(RAPID CITY, SD) – Spencer Pommells contributed a second straight two-point night, and Danny Battochio stopped all but one shot on net, but Mikhail Stefanovich scored the game-winner in overtime as the Rapid City Rush defeated the ECHL’s best team, the Missouri Mavericks, by a 2-1 score on Friday night.
Two nights in a row, Spencer Pommells afforded the Rush a 1-0 advantage. His third tally in the last two games came on a deflection in front of Mavericks goaltender, Stephon Williams, at the 12:08 mark of the period to put the Rush on top first (Danick Gauthier and Winston Day Chief notched the assists). Williams, making his Mavericks debut on a reassignment from his club’s AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, would not concede another goal for the remainder of regulation.
Pommells’ tally would hold up as the only one of the contest until 55:19 of gametime, as the Mavericks upset the shutout bid of Rush net-minder, Danny Battochio. With 4:41 left in the game, Jesse Root fired a shot that was deflected by Tyler Barnes in front of Battochio and behind the Rush goal line, equalizing the score at 1-1 (Root and Rocco Carzo got the assists). Despite numerous chances from both sides following the tying goal, the teams would remain deadlocked, and three-on-three overtime would ensue.
Just 2:46 into overtime, Spencer Pommells looped around the Missouri zone and fired it on net. The shot was deflected by Mikhail Stefanovich and behind Williams, giving the Belarus native not only his team-leading 11th goal of the season, but the second point for his club as the Rush defeated the best team in the ECHL, the Mavericks by a 2-1 score in overtime.
Danny Battochio won his third straight start, stopping 26 of 27 Missouri shots (11-6-2). Two games in a row, Battochio has held the opponent scoreless for over 55 minutes of play.
Both teams will square off in a highly anticipated rematch tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. MST at Premier Home Mortgage Ice in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center for our first-ever “Pucks n’ Paws Night”.
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