(RAPID CITY, SD) – Ryan Misiak and Josh MacDonald each ignited the goal lamp, but it was Adam Morrison who stole the show in his Rapid City Rush debut as he stopped 39 of 40 shots from the Colorado Eagles, powering the Rush to a 2-1 win on “Military Appreciation Night” on Saturday evening.
Two nights in a row, the Rush opened scoring entries in the contest. The only goal of the first belonged to the home side and came in four-on-four hockey as Mark Cooper led Ryan Misiak with him on a two-on-one rush down the ice. Cooper threaded the needle to Misiak, who danced around Eagles goaltender Clarke Saunders to put the Rush up 1-0 with 11:24 gone by in the first (Cooper earned the lone assist, and has now successfully earned an assist in three straight games).
After both teams went scoreless in the second period, Josh MacDonald picked up the Rush scoring entries where they left off. On a turnover in neutral ice, Lindsay Sparks led a three-on-two break, deferring to Ryan Walters, who fed a pass to MacDonald. MacDonald deflected the puck by an outstretched Saunders to double the Rush lead to 2-0 with 1:23 gone by in the final frame (Walters and Sparks recorded the helpers). Colorado halved the deficit over the midway point of the period in four-on-four hockey. With 9:46 left in the game, Luke Salazar batted down a loose puck close to the crease by Rush net-minder Adam Morrison, to bring the Eagles deficit to 2-1 (Jake Marto and Matt Register got the helpers). The Rush, and Morrison for that matter, withstood a barrage and fought the Eagles off. However, things got dicey towards the end. Josh MacDonald was called for a hooking call with 65 seconds left, putting the Eagles on the power play with an empty-net and extra-attacker, leading to a two-man advantage for the remainder of regulation. The Rush weathered the storm and held on, winning 2-1 over their archrivals for the first time.
Adam Morrison earned the win in his Rush debut, stopping 39 shots in the effort (1-0-0).
The Rush travel to Oklahoma next week to take on the ECHL-leading Tulsa Oilers. Puck drop for the first game of the road trip next week is slated for 6:05 p.m. MST at the BOK Center.