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SCHULTZ' HAT TRICK POWERS RUSH TO FOURTH STRAIGHT WIN

Saturday, February 21st
SCHULTZ' HAT TRICK POWERS RUSH TO FOURTH STRAIGHT WIN

SLAPSHOT POSTGAME COVERAGE PRESENTED BY ASSURANT SOLUTIONS

SCHULTZ’ HAT TRICK POWERS RUSH TO FOURTH STRAIGHT WIN

(INDEPENDENCE, MO) – Jesse Schultz recorded a hat trick in just 21:52 of game time, Winston Day Chief added a shorthanded tally, and Johnny Griggs won his fourth straight start with 40 saves as the Rapid City Rush defeated the Missouri Mavericks by a 4-3 count on Saturday night. The win at the Independence Event Center for the Rush, coupled with a Wichita Thunder loss earlier in the evening, puts the Rush in a tie for third place in the ECHL’s Central Division standings with 19 games to go in the regulat season.

For the fourth consecutive game, the Rush vaulted themselves to an early first period lead. At 10:39 of the period, after a furious Rush offensive rally, Mathieu Brisebois carried the puck into the Mavericks’ zone and dished to Jesse Schultz, who danced around a sea of defenders on his way to besting Missouri net-minder Mike Clemente to give the Rush a 1-0 lead. With 1:42 left in the frame, Jesse Schultz struck again, taking a neutral zone turnover after the Rush killed off a Mavericks power play and taking it the distance, beating Clemente again over the glove to double the Rush lead to 2-0. However, with 27 seconds left in the period, just 1:16 later, Andrew Courtney got the Mavericks on the board, tipping in a Sebastien Thinel shot from the far wall of the Rush zone to halve the deficit to 2-1 entering the second.

At the 1:52 mark of the second period, Schultz completed the hat trick, rifling a shot from a rotation into the high slot past Clemente for a third time, extending the Rush advantage back to two goals a 3-1. It’s the fastest hat trick of the season for the Rush, with Schultz scoring all three within 21:52 of playing time. Jared Brown would bring the Mavericks back within striking distance, going coast-to-coast as a Missouri power play expired and sent on by Rush net-minder Johnny Griggs, cutting the Rush lead to 3-2 at the 6:40 point of the period.

With 4:40 gone by in the third period, the Mavericks received their fifth power play of the game, one of their best chances to even the score, but just over a minute into the man-advantage, Winston Day Chief finished on a two-on-one shorthanded rush started by Patrick Cullen, deflecting the puck past Clemente for a shorthanded tally, lifting the Rush to another two goal lead at 4-2. The home side crept back in, however, as with 1:34 left in the game, Jack Downing deflected the puck by Griggs to change the count to 4-3 in favor of the Rush. Despite their best efforts with a power play, as well as an extra-attacker with a pulled goaltender, the Rush would hang on and defeat the Mavericks for a sixth straight time with a 4-3 final score.

Johnny Griggs made 40 saves in the game, winning his sixth game in a Rush uniform (6-2-1). In the last four games, three time Griggs has been named one of the final three stars of the game, tonight claiming third star honors.

Both teams will head back to the Black Hills as the Rush host the Mavericks for the fourth time in their last five games, with puck drop slated for 6:35 p.m. MST at Premier Home Mortgage Ice in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.

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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