(RAPID CITY, SD) – Dan O’Donoghue ignited the goal lamp twice, Winston Day Chief added another with an assist, and Danny Battochio stopped all but one shot fired on his net as the Rapid City Rush defeated the Alaska Aces in a rematch on Halloween by a 5-1 score on Saturday afternoon.
After a high-flying, scoreless first period, the Rush broke open the dam and surged for three goals within the last 13 minutes of the second, starting with strong special teams play once more. With 7:15 gone by in the second, Rush forward Dan O’Donoghue recorded his first of two on the night by crashing the net on the first Rush power play of the game, stuffing home a rebound from a Garrett Clarke shot past Aces goaltender Steve Summerhays to put the Rush on the board with a 1-0 score. Almost seven minutes later on the fourth power play of the game for the Aces, the Rush fore-checked deep enough in the zone to force an offensive zone faceoff. Rush rookie Destry Straight won the faceoff back to his defense in Taylor Doherty, who sent a soft wrister top shelf by a screened Summerhays to double the Rush lead with a shorthanded goal at 2-0 with 5:57 left in the period. Rounding out the surge was Rush rookie Spencer Pommells, who scored his third goal in the last four games by sniping a Garrett Clarke pass over Summerhays to build a 3-0 Rush lead with 2:01 left in the frame. Despite the best defensive efforts of the Rush, the Aces would respond with 14.4 seconds left with forward Ben Lake beating Rush netminder Danny Battochio to put the visiting side on the board at 3-1.
Rush Captain Winston Day Chief re-established the Rush’s three-goal advantage after he sent a loose rebound on a Zach Cohen and Brian O’Rourke effort by a sprawled out Summerhays to increase the Rush lead to 4-1 with 8:14 left in the game. O’Donoghue added his second of the night, the final goal of the contest on a very similar play deep in the Aces zone, slamming a rebound off of a shot from James Melindy on the near half-wall with 6:47 left in the game, which eventually lead to a 5-1 Rush victory.
Danny Battochio was stalwart in net, turning aside all but one of the 33 shots he faced (4-1-0). For Battochio, it is his fourth win in his last five starts after he went 3-0-0 to start a season for the first time in his career. By virtue of assists, Rush rookies Destry Straight and Brian O’Rourke recorded their first points as professional hockey players.
The Rush complete their four-game homestand with a pair of games against the defending Kelly Cup Champion Allen Americans next Friday and Saturday, November 6th and 7th, with both games slated for a 7:05 p.m. start at Premier Home Mortgage Ice in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
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