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SECONDARY SCORING HELPS RUSH STAVE OFF LATE COMEBACK

Saturday, January 25th
SECONDARY SCORING HELPS RUSH STAVE OFF LATE COMEBACK

(RAPID CITY, SD) – The Rapid City Rush and the Wichita Thunder squared off in a rematch in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, with the Rush looking to continue their winning ways over the Thunder. The Rush dominated the majority of the game, but a late surge from the Thunder put the sell-out crowd in Rapid City on edge in the final minutes. Despite the spirited comeback, the Rush would sweep the Thunder out of Rapid City with a 6-4 score, thanks to a strong showing of secondary scoring from the Rush.

Both teams were scoreless after Friday night’s first period, but tonight’s rematch proved to be much different. After two fights within the first two minutes of the game, both teams went to work. Rookie forward Kyle Stroh got the Rush on the board early, banking home a rebound off of a Scott Wray shot to give the Rush a 1-0 lead with 2:56 left in the first. Like last night, however, the Thunder would get the last response in the first period, as Jesse Dudas would score a power play goal with 14.9 seconds left in the period to tie the game at 1-1 heading into the middle frame.

The second period proved to be just as volatile as it’s Friday night counterpart, with the Rush running away with the middle twenty minutes. Almost four minutes into the period, Bobby Preece would jump in from the blue-line and score his first goal in a Rush uniform, giving the Rush a 2-1 lead. Moments later, Rush captain Scott Wray would score his second goal in as many nights, tipping in an Eric Giosa shot to extend the Rush lead to 3-1. In the midst of a 23 shot period, one short of a franchise-high for the Rush, Eric Giosa would score a goal of his own, taking in a rebound from a Scott Wray shot to give the Rush a 4-1 lead that would hold until the final period.

The Thunder would show signs of life in the third, clawing their way back into the game with little time left. After having a potential power play goal disallowed due to a high-stick, Tomas Klempa would make up for it and cut the Rush deficit in half with a goal of his own, making the score 4-2 with just over ten minutes remaining in regulation. Jared Brown would score his third goal in his fifth game back off the IR to answer Klempa’s tally, re-establishing the Rush’s three-goal lead with 8:10 left in the game. The Thunder would receive five power plays in the final frame, and would capitalize on back-to-back man-advantages. With less than four and a half minutes left, former inaugural Rush forward R.G. Flath would score a power play goal to cut the Rush lead to 5-3. Acting as the extra-attacker in the stead of goaltender David Brown, Matt Robinson would score another power play goal to make it a 5-4 one goal game with 2:04 left in the game. Despite their best efforts, Wichita would be unable to even the game up, and Winston Day Chief would score an empty-netter to seal the win with 6.4 seconds left, 6-4 for the Rush, their fifth straight win over the Thunder this year.

Keaton Hartigan stopped 26 shots to win his second straight start, and his fourth in his last five (8-5-0). For the second night in a row, the Rush had three three-point performers, with captain Scott Wray, Eric Giosa, and Jared Brown each recording a goal and two assists. The Rush faced eleven power plays, the most in a single game this season, killing off eight of them, which included a string of five consecutive kills. With his empty-netter with 6.4 seconds left, Winston Day Chief extended his point streak to seven games, scoring 6 goals with 2 assists for 8 points. The Rush also recorded 23 shots in the second period, one shy of tying their franchise record 24 shots from the 2010/2011 season. Only one goal, the empty-netter, came from the Rush's top line, with the other five coming from secondary sources. The Rush are back in action next Wednesday morning at 10 AM MST as they take on the Arizona Sundogs on the road on January 29th.

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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 Wednesday, February 19th, 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.

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