(RAPID CITY, SD) – Zach Tolkinen became the second defenseman in Rapid City Rush history to score the “Teddy Bear Toss” goal, but the Wichita Thunder broke a third period tie to defeat the Rush 2-1 on Saturday night.
Wichita struck first in the rematch and took the lead early. Just 1:59 into the action, Louick Marcotte was the last person to touch the puck when the Rush defense tried to clear the zone, but the puck deflected off of an incoming skater and in behind Rush net-minder Adam Morrison to put Wichita up 1-0 (Ryan Tesink and Martin Nemcik assisted). Towards the end of the period, the Rush tied it up and watched teddy bears fly from the stands. Zach Tolkinen became the second Rush defenseman in the history of the “Teddy Bear Toss” in Rapid City to score the all-important goal, sniping a one-timer on the first Rush power play of the game by Wichita goaltender Scott Greenham to even things up at 1-1 with 2:33 left in the period (Brett Perlini and Hunter Fejes assisted).
Both teams remained deadlocked after two, but Wichita got the decisive goal in the opening moments of the third period. On a five-on-three advantage, Louick Marcotte notched his second goal of the night, sending a one-timer by Morrison to push the Thunder ahead 2-1 with 18:39 left in the game (Nathan Moon and Alexis Loiseau assisted). Despite outshooting Wichita 13-2 in the final period, while also receiving two of their four power plays on the game, the Rush couldn’t equalize things late, and Wichita held on for the 2-1 win.
Adam Morrison fell for the first time in regulation this season, stopping 23 of 25 shots faced (4-1-2).
The Rush take to the road for a pair of games against the Utah Grizzlies on December 9th and 10th. Puck drop for both games at the Maverik Center is slated for 7 p.m. MST.