SLAPSHOT POSTGAME COVERAGE PRESENTED BY ASSURANT SOLUTIONS
DAY CHIEF WINS GAME FOR RUSH WITH 22.3 SECONDS LEFT
(RAPID CITY, SD) – Winston Day Chief, captain of the Rapid City Rush, powered his team with a three-point night to a 3-2 win, securing the victory with 22.3 seconds left in regulation against the Allen Americans on Friday night. The victory on home ice at Premier Home Mortgage Ice in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, coupled with a Wichita Thunder loss in regulation, gives the Rush sole possession of third in the ECHL’s Central Division standings.
Unlike its Tuesday night counterpart, the scoring started again from the Americans, but within the first three minutes of the game. At 2:18 of the first, Garrett Clarke found a man in front of the net from behind the net, connecting with Kyle Follmer, who squeaked the puck past Rush netminder Danny Battochio, giving the Americans an early 1-0 lead. However, exactly 14 seconds later, Rush captain Winston Day Chief scored on the short side of Allen goaltender J.P. Anderson on passes from Kevin Harvey and Patrick Cullen, equalizing the game at 1-1. The Americans responded towards the latter fourth of the period, with Greger Hanson re-establishing the Allen lead on the Americans first power play of the game at 15:40 of the first, taking a 2-1 lead into the second period. With 15.4 second left in the opening period, Kevin Harvey was hit from behind by Tyler Barr, who was ultimately called for a roughing minor and an interference minor, leading to a four-minute power play for the Rush that carried over into the second.
The Rush cashed in on the front-end of their double-minor power play, with 1 second to spare in the first 2 minutes. With 1:44 gone by in the second, Kevin Harvey deflected a Winston Day Chief shot past J.P. Anderson, tying the game again with a 2-2 score. The Rush thwarted an Americans power play, and headed into the final period of regulation still deadlocked.
After a back-and-forth, physical final period, fireworks shot off on the ice. With 22.3 seconds left, Brett Kostolansky broke up a play in neutral ice, springing Winston Day Chief for a partial breakaway. Day Chief had Anderson to beat, and did so through the five-hole, lifting the Rush to a 3-2 lead, and eventually, after staving off an Americans rally, a major two points and win.
Danny Battochio earned his 18th win of the season, stopping 26 of 28 shots on his goal (18-17-2). Winston Day Chief claimed first-star honors with his three point night (2 G, Ast). Friday night’s win was the first ever on Friday the 13th in Rush history.
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