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RUSH FALL VICTIM TO BOUNCES, STEELHEADS ON ROAD

Friday, March 18th
RUSH FALL VICTIM TO BOUNCES, STEELHEADS ON ROAD

(BOISE, ID) – Barrett Kaib and Anthony Mastrodicasa each earned a point in their pro debuts, but fluky bounces and early home-side scoring doomed the Rapid City Rush as they fell to the Idaho Steelheads by a 4-1 score on Friday night.

Idaho started off scoring entries in the contest on the strength of their power play. With 6:56 gone by in the game, on the first Idaho power play of the night, Joe Basaraba chipped the puck behind Rush net-minder Danny Battochio, finishing a Carson McMillan pass to put the Steelheads up 1-0 (McMillan and Andre Bouvette-Morrissette notched the assists). Less than two minutes later, Jefferson Dahl sent the puck behind Battochio on the back door, doubling the Rush deficit to 2-0 with 8:40 played in the first (Kyle Jean and Tommy Fallen earned the helpers). The Steelheads would jump to a 3-0 lead, but the tripling of their goal total came with much controversy. With 4:24 left in the first period, Battochio made a save on a Joe Basaraba shot, but it went up high on the Rush net-minder, causing him to fall to the ice as if he was seriously injured. Despite being down on the ice in a prone position for almost five seconds, play was not stopped for the injured goaltender, and Carson McMillan sent the puck into the empty Rush net to put his team up 3-0 (Bouvette-Morrissette and Basaraba both earned their second points of the game on the tally, with Basaraba earning his first by an assist in the contest).

The Rush cut into the Idaho lead on a power play of their own, with one of the two newest members to the professional ranks putting his team on the board. At the 4:11 mark of the second period, Barrett Kaib scored his first professional goal on a shot from the blue line that skipped by Idaho goaltender Philippe Desrosiers, diminishing the home side’s lead to 3-1 (Anthony Mastrodicasa registered his first professional point on the goal, while Zach Luczyk picked up the other assist). Despite the tally, the Steelheads benefitted from another turn of fortune on the fourth Rush power play of the night. Zack Kamrass played the puck off of Battochio from his own zone and the puck took an active bounce right to the tape of Kyle Jean, who danced around the sprawling Battochio to put the puck in the empty net to advance the Steelheads to a 4-1 lead with 4:33 left in the second (the goal was unassisted). There would be no more scoring following the Steelheads shorthanded strike, leading to a 4-1 Idaho win.

Danny Battochio suffered the loss, stopping 20 of 24 shots (19-17-3).

Both teams will rematch in CenturyLink Arena for the final time this season, with puck drop slated for 7:10 p.m. MST tomorrow night.

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