SLAPSHOT POSTGAME COVERAGE PRESENTED BY ASSURANT SOLUTIONS
RUSH BLANK MAVERICKS FOR BACK-TO-BACK SHUTOUTS
(INDEPENDENCE, MO) – After a stretch of 133:41 of game time that saw the Rapid City Rush unable to score, the Rush have opened the floodgates the last two nights and shut the door on their opponents. Saturday night at the Independence Event Center saw the Missouri Mavericks play host to the Rush for the third time in four matchups this season. After 60 minutes, the Rush would earn another shutout win, the first in back-to-back nights in franchise history. Behind a 33-save effort by Danny Battochio, a combined five assists from Daniel Tetrault and J.M. Rizk, and another perfect night on the penalty kill, the Rush grinded out a 3-0 win over the Mavericks.
In a high-flying first period, it seemed that the scoreboard would be busy tonight, but special teams defense set the tone in the first. Amidst the fast-paced game, the Rush would strike first for the third time in as many games in Missouri. With 5:39 left in the first period, Sean Erickson encroached into the Rush zone undetected, took a pass from Daniel Tetrault, and unloaded a missle past Mike Clemente to give the Rush a 1-0 lead. The remaining 1:02 of the first saw the Rush kill off the start of their second penalty kill, but 58 seconds would meet them in the second period.
Once again, the Rush would strike and double their lead early in the middle frame. In an episode of déjà vu, J.M. Rizk set up Jesse Schultz, undetected on the opposite side of the Mavericks zone for a one-timer that the former Vancouver Canuck slammed home, giving the Rush a 2-0 lead 4:45 into the period. Havoc would break out at the 10:21 mark of the second period, as Landon Oslanski, Robin Soudek, and Daniel Barczuk would all engage in fights with Alex Lepkowski, David Rutherford, and John-Scott Dickson. Barczuk, Soudek, Lepkowski, and Dickson would all be assessed 5 minutes for fighting and 10 minute game misconducts for secondary altercations, and would not return for the third period.
The Rush penalty kill stood tall, and in the home stretch of the second frame, and the final half of the third period would need to step up to preserve the shutout. On the final Mavericks power play of the game, J.M. Rizk and Winston Day Chief went on a shorthanded break. Rizk unloaded a slapshot that was initially stopped by Clemente, but the puck trickled behind him and Day Chief poked in the rebound, giving the Rush a 3-0 lead with 6:04 left in the game. Needless to say, the Rush penalty kill held on, as did Danny Battochio, who earned his third shutout of the season at the conclusion of regulation.
Danny Battochio turned aside all 33 shots thrown at his net for his seventh win of the season, and his ECHL-leading third shutout of the season (7-10-2). His shutout also helped him tie the Rush single-season franchise record for most shutouts in a season, a record that he set himself back in the 2010-11 CHL season. J.M. Rizk posted another three-point night against the Mavericks (3 Ast), now combining for a goal and 5 assists for 6 points in three matchups, and Daniel Tetrault notched 2 assists himself. Winston Day Chief scored the third shorthanded goal of the season for the Rush, and his third since returning to the lineup from injury. The Rush are back in action tomorrow afternoon at 4:05 p.m. MST against the Wichita Thunder, concluding their three game in three night in three city road trip at the INTRUST Bank Arena.
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