(RAPID CITY, SD) – Dante Salituro and Peter Sivak built the Rapid City Rush a 2-0 lead heading into the third, but the Idaho Steelheads, capped off by A.J. White’s shorthanded goal, followed through on a three-goal comeback to defeat the Rush 3-2 on Saturday night. The win gives Idaho the sweep of the Rush in the three game set.
The Rush opened up scoring entries with the help of their power play to carry an advantage into the locker room after one period of play. At the 13:50 mark of the first period, with the Rush on their second power play of the night, Gustav Bouramman kept the puck in the Rush zone with a slick maneuver, and fired a shot from the high slot on net. Philippe Desrosiers, in net for Idaho, made the initial stop, but Dante Salituro was unguarded and slammed the rebound in the net for his third straight game with a goal, giving the Rush a 1-0 lead (Bouramman and Peter Sivak assisted).
Peter Sivak, already with a point in the contest, earned a second one when he doubled the Rush lead midway through the second. With 6:17 left in the second, Sivak, coming out of the penalty box after a minor, crashed into the Steelheads zone and won the puck behind the net. Sivak then went the glove side of Desrosiers and fired a sharp-angle shot in for his first goal in a Rush uniform, pushing the Rush up to a 2-0 advantage heading into the third (Dylan Labbe had the lone assist).
Idaho staged a third period comeback and broke the hearts of the Rush, scoring three goals in the span of under 10 minutes. The scoring rally began when the Rush were called for three penalties in the first three minutes, resulting in a Steelheads power play that later turned into a two-man advantage. Justin Parizek deflected a Shane Hanna shot just moments into the 5-on-3 power play by Rush net-minder Adam Vay to cut the Rush deficit to 2-1 with 16:32 left in the game (Hanna and Cody Corbett assisted). The game was tied just shy of the midway point when the Rush scrambled in their defensive zone, attempting to clear the puck from their own third. The puck stayed in and came to Mitch Moroz, who took time and space in front of the net and slipped the puck past Vay to deadlock the game at 2-2 with 10:49 left in the game (Connor Chatham had the only assist). Shortly after, the Rush earned their third power play of the contest, hoping to re-take the lead, but the Steelheads capitalized on a turnover in the offensive zone, and eventually scored a back-breaker. With 6:39 left in the game, Chatham and A.J. White came down the ice on a two-on-one break. Chatham handed off at the last second, and after settling the puck on a sharp angle, White finished with the eventual game-winner, giving the Steelheads a 3-2 advantage (Chatham had the only assist). The Rush were awarded a power play late in the game, but the advantage was dashed when the head referee assessed Dylan Labbe with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in a crucial sequence with just over two minutes remaining. With the power play negated, the Rush couldn’t muster a tying goal and fell for a third consecutive night to Idaho by a 3-2 count.
Adam Vay stopped 34 of 37 shots in the defeat (2-2-0).
The Rush concludes their home stand with a series against the Tulsa Oilers starting next Wednesday, November 23rd. Puck drop for the first of three games is slated for 7:05 p.m. at Premier Home Mortgage Ice in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.