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RUSH VS MALLARDS - 10/21

Friday, October 21st
RUSH VS MALLARDS - 10/21

Where We Left Off: Rival Gets the Last Word The Rapid City Rush had four different goal-scorers, two of which cashed in on the power play, but the Colorado Eagles defended their home-ice for the first time this season and stifled the Rush with a 6-4 last Saturday. Two nights in a row Colorado opened the scoring entries on the stat sheet. With 11:24 played in the game, Matt Garbowsky plowed through a traffic jam in the neutral zone and found a lane towards the Rush net. He beat Rush net-minder Kent Patterson with a wrist shot to put the home side up 1-0. Moments later, the Eagles scored just after their second power play expired, as Michael Sdao found a patch of ice and walked towards the Rush net, deked, and pushed the puck past Patterson to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead with 5:10 left in the frame. The Rush came firing back in the second, and within a span of 1:24 evened the score up. For a second straight game, Hunter Fejes started the scoring entries for the Rush, knocking a rebound off of a Riley Weselowski shot by Eagles goaltender Nathan Lieuwen to half the deficit to 2-1 with 10:26 gone by in the second. Fejes’ tally was followed by Brett Perlini’s first goal in a Rush uniform during the first Rush power play of the game. Following Darryl Bootland’s spearing penalty, Perlini parked himself in front of the Colorado net and sent a rebound in front of Lieuwen by him to tie the game at 2-2 with 8:10 left in the second. Shortly after, the Rush would go back on the power play, but the Eagles jumped ahead on a shorthanded goal. With 5:36 left in the period, Johnny Lazo deflected a Teigan Zahn point shot by Kent Patterson to push the Eagles to a 3-2 lead. Despite the shorthanded strike, the Rush followed up on the same power play with an answer of their own, as Lindsay Sparks notched his second point when he stuffed the puck by Lieuwen to even things at 3-3 with 4:41 left in the second. All square at 3-3 heading into the third, the last twenty minutes proved enough to decide a winner in what turned out to be a back-and-forth affair. Brenden Walker gave the Rush their first lead of the 2016-17 season when Ryan Walters sprung him on a break against Lieuwen. Walker fired a rocket by the Eagles backstopper and gave the Rush a 4-3 lead with 8:05 left in the game. Despite the jolt from Walker, the Eagles answered 12 seconds later and didn’t look back. Matt Garbowsky notched his second goal of the night when Jesse Mychan connected with him while he was streaking through the neutral zone. One-on-one with Patterson, Garbowsky sent a wrister by him to square the game up at 4-4 with 7:53 left in the game. With 5:06 left in regularion, Darryl deflected a Matt Register shot from the blue line to give the Eagles the lead at 5-4. Cole Sanford scored a power play goal late in the game with 1:42 to play to seal the win for the Eagles at 6-4.

OVERALL COMPARISON

TEAM

RECORD

POWER PLAY

PENALTY-KILL

LEADING SCORER

PAST 5 GAMES

QUAD CITY

0-2-0-0, 0 Pts (T-6th Central)

28.6% (T-4th)

60% (23rd)

Kovacs/Warning/Petan (2 pts)

0-2-0-0 (L2)

RAPID CITY

0-2-0-0, 0 Pts (T-4th Mountain)

33.3% (3rd)

75% (T-18th)

Lindsay Sparks (1g-2a-3pts)

0-2-0-0 (L2)

HEAD TO HEAD – 6 GAMES PLAYED (2015-16 SEASON)

TEAM

RECORD

POWER PLAY

PENALTY-KILL

LEADING SCORER

QUAD CITY

4-2-0-0

17.4% (4/23)

94.7% (18/19)

Matt Carey (5g-4a-9pts)

RAPID CITY

2-4-0-0

5.3% (1/19)

82.6% (19/23)

Doherty/Pommells/Erickson (3pts Each)

Heading into Tonight – Both the Rush and the Mallards come into tonight’s showdown without a victory within their first two games. For the Rush, it’s the first time since the inaugural season that they fell in the first two games of the regular season (both losses in 2008-09 were coincidentally to Colorado, but were shootout losses). The only other time the Rush started the season with two losses, they followed up in the third game with an 8-2 win on the strength of a franchise-record 6 power play goals against the Corpus Christi Ice Rays. Quad City, on the other hand, started off with a pair of losses in their first two games since the 2010-11 CHL season.

Thee Without Sin – Coming into tonight’s showdown, Quad City has the second-most PIM’s with 41 (Fort Wayne leads the ECHL with 48 PIM). To compare, the Rush are tied for the 11th lowest PIM total with 15.

Spread the Wealth – Coach DeSantis was on record many times this offseason and preseason saying that this team will have no trouble scoring. Through a pair of games against Colorado, DeSantis’ Rush club has 6 goals to its credit, but FIVE different goal-scorers. Rookie Hunter Fejes leads the way with a goal in each of the last two games, while Josh MacDonald, Brenden Walker, Lindsay Sparks, and Brett Perlini all have one, with the latter of those players earning their first ignitions of the goal lamp on the power play.

Powered Up – After a 0/4 showing on the power play in their home-opener, the Rush stepped their special teams game up big time. As mentioned above, Lindsay Sparks and Brett Perlini each notched a power play goal in Saturday’s 6-4 loss to the Eagles, and helped the Rush register their first 100% performance of the season on the man-advantage. To put this in perspective, the Rush had only two perfect power play performances in 72 games, and their first one came 20 games into the season against Wichita on December 8th, which was also a 2/2 stat line.

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