(RAPID CITY, SD) – James Melindy’s first goal in a Rush uniform and Dan O’Donoghue’s team-leading fifth goal of the season provided a surge for the Rapid City Rush in the second period, but it was not enough as the Allen Americans won the rematch between the heated rivals by a 7-2 score on Saturday night in Premier Home Mortgage Ice in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
It took 17:43 of game time, and 19 shots, but the Americans struck first for a second consecutive night. Greger Hanson finished a cross-ice pass from Justin Baker jumping in on the play from the blue line, beating Rush rookie net-minder Marek Langhamer to put the Americans on the board at 1-0 (Justin Baker and Chad Costello received the assists). Exactly 40 seconds later, Jonathan Parker doubled the Americans advantage to 2-0 heading into the first intermission, shooting by a screened Langhamer to ignite the goal lamp (Justin Courtnall and Eric Roy received the assists).
Roy started off scoring for Allen in the second frame, recording his second of three points in the contest, shooting from the blue-line through traffic past Langhamer, tripling the Americans score to 3-0 with 7:54 to go in the second (Costello and Baker earned their second assists of the night). The Rush surged back and brought themselves within striking distance, however, with two goals separated by 35 seconds. With 5:10 to go in the middle frame, James Melindy recorded his first Rush goal, sending a point shot by a screened Joel Rumpel to put the Rush on the board at 3-1 (Dakota Mermis recorded his first professional point with the assist; Destry Straight recorded the secondary assist). Dan O’Donoghue slammed home a rebound on a shot from Jonathan Narbonne taken from the far wall of the Allen zone to bring the Rush back within 1 with 4:35 remaining in the period to make it a 3-2 game (Narbonne and Winston Day Chief were credited with assists). Building off of their momentum, the Rush drew a double-minor penalty from the Americans and Tristan King with exactly three minutes left in the second, but the Americans scored shorthanded to increase their distance. With 1:19 left in the period, Rick Pinkston recorded his first goal of the year, cashing in on a Rush defensive zone turnover to re-establish Allen’s multi-goal lead at 4-2 (Courtnall recorded his second assist of the game, while Parker earned his second point with his first assist).
Despite the best efforts of the Rush, the Americans slowly separated themselves from the home side and took off with three more goals, two of which came from Allen’s Casey Pierro-Zabotel. His first came off of an awkward deflection in front of Marek Langhamer’s net, giving the Americans a 5-2 lead with 8:35 to go in the game (Dave Makowski recorded an assist, while Parker recorded his second assist and third point of the contest). Parker added his second goal and fourth point overall as he banged home a rebound in Langhamer’s crease to build a 6-2 advantage for Allen with exactly seven minutes remaining in regulation (unassisted). Pierro-Zabotel’s second goal, the final one of the contest, came on a rebound in front once more (Roy recorded his second helper and third point, while Greger Hanson etched in his second point on his first assist), bringing the Americans to a 7-2 win over the Rush.
Marek Langhamer received the loss in his professional debut, stopping 42 of 49 shots thrown towards his net (0-1-0).
The Rush travel to take on their new West Division rivals, the Utah Grizzlies, for the first time ever in franchise history this Friday and Saturday, November 13th and 14th, at the Maverik Center.
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