(RAPID CITY, SD) – The Rapid City Rush set a franchise record with 6 goals in the third period, and rode that offense to a 7-4 win over the Idaho Steelheads on Wednesday night. The game marks the first of three head-to-head meetings this week between the two rivals.
Both teams skated to a scoreless draw in the first period, but the frame ended with some fireworks between the two Mountain Division rivals. At triple-zero of the frame, Steelheads forward Anthony Luciani came in late and hit Rush defenseman Dysin Mayo into the boards, and that sparked a brawl that resulted in 78 combined minutes of penalties between the teams.
After the fiasco, the Rush struck first in the second period thanks to Brett Perlini in the midst of a feverish exchange of scoring. His ninth goal of the season came off of a shot that deflected off of multiple bodies and squeaked by Steelheads goaltender Branden Komm, giving the Rush a 1-0 lead with 14:11 gone by in the second (Garrett Haar earned the lone assist). Exactly 67 seconds later, Kellan Lain tied it up for the Steelheads when a point shot was deadened on its way to the Rush net. He scooped the rebound and put the puck by Rush net-minder Adam Morrison to square the game at 1-1 with 15:18 gone by in the frame (Connor Chatham and Zach Bell assisted). Just 17 seconds later, Joe Basaraba pushed the Steelheads ahead with a shot from the far wall that navigated a sea of legs and trickled by Morrison to the give Idaho a 2-1 lead at 15:35 of the second (Kyle Jean earned the lone assist). When all was said and done, all three goals came within the span of 1:24.
The Rush exploded in the third period in what was a back-and-forth frame, yet eventually jumped ahead and didn’t look back. Starting off the 8 combined goals in the period was Ryan Walters as the Rush captain deflected a Dysin Mayo shot just 3 seconds into his team’s second power play of the game to square things up at 2-2 with 2:08 gone by in the period (Mayo earned the lone assist). The Steelheads countered in the second half of the frame and kicked off a barrage of goals from both sides that spanned 2:16 of game time. The first came at 10:33 of the frame when Kyle Jean batted a bouncing puck by Morrison to re-establish the Steelheads lead at 3-2 (Joe Basaraba and Travis Ewanyk got the assists). Exactly 17 seconds later, the Rush struck again on their fourth power play and in quick fashion, thanks to Terrence Wallin’s deflection of a Justin Hache shot 8 seconds into the man-advantage to even the game at 4-4 at the 10:50 mark of the frame (Hache and Dysin Mayo received the assists). Michael Young scored 45 seconds later on a shot from the Steelheads blue line that Komm originally stopped, but it trickled behind him and in almost the full length of his crease to make it 4-3 Rush at the 11:35 mark of the third (the goal was unassisted). Idaho re-tied the game 1:14 later when Joe Basaraba fired a one-timer off of a won faceoff by Kyle Jean to square things up at 4-4 with 7:11 left in the game (Jean registered the lone assist). Josh MacDonald continued his stellar performance when he notched the eventual game-Winning%20Goal by taking a Steelheads turnover the full length of the ice, finishing a wrist shot by Komm to give the Rush a 5-4 lead with 4:42 left in the game (the goal was unassisted). MacDonald didn’t stop there, assisting the captain on a two-on-one down the ice, with Walters finishing for his second of the game to give the Rush a 6-4 lead with 2:40 left in the game (MacDonald and Terrence Wallin notched the helpers). Ryan Misiak put the exclamation point on the affair with an empty-net goal with 51 seconds left, sealing what eventually finished as a 7-4 Rush win (Dysin Mayo earned the lone assist).
Adam Morrison earned the win, stopping 28 of 32 Steelheads shots in the effort (6-3-2).
Both teams meet again on Friday night for matchup two out of three to be played this week. Puck drop on Friday is slated for 7:05 p.m. MST.