(RAPID CITY, SD) – It took sixty-one minutes and twelve seconds to decide a winner in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center on Saturday night, as the Rapid City Rush and Quad City Mallards faced off in Game 2 of their first round set. The Rush kept momentum from their 5-1 Game 1 win, but the Mallards, with some help from their power play evened things up. Matt Duffy scored a five-on-three power play goal 1:12 into overtime to give the Mallards a 3-2 win, and a 1-1 tie in the series.
Game 2 would have a much different feel, as the Mallards came out hard against the Rush in the opening frame. After more bouts of four-on-four hockey, the Mallards would receive a string of man-advantages that would give them a partial five-on-three advantage and a standard power play. After a major showing by the Rush penalty kill unit, Benjamin Dieude-Favel would break Tim Boron’s goal line to give the Mallards their first lead of the series, 1-0 with 5:28 left in the first period. The Mallards had the early lead and some control, but the Rush evened things up moments later. With 58.2 seconds left in the period Anthony Perdicaro would power through a series of checks, and while staying onside would feather a pass right to the tape of Jesse Schultz, beating Mallards goalie Thomas Heemskerk to tie the game at 1-1 heading into the second. More chippy play would befall the game at the first period buzzer, with coincidental minors being handed out for the second time in this game.
Both teams played two minutes of four-on-four hockey to kick off the middle frame, but jumped ahead of their visitors shortly after full strength hockey was re-established. Scott Brannon, who has contributed immensely for this Rush team in the postseason, scored his second goal in as many nights, firing a backhander and threading the needle under the blocker and over the leg pad of Heemskerk to give the Rush a 2-1 lead 2:41 into the middle act. More emotions would clash, and after a physical second period, the Rush would carry their lead into the final 20 minutes.
On their fourth power play of the game to open up the third period, the Mallards would strike back. On an odd-man Rush shorthanded, Vladimir Nikiforov would connect with Gergo Nagy, scoring a shorthanded goal to tie the game at 2-2 just 1:13 into the third period. That would prove to be the only goal in the third period, prompting overtime to be played in this Game 2 matchup. Before the overtime session began, however, Bobby Preece would be called for a slashing minor, followed by a delay of game minor from Kyle Stroh to put the Rush down two men for the first 1:51 overtime. The Rush would kill off 1:12 seconds of the remaining time from the Mallards five-on-three power play, but Matt Duffy would finish things for the Mallards with a snipe to win it 3-2, and tie the series at 1-1.
Tim Boron made 24 saves in his first loss of the postseason (1-0-1). Scott Brannon continued his playoff excellence with a second period goal, giving him five postseason points (2G, 3 A), and Kyle Stroh added a helper to amass four postseason points (G, 3 A). the Rush penalty kill went 6/8 on the evening (75%), allowing a power play goal in the first period and the winner in overtime. Games 3, 4, and 5 are slated for next Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, with all games starting at 6:05 PM MST, with pregame shows starting at 5:35 PM MST
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.