(RAPID CITY, SD) – Brett Perlini and Hunter Fejes gave the Rapid City Rush a 2-0 lead, but Darryl Bootland led the Colorado Eagles on a comeback, culminated by Casey Pierro-Zabotel’s overtime winner that gave the Eagles a 3-2 overtime win over the Rush on Wednesday night.
For a third time in their last five games, including one against their current adversaries, the Rush notched the first goal. Scoring on a Michael Young pass on the run was Brett Perlini, who fired a top shelf snap shot over the shoulder of Eagles goaltender Nathan Lieuwen to put the Rush on the board at 1-0 with 5:19 left in the first period (Young and Garrett Haar assisted, with Haar’s assist giving him a helper in three consecutive games).
Hunter Fejes doubled the Rush lead in the latter part of the second period, when he took a turnover over all three lines and was all alone going to the Colorado net. He snapped a wrister under Lieuwen’s blocker to give the Rush a 2-0 advantage with 5:39 left in the second (the goal was unassisted).
Colorado came back in the third, led by Darryl Bootland, and made the final period interesting. His first of two in the comeback effort was scored 3:15 into the frame on the third Rush power play of the game. Ryan Harrison went on a two-on-one with Bootland, and the latter finished on the exchange by Rush net-minder Adam Morrison to cut the Rush lead to 2-1 on the shorthanded tally (Harrison earned the lone helper). Bootland struck again when he deflected a Teigan Zahn shot from the blue line to even the game at 2-2 with 11:56 left in regulation (Zahn and Conor O’Donnell assisted). With 3:47 left in the game, the Rush were assessed a delay of game penalty, but successfully killed it off, largely in part to an outstanding individual effort from Hunter Fejes, to force overtime.
Colorado won the game 13 seconds into overtime, when Casey Pierro-Zabotel flipped the puck over Morrison while falling to the ice, giving the Eagles a 3-2 overtime win. While the four-game Rush win streak may have ended, the team is now on a five-game point streak, taking 9/10 points in their last 5 games.
Adam Morrison suffered the overtime loss, stopping a remarkable 42 shots on 45 faced (3-0-1).
Both teams shift the set down to Colorado, where the Eagles and Rush will play in a pair of games on Friday and Saturday. Puck drop for both games is slated for 7:05 p.m. MST.