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MALLARDS STRIKE TWICE IN THIRD TO EDGE OUT RUSH

Saturday, December 12th
MALLARDS STRIKE TWICE IN THIRD TO EDGE OUT RUSH

(RAPID CITY, SD) – Zach Cohen triggered a shower of teddy bears with his first period goal, but the Quad City Mallards scored twice in the final frame to stun the Rapid City Rush by a 2-1 score on Saturday, the 8th Annual Teddy Bear Toss held by the Rush.

Tension was in the air on Teddy Bear Toss night, with everyone wondering who would score the goal that would trigger a shower of teddy bears and when. Rush fans found that out at the 4:26 mark of the first period as Zach Cohen took a drop pass from Chris Ciotti and carried the puck towards the net. Cohen busted through the low slot, and while falling, tapped a bouncing puck in mid-air by Mallards goaltender Steve Michalek to give the Rush a 1-0 lead (Ciotti recorded the lone assist). Tension was also evident between both of the heated clubs, who managed to skate through a scoreless, yet penalty-filled second period which saw 60 of the game’s 76 penalty minutes assessed to both sides.

It would prove to be the only goal of the contest for 42:52 of game action until the Mallards evened the score in the midst of four-on-four hockey in the third. With 12:42 left in the game, Matt Carey fired a shot through traffic that beat Rush net-minder Danny Battochio, squaring the game up at 1-1 (Alex Gudbranson and Jake Baker recorded the assists). Following up that goal was Sam Warning, who once again through traffic beat Battochio stick-side to give the Mallards their first and only lead of the game with 9:08 remaining in the contest (Matt Neal earned an assist, while Carey earned his second point of the night with his first helper on the goal). Despite the best efforts of the Rush after killing a late penalty in the game, the Mallards and their rookie goaltender hung tough and kept their lead in what was eventually a Mallards 2-1 win.

Danny Battochio suffers the loss after stopping 35 of 37 shots faced, splitting the weekend with the Mallards (7-4-1).

The Rush regroup and take the road as they play the Alaska Aces next week in a three game series in Anchorage on Friday December 18th, Saturday December 19th, and Sunday December 20th. Puck drop for the Friday and Saturday contests are scheduled for 9:15 p.m. MST, while the Sunday contest is slated for a 5:05 p.m. MST puck drop.

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