(WEST VALLEY CITY, UT) – Nick Miglio gave the Rapid City Rush an early lead in the first, but the Utah Grizzlies stormed back with four unanswered goals in the last two periods to take a 4-1 win over the Rush on Friday night. The game marks the first of five consecutive matchups between both clubs within the next two weeks.
Nick Miglio gave the Rush a great start to 2017 when he put the Rush on the board to start the game. With 8:32 gone by, Terrence Wallin streaked down the ice and dished the puck to Miglio on a two-on-one rush. Miglio slammed the puck by Utah goaltender Troy Redmann to give the Rush a 1-0 lead with his fourth goal of the season (Wallin and 2017 ECHL All-Star Michael Young earned the assists). Utah gained some momentum when they killed off a 5-on-3 Rush power play, but didn’t manage to solve Adam Morrison in the first 20 minutes.
Utah tied the game at 13:33 of the second period on a scramble in front of the Rush net. After Adam Morrison made a series of stops for the Rush, 2017 ECHL All-Star Erik Bradford slammed a loose puck into the Rush net to square the game at 1-1 (Mathieu Aubin and Mike Pelech assisted). The Grizzlies jumped ahead when Ralph Cuddemi scored, shorthanded, on the third Rush power play of the game, squeaking the puck by a diving Ryan Walters and scoring up high on Morrison, putting Utah up 2-1 with 4:42 left in the second (Erik Bradford notched his second point of the game with the lone assist on the goal).
Erik Bradford added a third goal for the Grizzlies in the third period at 7:02 of the final period when he picked up another loose rebound by a sprawling Morrison on a scramble in front of the Rush net to put the Grizzlies up 3-1 (Mathieu Aubin earned his second assist, while Tim Daly notched his first on the goal). Ralph Cuddemi finished the scoring entries when the puck was lost behind the Rush net in a traffic jam and centered to the high slot. Cuddemi finished with his second goal of the night with 8:14 left in the game, sealing an eventual Utah 4-1 win (C.J. Eick and Brad Navin assisted).
Adam Morrison suffered the loss for the Rush, stopping 24 of 28 shots on net in the effort (6-5-2).
Both teams meet for a second of five consecutive games tomorrow night in the Maverik Center, with puck drop slated for 7 p.m. MST.