(WINDSOR, CO) – Among five different Rapid City Rush goal-scorers Lindsay Sparks scored for a fourth consecutive game, and Brayden Low notched his first as a professional, but Jesse Mychan powered the Colorado Eagles with 4 points, including a hat-trick, to hand the Rush their fifth straight loss with a 7-5 final on Wednesday night.
Colorado got off to a fast start against the Rush before the latter made it interesting heading into the break. The Eagles scored twice in 53 seconds, starting with Cole Sanford’s strike. Sanford was in the high slot when the rebound from Matt Register’s blocked shot came to his stick. Sanford sent the puck by Rush net-minder Kent Patterson to put the Eagles up 1-0 with 3:21 gone by in the first (Register and Matt Garbowsky earned the assists). Less than a minute later, Jesse Mychan doubled the Eagles lead to 2-0 when he squeaked a rebound by Patterson with 4:14 played in the opening period (Casey Pierro-Zabotel and Luke Salazar assisted). The goal prompted the removal of Kent Patterson from the Rush net, and the insertion of rookie Chuck Grant. The Rush battled back for their new net-minder and for eachother and tied the game up heading into the break. The first ignition of the goal lamp came from Brayden Low, where he registered his first professional goal on a loose puck in front of Eagles net-minder Nathan Lieuwen to half the Rush deficit at 2-1 with 6:27 left in the first (Nathan Moon earned the lone assist). Lindsay Sparks continued his tear with a goal in his fourth consecutive game, scoring the tying goal with 6 seconds remaining in the frame, finishing a Ryan Walters pass by Lieuwen to even the game at 2-2 heading into the second (Ryan and Nick Walters assisted)
Brenden Walker gave the Rush a 3-2 lead within the first two minutes of the second. With 1:27 gone by, Ryan Walters edged the puck to Lindsay Sparks, who had a two-on-one with Walker. Sparks hit Walker on the tape and he buried for his second of the season to push the Rush to a 3-2 advantage (Sparks and Walters assisted, both earning their second point of the game on the sequence). Following the first Rush power play of the game, Brett Perlini doubled the Rush lead to 4-2 after he slammed a Nathan Moon centering pass by Lieuwen with 10:11 remaining in the second (Moon earned his second assist, while Josh MacDonald added one himself). The fourth unanswered Rush goal prompted Lieuwen to be replaced in Colorado’s goal by Clarke Saunders, and the change sparked the Eagles offense. Exactly 31 seconds following Perlini’s strike, Cole Sanford earned his second goal of the game to bring the Eagles within striking distance at 4-2 with 9:39 left in the frame (Matt Garbowsky earned his second helper while Ryan Harrison notched his first). The Rush answered back promptly, as Josh MacDonald notched his second tally of the season 24 seconds later with a one-timer in the high slot to re-establish the two-goal advantage at 5-3 with 9:15 left in the second (Garrett Haar and Hunter Fejes assisted). Colorado got one more answer with 6:28 left in the frame when Luke Salazar sent a one-timer all alone by Grant on the back door during the Eagles second power play, bringing the score to 5-4 heading into the final period (Garbowsky earned his third assist of the game, while Mychan notched his second point).
Ryan Harrison jolted the Eagles within the first minute of the third to even the score. With 40 seconds gone by, Harrison shot the puck between the faceoff circles by Grant’s blocker to square the game at 5-5 (Cole Sanford earned his third point with the assist, while Teigan Zahn added his first). The tie lasted 3:10 until Jesse Mychan broke it with his second goal of the contest with 16:10 left in the game. Mychan fired a shot off the faceoff that was blocked, but the rebound came right back to him and he finished to give the Eagles the game-winning strike at 6-5 (Casey Pierro-Zabotel earned his second assist on the goal). Mychan completed his hat-trick with an empty-netter with 43.7 seconds left, sealing a 7-5 Eagles win (goal was unassisted).
Kent Patterson made 3 saves on 5 shots in 4:14 of work, while Chuck Grant earned the loss in 54:41 of relief, stopping 23 of 27 shots faced (0-1-0).
The Rush travel to Anchorage to take on the Alaska Aces in a trio of contests starting Friday night, October 28th. Puck drop is slated for 9:15 p.m. MST at Sullivan Arena.
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