(TULSA, OK) – Ryan Misiak had a three-point night, including the eventual game-winner with a shorthanded tally, and Adam Morrison made 35 saves, but Rapid City Rush Assistant Coach Daniel Tetrault made shockwaves in the game when he took over for ejected Head Coach Mark DeSantis, and helped guide his club to a 5-3 victory over the Tulsa Oilers on Friday night. The win gives the Rush wins in their first two games in their current four-game road trip.
Tulsa struck first early in the contest, and it stood as the only goal of the period. With 3:38 gone by, a turnover in neutral ice forced a three-on-one break for the Oilers, which allowed Shawn Bates as the trailer to receive a pass a fire a shot off of the pad of Rush net-minder, Adam Morrison, and in to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead (Tyson Fawcett and Garrett Ladd assisted). At 14:05 of the period, a scrum broke out in the near corner of the Rush zone. The scuffle resulted in 18 PIM, including 12 to Rush Head Coach, Mark DeSantis. DeSantis was ejected from the game, and it resulted in Assistant Coach Daniel Tetrault a 5-on-3 advantage for the Oilers for a full two minutes. The Rush killed off the two-man disadvantage, and maintained their one-goal deficit heading into the second period.
Shorthanded with the losses of Brayden Low and Terrence Wallin to injury, and their bench boss to an ejection, the Rush battled on in the second and came out with the lead. Quick offense was the story again for the Rush, who struck within a minute and three seconds to take the lead. Austin McKay capitalized on a Rush 5-on-3 power play when a rebound came in front of the Oilers net. McKay cashed in on the loose change, squeaking the puck by Oilers goaltender Colin Stevens, and squared the game up at 1-1 with 6:34 gone by in the second (Michael Young and Dysin Mayo assisted). Just over a minute later, in almost a recreation of McKay’s goal, Logan Nelson took a loose puck in front of the net and buried a backhander by Stevens to give the Rush a 2-1 lead with 7:37 played in the period (Hunter Fejes and Ryan Misiak assisted). Garrett Ladd drew the Oilers level moments later when he was found open in front of the net by Shawn Bates. Bates sent an east-west pass from behind the net to Ladd and he finished with a shot over Morrison’s shoulder to tie the game at 2-2 with 10:46 left in the second (Bates earned his second point with the assist, while Garrett Haar earned his first of the game). Finishing off the furious scoring rally was Hunter Fejes, who was yet another Rush beneficiary of play that was in front of the Oilers net. With 8:15 left in the second, Fejes slammed a Mark Cooper rebound by Stevens to put the Rush back on top with a 3-2 lead (Cooper and Anthony Collins notched the helpers).
The Oilers once again squared the game at the start of the third when Darcy Murphy deflected a Garrett Haar blue line shot by Morrison, squaring the game up at 3-3 with 5:02 gone by in the final period (Haar earned his second assist, while Danick Gauthier earned his first). In the latter half of the period, Tulsa earned a fourth power play and not only didn’t capitalize, but allowed the Rush to score their second shorthanded goal in as many games. With 7:25 left in the game, Ryan Walters found Ryan Misiak all alone in the neutral zone, and sprung him on a 100-foot breakaway from the red line-in. Misiak made a move and slipped his attempt through Stevens’ five-hole, putting the Rush on top 4-3 (Walters notched the lone helper). Tulsa pulled Stevens from his net late in the game for an extra-attacker, and with 39 seconds left, Hunter Fejes deflected a Dysin Mayo shot into the empty net, sealing an eventual 5-3 win for the Rush (Mayo and Ryan Misiak assisted). The win gave the Rush a sweep over the Oilers in their three-game season series.
Adam Morrison not only improved to 8-8-4 on the season with 35 saves on 38 shots, but managed to earn every Rush win against Tulsa, going 3-0-0 in the series.
The Rush road trip continues with a pair of matchups against the Allen Americans starting tomorrow night. Puck drop for tomorrow night’s contest is slated for 6:05 p.m. MST at the Allen Event Center.