SLAPSHOT POSTGAME COVERAGE PRESENTED BY ASSURANT SOLUTIONS
RUSHED EDGED BY AMERICANS IN EXHILIRATING 60 MINUTES
(RAPID CITY, SD) – Chad Costello potted a shorthanded goal, Jamie Schaafsma added an extra tally, and Riley Gill stopped 23 shots and a spirited Rapid City Rush comeback, sealing a 2-1 win for his visiting Allen Americans on Tuesday night. The loss keeps the Rush in the fourth and final playoff spot in the ECHL’s Central Division, two points out of second place with 12 games to go in the regular season.
It took 37:21 of hockey to eventually see an ignition of the goal lamp, and it was the Americans that started the scoring entries. With 2:39 left in the second period, on the third Rush power play of the game, Kevin Young broke up a neutral zone pass, tipping the puck to Chad Costello. The ECHL’s leading scorer had a cross-ice option in the Rush zone, but elected to take the shot and just squeaked it by Rush netminder, Danny Battochio, to lift the Americans to a 1-0 lead heading into the third.
Jamie Schaafsma, the Americans captain, double the visitors lead to 2-0 at the 4:29 mark of the final frame. On a three-on-two break into the Rush zone, Schaafsma tipped a cross-ice pass from Greger Hanson past Battochio through the back door, increasing the Americans’ lead. The Rush came back with a power play goal, as Jesse Schultz hacked a rebound from a Mathieu Brisebois shot past Allen goaltender Riley Gill to cut the deficit to 2-1 with 3:58 left in regulation. With 19.1 seconds left, the Rush won an offensive zone draw and had three quality chances to tie the game, but Gill and the Americans’ defense stood tall and held on for a 2-1 win after an exhilarating 60 minutes.
Danny Battochio received the loss, stopping 28 of 30 shots thrown towards his net (17-17-2). The Rush penalty kill held the Allen power play, third best in the league, to an 0/4 count in regulation.
Both teams will engage in a rematch on Friday, March 13th, with puck drop slated for 7:05 p.m. MST at Premier Home Mortgage Ice in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
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