(RAPID CITY, SD) – Brett Perlini and Lindsay Sparks gave the Rush a 2-0 lead, but the Wichita Thunder came back to take the second point in overtime from the Rush, winning 3-2 on Friday night. The overtime loss is not only the fourth straight game in which the Rush have played past 60 minutes, but also extends the team’s point streak to eight games in which the team has taken 13 of a possible 16 points.
Brett Perlini used the force on Wichita’s first power play of the game and got things started for the Rush. With 10:04 gone by in the opening frame, Perlini found an errant Wichita pass in neutral ice and was off to the races, finishing with a shot by Wichita goaltender Drew Owsley to give the Rush a 1-0 lead on the team’s third shorthanded goal of the season (the goal was unassisted). Moments later, Lindsay Sparks was hauled down from behind on a breakaway and awarded a penalty shot at 16:56 of the first. Sparks took full advantage and sniped a wrister top-shelf by Owsley to double the Rush lead to 2-0.
Wichita came out firing with 15 shots in the second period, cashing in on one within the first seven minutes of the frame. With 6:54 gone by in the second, Vincent Dunn sent a shot from the far wall of the Rush zone that squeaked by Rush net-minder Austin Lotz, cutting the Rush lead to 2-1 heading into the final period (Ryan Tesink and Nathan Moon assisted).
Wichita tied the game up with less than ten minutes to go in the game to force the eventual overtime period. With 6:19 left in the game, Alexis Loiseau fired a pass through a screen from Louick Marcotte by the glove of Lotz to square the game up at 2-2 (Marcotte and Landon Oslanski assisted).
For a fourth straight game, 60 minutes wasn’t enough to decide a winner, and overtime ensued. With 2:51 left in the extra session of hockey, James Melindy slid a loose puck by Lotz to earn the second point for Wichita, giving them the 3-2 overtime win (Matt DeBlouw assisted).
Austin Lotz stopped 28 of 31 shots faced in suffering the overtime loss (0-2-1).
Both teams square off once again tomorrow night in a rematch at 7:05 pm. MST at Premier Home Mortgage Ice in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. It’s our 9th Teddy Bear Toss, so bring a new stuffed animal and throw it on the ice after the Rush score their first goal of the game! All bears will be donated to Youth and Family Services of Rapid City.