(INDEPENDENCE, MO) – The Rapid City Rush and Missouri Mavericks were back at it on Friday night, playing for the sixth time this season. Physicality and tenacity were storylines of their last encounter in December, and both teams picked up from where they left off at the end of their last meeting, and things only escalated from there. In a game of so many highs and lows, the Rush were able to even the season series with the Mavericks in the fashion of a 7-3 win, powered by 3 goal second and third periods.
Right off the hop, the physicality of the rivalry welcomed itself onto the ice. The Rush went on their first power play not even seven seconds in the game, as Rush forward Winston Day Chief was crosschecked into his own bench by Mavericks blue-liner Dave Pszenyczny. Recently re-activated Rush defensemen Riley Weselowski would interfere with the Mavericks goaltender Shane Owen, and give the Mavericks their first man-advantage of the contest. As the period progressed, Rush forward Konrad Reeder would receive some late hits to the head, leading to even more scuffles and minors dealt out. By the end of the calamity, however, the Rush would draw first blood and get the early lead. Justin Faryna would rifle a turnaround shot over the shoulder of Shane Owen with 1:59 left in the first period, to give the Rush the 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission. Because of a tripping call against Missouri’s Colten Hayes, the Rush would carry over 41 seconds of a power play into the middle period.
The second period brought great fortune to the Rush, as they rode an offensive explosion into the second period. Utilizing the remaining tie on their power play, Konrad Reeder would tip the puck in front of Owen’s net and squeak it by the Mavericks net-minder to extend the Rush lead to 2-0 not even 31 seconds into the second. Moments later, Eric Giosa would find himself on the scoresheet, as he’d take a turnover between the faceoff dots and beat Shane Owen to give the Rush a 3-0 lead with 16:45 left in the middle frame. The Mavericks would get on the scoreboard eventually, as Colt King would fire a rebound past the Rush rookie goaltender to cut into the Rush lead and make the score 3-1 with 7:06 left in the period. Jesse Schultz would re-establish the three goal lead, as he’d knock in a rebound behind Owen to give the Rush a 4-1 lead heading into the third period.
The third period was filled with close calls, as the Mavericks forced a few errors against the Rush and got right back in the game. 1:13 into the final frame, Andrew Courtney would tip in a rocket from Anders Franzon at the point, cutting the deficit in half to 4-2. Two and a half minutes later, the Mavericks would come within striking distance, as Obi Aduba would deflect a puck into Hartigan’s net to bring the Mavericks right back into the game, making the score 4-3 with just over 16 minutes left in regulation. But then came the turning point. Jesse Schultz, on a clear breakaway was awarded a penalty shot and made no mistake on the attempt, sniping the puck top shelf over Shane Owen to give the Rush some space and a 5-3 lead with 15:38 left in regulation. Exactly 25 minutes later, Sean Erickson would add his name to the goal scoring list, firing a shot from the point to give the Rush a 6-3 lead, prompting the substitution of Shane Owen for the Mavericks for Erno Suomalainen. Shortly after the goalie change, Justin Faryna would earn his second tally of the night, as the initial save made on his shot squeaked behind Suomalainen and in. The Rush would hang on for the remaining 13:49 and earn the 7-3 win over the Mavericks, snapping a 3-game losing streak in the Independence Event Center.
Keaton Hartigan earned his fourth professional win in his seventh appearance (4-3-0) and his sixth start this year. The Rush end their losing skid at three games, still their longest losing streak of the season. Both Jesse Schultz and Sea Erickson had 4 point nights, with Schultz notching 2 goals and 2 assists, and Erickson snagging 1 goal and 3 assists. The Rush registered 46 shots on net, marking the fourth game against the Mavericks in which they have passed the 40 shot plateau in the six matchups to date. Shane Owen of the Mavericks gave up 6 goals in the contest in 44:47 of playing time, having been substituted in the third period. The Rush penalty kill also prevented the Mavericks from scoring a power play goal, the first time in the last ten games the Rush have stopped the oppositions power play. Both the Rush and the Mavericks will square off in a rematch tomorrow night at Independence Event Center, with puck drop scheduled for 7:05 CST.
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.