(RAPID CITY, SD) – Dylan Clarke tied the game with less than five minutes to play in regulation, and Johnny Griggs stopped all 9 shots faced in relief, but the Rapid City Rush fell to the Wichita Thunder in a 10-round shootout by a 4-3 score in the 7th Annual “Pink at the Rink” game in Rapid City.
The Rush power play ignited the goal lamp two nights in a row, with one of their newest additions to the roster providing the tally to begin this evening’s scoring entries. After a five-on-three Rush power play expired, Mathieu Brisebois unloaded a cruise missile on a pass from Rush Captain Danny Tetrault, burning Wichita net-minder Tim Boron up high to give the Rush a 1-0 lead at the 9:13 mark of the first period.
Wichita opened the flood gates in the second period and took control in a span of roughly ten minutes. The first tally came with five minutes remaining in the fourth Rush power play of the game, as Todd Hosmer rifled a snap-shot past Rush goaltender Danny Battochio, deadlocking the game at 1-1 less than five minutes into the period with his shorthanded tally. Exactly 3:02 following the equalizer, Kenton Miller sent the puck past Battochio and lifted the Thunder to a 2-1 lead with 12:50 left in the second. Rounding out the scoring for the Thunder was Danick Gauthier on their first power play of the game, who doubled the Thunder advantage to a two-goal lead to a 3-1 count, at the 13:35 mark of the frame. In a repeat of last night’s contest, the goaltenders changed for the Rush, and Johnny Griggs entered the Rush net. He was immediately thrown into the fire, stopping a penalty shot from Wichita’s Travis Granbois with 1:40 to play in the second, maintaining the two-goal Rush deficit heading into the third.
Patrick Cullen brought the Rush within striking distance 10:30 into the final period of regulation, dancing around Thunder goaltender Tim Boron to cut the deficit in half to 3-2. With 4:38 to play in the game, Dylan Clarke slammed in a rebound from a Daniel Barczuk shot to even the score at 3-3, forcing overtime. With only one official shot recorded on the statsheet, neither team decided the game in the session of free hockey, forcing what would eventually be a 10-round shootout. With two shooters scoring on each side in the first five rounds, extra sudden death rounds were required to determine a victor. Wichita’s Eric Melland beat Johnny Griggs in the 10th round, leaving the extension of the game on the stick of Sean Erickson. Erickson’s shot was denied by Tim Boron, signifying a 4-3 Wichita win.
Johnny Griggs receives the shootout loss for the Rush, and now boasts a record of (4-3-1) of the season, and stopped all 9 shots faced in 31:25 of relief. Both of the longest shootouts of the season for the Rush have come against the Thunder (10 rounds tonight, 11 on December 21st).
The Rush head to Texas to take on the Allen Americans on Thursday and Friday, January 29th and 30th, with both games slated for 6:05 p.m. MST puck drops.
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