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COOPER WINS IT IN SHOOTOUT FOR RUSH

Friday, November 25th
COOPER WINS IT IN SHOOTOUT FOR RUSH

(WINDSOR, CO) – Brett Perlini tied the game with his third goal in as many games, Adam Morrison stopped 30 shots, and Mark Cooper stuck the dagger in during the fourth shootout round as the Rapid City Rush earned their first win on the road against their arch rivals, the Colorado Eagles, by a 4-3 count in a shootout on Friday night.

The Rush have made a habit of scoring first in their recent contests, doing so for a third time in their last five to start things off in this game. Scoring 1:58 into the showdown as Josh MacDonald, who slammed his ninth of the season off of an east-west pass from Lindsay Sparks by Eagles goaltender Clarke Saunders to give the Rush a 1-0 lead (Sparks and Ryan Walters assisted). The Eagles struck back, however, roughly five minutes apart to leave the first period with a 2-1 lead. Casey Pierro-Zabotel, the hero for Colorado from Wednesday night in overtime, tied the game up at 1-1 as he squeaked a rebound by Rush net-minder Adam Morrison with 8:05 left in the first (Jake Marto and Josh Nicholls assisted the tally). Jesse Mychan broke the deadlock when he played a rebound through Morrison’s legs with 3:54 left in the frame to give the Eagles a 2-1 lead heading into the second frame (Luke Salazar and Matt Register earned the helpers).

Jesse Mychan struck a second time in the second period to increase the Eagles lead to two goals. His second of the game came 3:40 into the second, when he flipped the puck on a one-on-one break over Adam Morrison to bring the Eagles lead to 3-1 (Sean Zimmerman got the lone assist). The Rush came back within striking distance moments later on the first professional goal from Nick Miglio, giving the Rush a one-goal deficit heading into the third. He and Rush captain Ryan Walters went on a two-on-one break, and the captain deferred to the rookie on the rush. Miglio stuffed the puck by Saunders to put the Rush down 3-2 heading into the final frame (Walters earned his second assist, while Michael Young notched his first).

Brett Perlini tied the game for the Rush 1:50 into the final frame when he sent home a rebound on a Nick Walters shot from the blue line. Perlini’s third goal in as many games, and fourth in his last seven leveled the game at 3-3, and created a spectacular scenario in the final period (Walters earned the lone assist). Similar to the conclusion of Wednesday night’s matchup, the Rush had to kill off a Colorado power play late in the game. Brayden Low’s delay of game minor was successfully killed off in the last 1:45 of regulation, forcing overtime, where the Rush would start shorthanded for the first 15 seconds.

The Rush killed the remainder of the power play off, leading both teams to generate multiple chances in four-on-four, and later three-on-three hockey in sudden death overtime, but 65 minutes couldn’t produce a winner between the two rivals, so to the shootout we went. Both Cole Sanford and Josh MacDonald were denied of their chances in the first round, but then Adam Morrison stoned Luke Salazar to set up a Lindsay Sparks shot in the bottom of the second. Sparks gave the Rush a 1-0 lead on a hard wrist shot, but then Matt Garbowsky evened things out when his shootout attempt rolled off of Morrison’s leg pad and in, forcing the winning shot on Ryan Walter’s stick. The Rush captain was thwarted by Saunders’ blocker, requiring a fourth round of sudden death in the shootout. Morrison denied Jesse Mychan with a kick save, teeing up Mark Cooper for the potential game winner. Cooper faked backhand to forehand and beat Saunders under the glove, securing the second point and first win in Colorado for the Rush this season, by a 4-3 score.

Adam Morrison won his fourth start of out of his five for the Rush, stopping 30 shots in the post-regulation finish (4-0-1).

The rubber match for this series is tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. MST in the Budweiser Events Center.

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