(RAPID CITY, SD) – Stephen Perfetto notched two goals, Ben Lake added another, and Justin Bretton added the insurance with the empty net, and the Rapid City Rush fell to the Alaska Aces in their first ever matchup by 4-1 score at Premier Home Mortgage Ice in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
The Aces struck first in the contest, showcasing their speed in doing so. After a long Rush forecheck deep in the Aces third of the ice, a turnover came on the blue line that lead Aces defenseman Gleason Fournier to spring Stephen Perfetto for a break down the ice. Perfetto settled a rolling puck and beat Rush netminder Nick Riopel over his glove up high to put the visitors up 1-0 with 12:51 remaining in the first period.
Perfetto scored again for the Aces to kick off the second period to double the Aces lead. With 1:13 gone by in the middle act, Perfetto completed a cross-zone pass from teammate Tim Coffman that he batted out of mid-air by a sprawling Riopel to give the Aces a 2-0 lead. The Aces tripled their advantage just over five minutes into the second when Alaska forward Ben Lake sent a one-timer from Aces defenseman Garett Haar by Riopel which brought the score to 3-0 with 14:57 left in the second. Eventually, the home side snapped their shutout streak and got on the board thanks to a strong appearance by their special teams. With 7:58 to play in the second, Rush forward Zach Cohen powered down low in the Aces zone and gave the puck to Spencer Pommells on a give-and-go, which Pommells finished by threading the needle over the shoulder of Aces goaltender Troy Redman to put the Rush on the board at a 3-1 score. Despite multiple offensive rushes and numerous barrages on net, the Aces received the insurance goal they desperately needed from Justin Breton with 20.5 seconds left in the game to lift his Alaskan team to a third straight win with a 4-1 final.
Nick Riopel received his second loss of the season in his second start, stopping 25 of 28 shots on net (0-2-0).
Both teams rematch in a Halloween matinee tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. at Premier Home Mortgage Ice in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center to close out their first ever head-to-head series.
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