SLAPSHOT POSTGAME COVERAGE PRESENTED BY ASSURANT SOLUTIONS
RUSH BLANK OILERS BEHIND MARCOUX AND BATTOCHIO’S SPLIT-SHUTOUT
(TULSA, OK) – The Rapid City Rush began one of their craziest road trips of the season against the Tulsa Oilers at the BOK Center on Friday night. The Rush and Oilers, having both lost two in a row, looked to get back in the win column, but a balanced Rush attack stifled the Oilers on “Gary Unger Night”. The NHL legend saw the Oilers fall to the Rush 4-0 behind a split shutout from Danny Battochio and Etienne Marcoux, as well as a perfect outing by the penalty kill unit.
It took 133:14 seconds, but the Rush ended their scoreless streak in the first period. Jesse Schultz, on the first power play of the game for the Rush, used the defender in front of him a screen and sent the puck past Kevin Carr to give the Rush an early 1-0 tally, their first goal in three games. Moments later, Schultz would appear on the scoresheet again, assisting Robin Soudek on his fifth Rush goal on a cross-ice pass in the offensive third, leading to a 2-0 strike with 4:22 left in the first.
Keeping their foot on the gas pedal, the Rush would strike for a third time in the opening minutes of the middle act of the performance. 1:38 into the period, Winston Day Chief scored his second goal off of the injured reserve, and his third of the season, to extend the Rush advantage to 3-0. At the 8:11 mark of the period though, adversity would befall the Rush, as Etienne Marcoux exited the contest, and would not return, with an upper body injury after a 25 save effort. Danny Battochio would enter in his stead, and would perform admirably, despite being thrown into the fire and needing to kill off a power play almost a minute into his relief appearance.
Battochio stood tall, and the Rush played outstanding defensive hockey, but would find one more offensive spark. Dancing around a sea of Oilers defensemen was Jeremy Gates, who dangled his way around Kevin Carr and company to his first goal in a Rush uniform with 1:26 left in regulation, leading the Rush to a 4-0 win, their first over Tulsa this season.
Etienne Marcoux earned his second professional win, his first with the Rush, and stopped all 25 shots thrown his way prior to his exit from the game (2-5-1 total, 1-2-0 with Rush). He played 28:11 of the game before Danny Battochio completed the shutout in his 31:49 of relief for the rookie goaltender. The Rush ended a scoring drought of 133:14 seconds thanks to Jesse Schultz’ power play strike in the first period, and his tally on the man-advantage extends his point streak at the BOK Center to five games (4G, 5 Ast, 9 Pts in that span). Continuing this crazy road trip, the Rush now head to Independence, MO to take on the Missouri Mavericks for the third time in the last five games, with puck drop slated for 6:05 p.m. MST tomorrow night.
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