champions and win 3-2, behind rookie goaltender Keaton Hartigan, whose stellar play throughout the course of the entire game, especially the shootout, would be the difference.

Unlike its Friday night counterpart, it wouldn’t take long for the scoring to begin on Saturday night. The Rush would head to the penalty box multiple times in the first period, but wouldn’t let it adversely affect them. 10:47 into the action Austin Mayer would take a feed from Ryan Palmer off an Allen turnover on the power play, would deke out Americans net-minder Mark Guggenberger and five-hole him for his first goal in a Rush uniform, and an early 1-0 Rush lead. After killing off the remainder of the Allen power plays, the Rush would get their own string, and end up with 1:03 of a five-on-three advantage. After having his shot turn into a Konrad Reeder game-winner last night, Sean Erickson would score his first goal in a Rush uniform as well, a five-on-three power play goal to give the Rush a quick 2-0 lead with 5:37 left in the opening period. However, the Americans would get on the board, as Trevor Hendrikx would fire a shot that was stopped by Rush rookie netminder Keaton Hartigan, and Alex Lavoie would bury the rebound to cut the Rush deficit in half to 2-1 with 3:21 left in the first.

The Rush would pressure more as the second period was underway, but the Americans would be the lone team to strike in the frame. Darryl Bootland would knot the game up at 2 with on a wrap-around shot on Hartigan’s far post just three and a half minutes into the middle period. The Rush would offensively dominate the rest of the game, gaining more quality scoring chances, but no one would break the deadlock at the end of 60 minutes. Overtime was robbed from the Americans last night, but tonight no heroics would steal the extra point away from them, so to overtime we went.

In overtime, Hartigan would face a major obstacle, as Allen’s Johnathan Lessard would be awarded a penalty shot roughly a minute and a half into the extra session. Hartigan would see the puck the whole way, but wouldn’t have to worry about making the stop, as Lessard would shoot wide of the Rush net. Overtime would resume, and once again the Rush would get some quality chances, but would not be able to break the goal line of Americans goaltender Mark Guggenberger. A shootout would follow, and elongate this already delayed game.

After both Jamie Schaafsma and Kyle Stroh both missed their respective team’s first shot, Jesse Schultz would come in to put the Rush up in the second round. Another Allen miss would give Konrad Reeder a chance to increase the gap in the round, and he would bury his shot, giving the Rush a 2-0 shootout lead. With the game on his stick, Americans forward Phil Fox would be stoned on a kick-save by Hartigan, giving the rookie his second career win in as many starts, and his first career shootout win, allowing the Rush to complete the sweep of the defending champions with a 3-2 win.

Hartigan stopped 29 shots in the affair en route to his second career win (2-0-0). Both Sean Erickson and Austin Mayer would score their first goals in a Rush uniform, helping Rapid City to an early 2-0 lead. The Rush would score a power play goal for the seventh time in their last nine games, going 1/5 on the evening on Erickson’s first period blast. On Mayer’s goal, the Rush would score their second shorthanded goal of the season. Eric Giosa extended his point streak to four games, Matt Larke would extend his to three, and Jesse Schultz would extend his point streak to a league-high 14 games on the game-winning shootout goal. Konrad Reeder’s streak would end at 13 games. The win makes the Rush 9-0 on the road, and ensures that they are still the last team in the CHL that is undefeated away from Rapid City. The Rush are back in action on Tuesday, December 10th, as they take on the other CHL expansion, the St. Charles Chill.

Other Rush News:

Season tickets for the 2013-14 season are available now by calling the Rush office at 716-7825.

Join Mark Binetti, “Voice of the Rush”, and Head Coach/GM Joe Ferras for “The Rush Hour with Head Coach Joe Ferras”, sponsored by Miller Lite on Wednesday, December 11th. Show starts at 6 PM,RETURNING TO BOSTON’S RESTAURANT SPORTS BAR, and will be broadcast on 100.3 The FOX, the official radio home for 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 Android.

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