(RAPID CITY, SD) – Taylor Doherty’s early goal put the Rush on top, but two strikes later from Jefferson Dahl and Carson McMillan tilted the game in favor of the Idaho Steelheads who defeated the Rapid City Rush by a 3-1 score on Friday night.
For the fifth time in their last six games, the Rush earned the first goal of the game. Just 3:19 into the matchup, Taylor Doherty came off of his blue line and sent a pass from behind the net in the high slot by Idaho goaltender, Philippe Desrosiers, to afford the Rush a 1-0 lead (Kale Kerbashian and Destry Straight received the assists). Doherty’s third goal of the season triggered a shower of underwear onto the ice in recognition of the first-ever “Undie Toss” Game in Rush history. The Steelheads fired right back moments later on their first power play of the game to even the score. Just 16 seconds into their first power play, Jefferson Dahl capitalized on a loose puck in front of the Rush net and scored on Rush net-minder, Danny Battochio, to square the matchup at 1-1 with 8:35 gone by in the period (Emil Molin and Zack Kamrass received the assists). Steelheads captain Carson McMillan would break the deadlock and provide a go-ahead goal for Idaho as his shot was deflected off of a Rush defenseman and behind Battochio, giving the visitors 2-1 lead with 2:08 left in the first period (Kamrass recorded his second assist of the game on the goal, while Andrew Panzarella received the secondary).
After a scoreless middle frame, the Rush buzzed in the final period, clanking the post twice just minutes apart in an effort to respond to McMillan’s go-ahead goal. Despite the best efforts of the home side, that goal would turn out to be the game-winner, as neither team would score until Emil Molin’s empty-netter with 45.4 seconds left in the contest, sealing a 3-1 win for the Steelheads, marking their first victory in Rapid City this season (the lone assist went to Panzarella, giving him two in the game).
Danny Battochio stopped 31 of 33 shots faced in the loss, his tenth start (6-3-1). The loss concludes a season-high six-game point streak for the Rush, as well as their three-game winning streak that matched a previous high this year.
Both teams close out their three game series against each other tomorrow at Premier Home Mortgage Ice in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, with puck drop slated for 7:05 p.m. MST.
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