(RAPID CITY, SD) – Mikhail Stefanovich’s 10th goal of the year gave his a chance with four minutes to play, but Kevin Carr and the Tulsa Oilers staved off a Rapid City Rush rally to spoil New Year’s Eve in Rapid City with a 2-1 win on Thursday night.
The only fireworks of the first period came with 75 seconds remaining, and resulted in a lead for the Oilers heading into the first intermission. After Rush net-minder Sam Marotta stopped a shot from the far side of the zone, Adam Pleskach poked the rebound by him to afford the visitors a 1-0 lead (Christophe Lalancette and Aaron Harstad recorded the assists). At the end of the period, Emerson Clark put the Rush on the power play to start the second for slashing James Melindy in neutral ice, but nothing came of the man-advantage.
Brady Ramsay doubled the Oilers lead to 2-0 as he deflected an Aaron Harstad shot by Marotta at the 3:57 mark of the second (Harstad recorded his second assist of the game, while Brian Nugent recorded his first). At the 12:49 mark of the second period, Emerson Clark was awarded a penalty shot that was denied by Marotta. It kept the score 2-0 heading into the third.
After 121:10 of hockey dating back to Saturday’s Rush vs Eagles game in Colorado, Mikhail Stefanovich ended the drought and brought his club back into it. With 4:01 remaining in the game, the Belarus native deflected a James Melindy shot by Oilers goaltender Kevin Carr to put the Rush in striking distance, down 2-1 (Melindy and Spencer Pommells received the assists). With 78 seconds left in the contest, Tulsa’s Christophe Lalancette was assessed a minor for goaltender interference, prompting the Rush to pull Marotta in exchange for an extra-attacker that gave the home side a 6-on-4 advantage for the remainder of the game. The Oilers missed multiple empty-net opportunities, and the Rush created many chances on the other end, but the Oilers and Carr shut the door and survived the onslaught, hanging on for a 2-1 win.
Marotta fell in his second start with the Rush and his first at home, stopping 22 of 24 shots (3-3-0 overall, 0-2-0 with the Rush).
The Rush play next in 2016 on Saturday, January 2nd, in a rematch against the Oilers. Puck drop for “Halfway to Fourth of July Night”, featuring specialty baseball jerseys and a baseball themed night, is slated for 7:05 p.m. MST.
From all of our Rush family to yours, have a safe, healthy, and happy new year! We’ll see you in 2016!
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Join Rush Nation for only $10 per game! Call the Rush office at 716-7825 for details, and stay informed on all Rush happenings this season through the official Rapid City Rush team website, www.RapidCityRush.com, and the Rapid City Rush mobile app, available on iTunes and Google Play.