(ALLEN, TX) – Josh MacDonald had a three-point night, Lindsay Sparks added two goals, and Marek Langhamer stopped 33 shots as the Rapid City Rush defeated the Allen Americans by a 6-3 score on Saturday night. The win gave the Rush a sweep of their three-game road trip, and extends the team’s winning streak to 4 games.
Two games in a row the Rush conceded a goal in the first minute to their opponent, but they eventually came out of the frame with the lead. Just 42 into the action, Derek Mathers batted a rebound up high on Rush net-minder Marek Langhamer to put the defending champs up 1-0 (Jake Marchment had the lone assist). Almost five minutes later, however, the Rush were on their first penalty kill of the game and the captain hit pay dirt. On a turnover forced by Lindsay Sparks on the Rush blue line, Ryan Walters got the loose puck and went on a breakaway down the ice. Walters crept in and five-holed Americans goaltender Jamie Murray to tie the game at 1-1 with 14:13 left in the period (the goal was unassisted). Josh MacDonald gave the Rush lead with 8:14 left in the period on a long solo effort, when he brought the puck over all three lines, cut back to the slot, and fired a wrister top-shelf to put the Rush up 2-1 (the goal was unassisted).
The Rush scored a third unanswered goal to start the second period when Lindsay Sparks sent a backdoor-feed from Garrett Haar behind Murray to give the Rush a 3-1 lead at the 4:24 mark of the second (Haar and Josh MacDonald assisted, with the latter earning his second point of the game on the helper). Aaron Gens brought the Americans within on when his wrist shot from the near faceoff circle went through traffic and behind Langhamer, cutting the Rush lead to 3-2 with 11:29 left in the second (Chad Costello and Tanner Eberle assisted). The gap would be re-opened to two by the Rush on a back-breaking goal scored within the last minute. With 42.6 seconds left in the frame, Michael Young came up the ice on a two-on-one and took the shot himself, firing a rocket top-shelf over Murray’s shoulder that gave the Rush a 4-2 lead heading into the final period (MacDonald earned his third point of the game with an assist on the goal, while Riley Weselowski added his first of the game). At the end of the frame, Jamie Murray would be pulled from the Americans net, and Riley Gill would take over for the rest of the game.
Brett Perlini would knock the fifth Rush goal of the game by Gill 7:43 into his relief appearance in the final period. Triston Grant sent the puck into the zone and then dealt a thunderous hit to halt the Americans movement up the ice. Perlini got the puck and sent it by Gill to give the Rush a 5-2 lead (Mark Cooper and Triston Grant assisted). The Americans responded 21 seconds later when Jake Marchment tipped a Derek Mathers shot over Langhamer’s shoulder to cut the lead to 5-3 with 11:56 left in the game (Mathers and Tanner Eberle assisted, with Eberle earning his second). With just over 30 seconds to play, Lindsay Sparks halted any kind of late-game momentum from the Americans and waltzed the puck into the empty net when Allen called for the extra-attacker. His second goal, unassisted, of the contest ended the game at 6-3, giving the Rush a sweep of their road trip.
Marek Langhamer won his return to the Rush, stopping 33 of 36 shots thrown towards his net (1-0-0). With this victory, the Rush have now won four straight games.
The Rush head back home to take on the arch rival Colorado Eagles on Wednesday, November 23rd. Come to the game with the Family Four Pack-4 tickets, 4 medium sodas, 4 hotdogs, a bucket of popcorn, and 2 king-size candies for $99. Call the Rush office at 716-PUCK for details.