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RUSH NAVIGATE LATE SPARKS TO WIN FIRST OF NEW YEAR

Saturday, January 2nd
RUSH NAVIGATE LATE SPARKS TO WIN FIRST OF NEW YEAR

(RAPID CITY, SD) – Taylor Doherty and Kale Kerbashian each notched a goal and an assist for the Rapid City Rush, but 226 penalty minutes they shared with the Tulsa Oilers became the topic of conversation as the Rush defeated the Oilers by a 4-3 score, claiming the victory in their first game of 2016 on Saturday night.

Both teams saw their offense go to work quickly, with two goals split between the teams coming within the first 78 seconds of the game. Nineteen seconds into the action, Tulsa ignited the goal lamp and gained an early 1-0 lead as Adam Pleskach notched his second in as many games, pounding a loose puck by Rush net-minder, Danny Battochio (Christophe Lalancette and Nathan Lutz recorded the assists). Exactly 58 seconds later, Garrett Clarke sent the rebound of a Brian O’Rourke shot by Oilers goaltender, Kevin Carr, to equalize the game at 1-1 on his first goal in a Rush uniform (O’Rourke and Scott Brannon notched the helpers). Just at the midway point of the first, Rush captain Winston Day Chief gave the Rush their first lead of the game on his team’s first power play of the night, slamming a bouncing puck by Carr to give the Rush a 2-1 advantage heading into the intermission (Kale Kerbashian and Taylor Doherty recorded the assists).

In the second period, the Rush had the tall task of killing off a 5-on-3 Tulsa power play for a full two minutes in the latter half of the frame. Shortly after successfully killing of the two-man-advantage, Phil Brewer was found alone in front and beat Battochio point blank to tie the game up at 2-2 with 3:31 left in the period (Axel Blomqvist and Matt Konan earned the assists).

In the final 20 minutes, the Rush scored twice within 28 seconds to separate themselves from the Oilers, and eventually rode that offense to the win. On the final Rush power play of the game, Kale Kerbashian rifled a wrist shot from the near faceoff circle top-shelf to give the Rush a 3-2 lead with 12:18 left in the game (Spencer Pommells and James Melindy notched the assists). Less than a half a minute later, Taylor Doherty fired a shot through traffic from the blue line that beat Carr to double the Rush advantage to 4-2 with 11:50 left in the game (Brannon recorded his second assist, while Mikhail Stefanovich earned his first on the goal). Tulsa did not go quietly and came back within striking distance on their final power play of the night. With 9:43 left in the game, Adam Pleskach got his second goal of the night by deflecting a Christophe Lalancette shot from the near wall of the Rush zone, bringing Tulsa’s deficit to 4-3 (Lalancette got his second assist of the game on the goal, while Mathieu Brisebois garnered his first on the goal). From the last 24.7 seconds of the game to the end of regulation, both teams’ hostility reached a boiling point and fights broke out all over the ice. When all was said and done at triple-zero on the game clock, 142 of the game’s 226 PIM assessed between both clubs were handed out, 82 of which belonged to the Oilers with the remaining 60 handed to the Rush. After the calamity was resolved, the Rush celebrated their win in their final game against the Oilers this season by the count of 4-3.

Danny Battochio held off 24 of 27 shots in earning his ninth win of the season (9-6-2).

The Rush take to the road to play the Utah Grizzlies for the first time since November on Wednesday night, January 6th, with puck drop slated for 7:05 p.m. MST at the Maverik Center. The Boys from the Black Hills come home after that meeting to play the Missouri Mavericks in a pair of games on January 8th and 9th, with both games beginning at 7:05 p.m. MST at Premier Home Mortgage Ice in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.

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.

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