(RAPID CITY, SD) – Ryan Misiak and Lindsay Sparks each scored in their home debut, but the Colorado Eagles edged out the Rapid City Rush on Friday night by a 5-3 score in what was the Rush’s 8th annual “Pink at the Rink” game.
Jimmy Bonneau put his team up early in the first period as a result of a bizarre turn of events. Ready to go for a line change, Bonneau took the puck in front of the Rush bench and simply tried to dump it into the Colorado zone. The puck took an awkward hop towards Eagles goaltender Eric Levine, and took a bounce off of his pads and into the net, giving the Rush a 1-0 lead. Bonneau’s first of the season was assisted by Michael Young and Danick Gauthier. Colorado would strike back and tie things up on Kyle Ostrow’s wrist shot from the far wall of the Rush defensive zone. Ostrow put a well-placed shot by Rush net-minder Danny Battochio, and evened it up at 1-1 with 9:11 played in the game (Trent Daavettila and Kyle Kraemer notched the assists). Adrian Veideman put his team up 2-1 just four minutes later, creeping in from the blue line and rifling a shot by Battochio to bring the score to 2-1 heading into the second period (Colin Joe and Jesse Mychan recorded the assists).
The Rush evened the game up in the second period, building off the momentum they created on special teams on Wednesday night. On the third Rush power play of the game, Ryan Misiak slapped a rebound off of a James Melindy shot by Levine, tying the game with 9:57 left in the second period, recording his first goal in a Rush uniform (Melindy and Benjamin Dieude-Fauvel earned the helpers). The Eagles struck back against the Rush with 68 seconds left in the frame, re-taking the lead over the Rush heading into the second intermission. Teigan Zahn found Sean Zimmerman down low in the near corner of the Rush zone, who promptly found Jesse Mychan alone in front of Battochio’s net. Mychan sent the puck by the Rush backstopper and gave his Eagles side a 3-2 lead on the play.
Adrian Veideman started scoring entries for the third period, registering his second of the night to help separate his club from the Rush. With 13:27 left in the game, Trent Daavettila won a faceoff to Veideman, and then the Eagles blueliner crept down the near wall of the Rush zone until traffic started to build up in front of the Rush net. Veideman flung a wrist shot by a screened Battochio to double the Eagles lead to two goals at 4-2 (Daavettila earned the lone assist). The Rush went on the counter strike just over four minutes later, with Lindsay Sparks earning his first goal with the Rush as well. With 9:04 left in the game, Michael Young kept the puck in the Eagles zone on the far wall and found Sparks down low on that side. Sparks snuck in and, on a sharp angle, banked the puck off of a Colorado defender and in, bringing the Rush within striking distance at 4-3 (Young got the lone assist). Darryl Bootland sealed the game with 34 seconds left, scoring into the empty Rush net, eventually earning his Colorado side a 5-3 win.
Danny Battochio stopped 15 of 19 shots in the loss (13-14-3).
The Rush re-matches the Colorado Eagles for a “rubber game” tomorrow night in the Budweiser Events Center. Puck drop for the third meeting in four nights between the hated rivals is slated for 7:05 p.m. MST.
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