SLAPSHOT POSTGAME COVERAGE PRESENTED BY ASSURANT SOLUTIONS
RUSH FALL IN HOME FINALE ON “SCOTT WRAY” NIGHT
(RAPID CITY, SD) – Brett Kostolanksy netted his first goal of the season, and Winston Day Chief brought the Rush to life in the third, but the Quad City Mallards held on to defeat the Rapid City Rush, the same night the Rush retired Scott Wray’s #17, by 3-2 score. The Mallards, with the win, secured a berth into the ECHL’s Kelly Cup Playoffs, with three of the four required teams for the bracket now in the playoff field.
For the first time in four matchups, the Rush struck first and gained an early lead. Kevin Harvey sprang Patrick Cullen and the captain, Winston Day Chief, on a two-on-one break. Cullen deferred to Day Chief, whose shot was stopped by Mallards goaltender Parker Milner, but Brett Kostolansky stepped up and rifled the rebound into an open net, giving the Rush a 1-0 lead just 5:39 into the action. Joe Perry, rookie standout for the Mallards squad however, would even the score with 2:09 left in the first with his 26th goal of the season from Justin Fox and Jake Baker.
Quad City managed to pull ahead in the second, with Matt Neal’s first goal as a professional. Kevin Baker rifled a shot that was stopped by Rush netminder Danny Battochio, with Neal sending the rebound in at 12:15 of the middle frame to give the Mallards a 2-1 advantage heading into the third.
Winston Day Chief evened things up for the Rush in the early moments of the final frame of the regular season at home for the Rush. With 2:37 gone by in the period, Mathieu Brisebois sent a shot towards Milner’s net, with Day Chief deflecting it by him to equalize things at 2-2. The Mallards got the last word as Austin Coldwell sent a wrist shot through traffic over the blocker side of Battochio with traffic in front, lifting the Mallards to a 3-2 advantage with 6:47 left in the game. Despite two late power plays, including a five-on-three advantage for 37 seconds, and an extra-attacker effort with Battochio pulled from his net, the Rush were unable to respond their visitors, and fell in their home finale 3-2.
Danny Battochio receives the loss, the first one he has suffered since March 10th against the Allen Americans at home (25-18-3).
The Rush finish out their season against the aforementioned Americans next Thursday, April 9th, and Friday, April 10th, on the road in the Allen Events Center.
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