(WEST VALLEY CITY, UT) – Spencer Pommells scored twice and Danick Gauthier added two assists in his Rapid City Rush debut, but Danny Battochio made 41 saves to lead the Rush to a 3-1 road win over the Utah Grizzlies on Wednesday night.
Meeting for the first time since November 21st of 2015, the Rush jumped out to a 1-0 lead over their West Division leaders. With 9:26 gone by in the first period, Spencer Pommells unloaded a rocket of a one-timer towards the end of the first Rush power play of the game, beating Utah net-minder, Ryan Faragher, up high to put the Rush up 1-0 (Michael Young and Winston Day Chief recorded the assists). Entering the second period, the Rush had almost three minutes of power play time due to a double-minor for high-sticking assessed to Utah’s Erik Higby, but nothing would come of it.
Despite the Grizzlies outshooting the Rush by a 28-16 margin through two periods, the Rush would utilize quick scoring for a second straight night, igniting the goal lamp twice within 24 seconds. Pommells notched his second of the night as he tapped a Danick Gauthier shot by Faragher with 8:11 to go in the game, affording his Rush club a 2-0 lead (Gauthier, in his Rush debut, recorded the assist, while James Melindy received the other). Less than half a minute later, Gauthier and Day Chief went on a two-on-one through the neutral zone, with Day Chief deflecting an area pass in the low slot by Gauthier by Faragher to quickly triple the Rush lead to 3-0 with 7:47 remaining in regulation (Gauthier and Young both picked up their second assists of the game on the goal). Danny Battochio, Rush net-minder, kept the Grizzlies off the board for the majority of the game, but after 55:42 of gametime, TJ Syner put the home side on the scoresheet. With 4:18 left in the game, Josh MacDonald fired a shot on Battochio from the far faceoff circle of the Rush zone, and Syner followed up by hacking the rebound in the Rush net to cut Utah’s deficit to 3-1 (MacDonald and Ryan Walters were credited with the assists). In a last-ditch effort to even the score, the Grizzlies pulled Faragher from their net, but could not come back in the game, leading to a 3-1 Rush win.
Danny Battochio stopped 41 of 42 Grizzlies shots to earn his 10th win of the season (10-6-2).
The Rush head back home to play the ECHL’s leading team, the Missouri Mavericks, in two games this weekend. Puck drop at Premier Home Mortgage Ice in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center is slated for 7:05 p.m. MST on both Friday, January 8th, and Saturday, January 9th.
Other Rush News:
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.