(RAPID CITY, SD) – Triston Grant broke a third period tie with over ten minutes left in regulation as the Rapid City Rush claimed their first victory of the season over the Utah Grizzlies by a 3-1 score on Wednesday night.
Both teams skated to a scoreless draw in the first period, but it was the Utah Grizzlies that jumped on first early in the second. With 3:25 gone by in the middle act, Cam Reid buried a Brad Navin centering pass from in between the hash marks, beating Rush net-minder Marek Langhamer to give the Grizzlies a 1-0 lead (Navin had the lone assist). The Rush countered within the last five minutes of the period, and it was the 2017 ECHL All-Star that tied the game. With 4:13 left in the second, Terrence Wallin fired a pass from behind the Utah net to the blue line and found Michael Young, who rifled a shot through traffic by Utah goaltender Troy Redmann to square the game at 1-1 heading into the final period (Wallin and Alex Mikulovich assisted).
The Rush controlled the third period and pulled away from Utah with the last half of the frame. Triston Grant notched the eventual game-winner with 10:50 left in the game, burying a Mark Cooper centering feed from right in front of the net to put the Rush up 2-1 (Cooper and Logan Nelson assisted). Rush captain Ryan Walters put the final nail in the coffin of his former club with an empty-net goal with 32 seconds left to seaon the win for the Rush, their first over the Grizzlies this season with a 3-1 final score (Ryan Misiak garnered the lone assist).
Marek Langhamer won in his return to Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, stopping all but one of 23 shots faced (2-0-0).\
Both teams will play again for a fourth straight time on Friday night, January 13th, with puck drop slated for 7:05 p.m. MST.