SLAPSHOT POSTGAME COVERAGE PRESENTED BY ASSURANT SOLUTIONS
DAY CHIEF’S THREE-POINT NIGHT CAPS RUSH WIN
(RAPID CITY, SD) – Winston Day Chief recorded 3 points (G, 2 Ast) in his first game back from the 21-Day IR, Cody Ferriero and Kale Kerbashian each added a goal and an assist, and Johnny Griggs made 25 stops in relief to power the Rush to a 5-2 win on home ice on Tuesday night against the Missouri Mavericks. With the win, along with a Tulsa Oilers win against the Brampton Beast, the Rush remain 3 points out of a playoff spot in the Central Division of the ECHL’s Western Conference with 22 games remaining.
It took 130:21 of game time over the course of three games, but the Rush ended their scoring drought and started off the contest with a much needed opening lead. At the 10:21 mark of the period, rookie Cody Ferriero sprang Jesse Schultz and Kale Kerbashian on a two-on-one break. Schultz feathered a saucer pass to Kerbashian, who danced around Missouri net-minder Josh Robinson to finish the play with his 14th ignition of the goal lamp this year, giving the Rush a 1-0 lead. The Rush closed out their best first period in the last three games with a back breaker towards the end of the frame. With 52.3 seconds left, Winston Day Chief, in his first game back off of the injured reserve, forced a turnover on the Mavericks blue line that set up another offensive break for the Rush. After passing back-and-forth between eachother, Kerbashian dished to an open Ferriero right in front of Robinson’s net and cashed in up high, lifting the Rush to a 2-0 lead entering the second. Within the final minute of the first, Danny Battochio, in net for the Rush, left the game with an apparent injury and did not return, leading to Johnny Griggs entering for the rest of the game.
Just 1:04 into the second act of the performance, Dylan Clarke ignited the goal lamp for the first time since January 24th to triple the Rush lead to 3-0, slamming home a rebound from a Mathieu Brisebois shot to do so. At the conclusion of the third Mavericks power play of the game, Day Chief noticed Patrick Cullen was set to storm out of his penalty box and hit him with a cross-ice laser as he came out. Cullen danced around an oncoming, sliding defender and found Scott Brannon on the back door to pile on a fourth goal at 5:32 of the second to afford the Rush a 4-0 advantage. This ended the night of Josh Robinson in the Missouri net, who was replaced by Mike Clemente for the remainder of regulation.
The Mavericks eventually got on the board, with Sebastien Thinel poking home a rebound on Griggs on the final Mavericks man-advantage of the game with 4:59 left in the game, ending the combined Battochio and Griggs shutout with a 4-1 score. Lindsay Sparks halved the Mavericks deficit to 4-2 with just under three minutes to play, but with an empty net, Winston Day Chief wrapped around the open net with 1:27 left in the game to earn his third point, and seal a 5-2 Rush win.
Johnny Griggs earns his second win in a Rush uniform, improving his Rush record to 2-2-1 in seven appearances (5-4-1 overall), stopping 25 pucks in 40:52 of relief. Danny Battochio stopped all five shots he faced in 19:08 of play.
Both teams will square off in a rematch tomorrow night, with puck drop slated for 6:35 p.m. MST at Premier Home Mortgage Ice in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
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