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SPECIAL TEAMS HEADLINE RIVALRY CLASH

Saturday, October 7th
SPECIAL TEAMS HEADLINE RIVALRY CLASH

(RAPID CITY, SD) – Five combined power play goals headlined a crazy final scoresheet as the Colorado Eagles defeated the Rapid City Rush in the final game of the preseason by a 5-3 score on Saturday night.

Colorado struck twice on three power plays in the first period to take a 2-1 lead into the locker room. Just 58 seconds into the action, on the first Colorado power play, Michael Joly sent a one-timed shot by Rush net-minder Christian Frey to put the Eagles up first with a 1-0 lead. Moments later, Marcus Ortiz tied the game up when he deflected a Logan Nelson shot from the blue line that zipped past Eagles goaltender Joe Cannata, squaring the game at 1-1with 2:04 gone by in the first (Logan Nelson earned the lone assist). Colorado took the lead on another man-advantage tally when Matt Garbowsky scored for a second time in as many preseason games on a back-door one-timer to push the Eagles ahead to 2-1 with 8:27 left in the opening frame (Jesse Mychan and Drayson Bowman assisted the goal).

Neither team scored in the second period, but the third frame started off with a crazy series of fireworks. Colorado’s Jesse Mychan viciously slashed Rapid City’s Jimmy DeVito prior to the opening faceoff, sparking almost an all-out brawl before time could tick off the clock. The sequence of events resulted in 70 PIM combined and four ejections for altercations: Rapid City’s Tyler Deresky and Alex Kromm, and Colorado’s Mychan and C.J. Garcia. As a result, the Rush was awarded a five-minute major power play, and immediately put it to use. Just 13 seconds into the third, Riley Weselowski kept a Matt Register clearing attempt in the zone on the blue line and unloaded a bomb of a slapshot by Cannata to tie the game up at 2-2 (the goal was unassisted). Exactly 33 seconds later, Ryan Tesink gave the Rush a 3-2 lead when he slammed a rebound off of a Mike Sdao shot from the blue line just 46 seconds into the third period (Sdao earned the lone assist). Despite the early surge, and five uninterrupted minutes of power play time, Colorado stormed back and overtook the Rush. With 15:49 left in the game, Colorado’s Michael Joly skated down the ice, while shorthanded, fell to his knees, and still maintained enough leverage to push the puck past Frey to tie the game at 3-3 (Joe Cannata earned the assist). The Eagles took the lead on their fifth power play of the game when Drayson Bowman took a Matt Garbowsky pass from the near faceoff circle and blasted a shot off the post and in to put Colorado up 4-3 with 12:03 left in the game (Garbowsky earned the lone assist). Garbowsky earned his third point of the night with a shorthanded empty-net goal within the final two minutes of regulation to ultimately give the Eagles a 5-3 win and a sweep of the preseason against the Rush.

Christian Frey stopped 17 of 21 shots, suffering the loss in his only preseason appearance.

The Rush open the regular season against the Allen Americans on Friday, October 13th, with puck drop slated for a 7:05 p.m. start time at Premier Home Mortgage Ice in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.

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