(RAPID CITY, SD) – For the fifth consecutive season the Rapid City Rush have qualified for a chance to fight for the Ray Miron President’s Cup Championship. In their way are the Quad City Mallards, who came to Rushmore Plaza Civic Center for Game 1 on Friday night. Behind a four-point performance from Scott Brannon, and three point nights from captain Scott Wray and rookie Kyle Stroh, the Rush took a 1-0 lead in the series with a 5-1 win.
The Rush, with home-ice advantage got on the board first in Game 1, scoring early in the period. Just 5:02 into the fifth consecutive playoff appearance, Rush captain and playoff hero Scott Wray sent home a cross-ice pass through the back door of Ty Rimmer to give the Rush a 1-0 lead. Both teams would get physical and emotional early, with two bouts of four-on-four hockey being played for coincidental minors.
The Rush carried their 1-0 lead into the second frame, and with it their offensive momentum. Adding onto the Rush lead 1:19 into the second period was Jesse Schultz, who kept pounding away at a lose rebound in front of Rimmer’s net to give the Rush a 2-0 lead. After more four-on-four action, and fruitless power plays for each side, the “Scotts” would connect again. In almost a perfect replay of their goal in the second game in Brampton, Scott Wray connected with Scott Brannon between the faceoff dots on a centering pass from behind the net to give the Rush a 3-0 lead with 11:12 left in the second period. The Rush would end the period shorthanded, but would still keep their three goal lead intact.
It would only take 31 seconds for the Rush, but they would continue to pound away at the Mallards. Kyle Stroh followed his rebound from a hard shot off the near wall and sent home the feverishly bouncing puck to extend the Rush lead to 4-0. Finishing off the scoring rally for the Rush was Scott Wray, cashing in on a rebound in front of the net to give the Rush a 5-0 lead with 9:02 left in the game. Unfortunately, during the sixth instance of four-on-four hockey in the game, traffic in front of Tim Boron’s net would cause the puck to bounce over his shoulder, with former Rush forward Jeff Lee receiving credit for the goal with just 1:19 left to end Boron’s shutout bid and put the Mallards on the board. The Rush would hold on for a dominating 5-1 win, taking an early 1-0 lead in the series.
Tim Boron stopped 26 shots, earning his first win of the playoffs (1-0-0). Scott Brannon came through for the Rush with a four-point night, scoring a goal and helping out three times. Also hitting the scoresheet multiple times were Kyle Stroh and Scott Wray, with Stroh notching a goal and two assists and Wray scoring twice with one helper. The Rush extend their success in Game 1 of a series, regardless of round, moving to an 8-1 record in games opening up a playoff series. Game 2 is slated for tomorrow night at 7:05 PM at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. After tomorrow night, the series will shift to the Quad Cities for three games (if necessary) next Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.
Other Rush News:
Playoff tickets are now available for the 2013-14 postseason as the Rush gear up for their Rush for the Ray Miron President’s Cup!! Call the Rush office at 716-7825 for details.
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.