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RUSH FIGHT HARD FOR POINT IN OVERTIME LOSS

Friday, February 27th
RUSH FIGHT HARD FOR POINT IN OVERTIME LOSS

SLAPSHOT POSTGAME COVERAGE PRESENTED BY ASSURANT SOLUTIONS

RUSH FIGHT HARD FOR POINT IN OVERTIME LOSS

(RAPID CITY, SD) – Winston Day Chief scored two goals 34 seconds apart, including the game-tying goal with 1.9 seconds left in regulation, and Kale Kerbashian chipped in 4 points, but the Rapid City Rush fell to the Tulsa Oilers in overtime by a 6-5 score on Friday night in Rapid City. The point earned in the overtime loss puts the Rush one point behind the Wichita Thunder for the fourth playoff spot in the ECHL’s Central Division, but four points out of second place with 17 games to go in the season.

The Rush came firing out of the gates, scoring just 1:44 into the game. Daniel Barczuk sent a loose puck to Kale Kerbashian in space, and Kerbashian rifled a bar-down shot past Tulsa goaltender Brandon Anderson to put the Rush on the board 1-0. At the 7:31 mark of the first, Scott Brannon doubled the Rush lead, tapping home a pass from Mathieu Brisebois into the open back door of Anderson’s net, extending the Rush advantage to 2-0, but the Oilers countered back with two strikes of their own. Adam Pleskach halved the Oilers deficit at 13:42 of the first, rifling the puck off of the glove of Rush netminder Danny Battochio and into the net, cutting the Rush lead to 2-1. Exactly 1:40 later, Tommy Mele deflected a shot from Eric Tallent by Battochio, evening the score at 2-2 heading into the second period.

Everything went the way of the Oilers in the second period, with the visitors racking up three more unanswered goals. At 2:44 of the second, Eric Tallent recorded his first goal of the season, shorthanded, capitalizing on a rebound from a Matt Larke shot to give the Oilers a 3-2 lead. Just over four minutes later, Brady Ramsay’s fourth of the season double the Oilers advantage to 4-2, sweeping the puck behind Battochio on a sharp angle at the 6:59 mark. This would prompt the substitution of Battochio for Johnny Griggs, who would play for the rest of regulation. Jeff Jubinville, on the third Oilers power play of the game, would beat the new Rush netminder and do so with 23.3 seconds left in the second, lifting the Oilers to a 5-2 advantage with 20 minutes to go.

Despite the steep hill to climb, the Rush came back and made things interesting in the final period. Jesse Schultz got the ball rolling at the 11:35 mark of the period, sniping a bar-down wrist shot past Anderson to bring the Rush within two goals at 5-3. The Rush had plenty of chances to cash in on as the period progressed, but the fireworks came late in the game. With 35.3 seconds left, on the final Rush power play and with Griggs pulled for the extra-attacker, Winston Day Chief sent in a rebound from a Kale Kerbashian shot to bring the Rush within striking distance at 5-4. Day Chief sent the building into pandemonium, sending the puck past Anderson with 1.9 seconds left in the game, forcing overtime with a 5-5 score.

The celebration of the tie eventually turned into heartbreak for the Rush. With 15.9 seconds left, Dave Pszenyczny beat Griggs with a backhand shot to secure the second point for the Oilers, who went to the locker rooms with a 6-5 victory in overtime.

Johnny Griggs receives the overtime loss, his second post-regulation defeat with the Rush (6-3-2 with Rush, 9-5-2 overall), stopping 8 of 10 shots in 36:35 of relief. Danny Battochio played the first 26:59 of the game, and was substituted after allowing 4 goals on 19 shots.

Both teams meet in a rematch, their final showdown of the head-to-head series, tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. at Premier Home Mortgage Ice in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. The Rush will wear specialty jerseys commemorating their first ever “Dr. Seuss Night” game tomorrow night.

Other Rush News:

Join Rush Nation for only $10 per game! Call the Rush office at 716-7825 for details, and stay informed on all Rush happenings this summer through the official Rapid City Rush team website, www.RapidCityRush.com, and the Rapid City Rush mobile app, available on iTunes and Google Play.

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