SLAPSHOT POSTGAME COVERAGE PRESENTED BY ASSURANT SOLUTIONS
DAY CHIEF’S 3-POINT NIGHT CAPS HIS 100TH GAME WITH RUSH WIN
(INDEPENDENCE, MO) – The Rapid City Rush began a stretch of games that see them travel to four different destinations in a six-game span, starting with a showdown with the Missouri Mavericks on Friday night. The Rush looked to build off of their strong start to the month of December, and behind a three-point night from Winston Day Chief in his return from injured reserve, a two-point night by J.M. Rizk, and 37 saves from Danny Battochio, the Rush rode a three-goal first period surge to a 5-2 win at the Independence Events Center.
After some back-and-forth play to start the game, the Rush caught fire thanks to efficient special teams play. Starting off the rally for the Rush was Daniel Tetrault, scoring his fourth goal of the season just 19 seconds into the first Rush power play on assists from Winston Day Chief and Landon Oslanski to give the Rush a 1-0 lead just 10 minutes into the game. Moments later, the Rush would receive their second power play, and lightning would strike twice. Taking a centering pass from J.M. Rizk, Winston Day Chief would slam home the second Rush power play goal of the period, giving them a 2-0 lead with 5:14 left in the first. Exactly 1:22 later, Taylor Law took a chip from Kyle Stroh and burned Maxime Lagace on the break for his first goal as a professional, giving the Rush a 3-0 lead heading into the break.
It seemed the Rush would continue to rely on the man-advantage, but the Mavericks got on the board despite being man-down. Former Rush forward Jared Brown took a neutral zone turnover caused by Landon Oslanski and put the puck past Danny Battochio to cut into the Rush advantage to a 3-1 score just 1:18 into the second frame. The Mavericks would take the play to the visitors from the Black Hills, outshooting the Rush 17-6 in the second. The Rush would kill off three power plays of the Mavericks, but the momentum would be in favor of the home side heading into the final 20 minutes.
The Rush had to fight back against a Mavericks team that had all of the momentum, but they would do so in the midst of four-on-four hockey. Both Winston Day Chief and J.M. Rizk added to their stellar nights, with Day Chief feeding Rizk for his first goal in a Rush uniform in his first game, and re-establish the Rush three-goal lead with a 4-1 count just 2:36 into the final period. The Mavericks cut the deficit in half thanks to Chris Crane’s wrister from the far wall with 1:22 to play, but Robin Soudek buried an empty-netter with 33.6 left, sealing what was a 5-2 win for the Rush.
Danny Battochio won his second start in his last three games, making 37 saves on 39 shots, and improves to (6-8-2) on the season. In his first night back off of the injured reserve 16 games ago, Winston Day Chief recorded 3 points (PPG, 2 Ast). J.M. Rizk (G, Ast) and Taylor Law (G) each recorded their first points in a Rush uniform. The Rush scored three first period goals, the most in a period since their 3-0 shutout win over the Wichita Thunder on November 27th. The Rush were outshot two games in a row, and have managed to come out with 5 of a possible 6 points in the month of December, winning their second in their last three games. The Rush are back in action tomorrow night against the Wichita Thunder at the INTRUST Bank Arena, with puck drop slated for 6:05 p.m. MST
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