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IDAHO WINS PENALTY-FILLED AFFAIR

Friday, November 17th
IDAHO WINS PENALTY-FILLED AFFAIR

(RAPID CITY, SD) – Dante Salituro broke up Ryan Faragher’s shutout with 85 seconds remaining, serving as the only bright spot for the Rapid City Rush in a 4-1 loss to the Idaho Steelheads in a game that featured 16 total power plays and nearly 80 combined penalty minutes on Friday night.

Idaho struck on special teams two nights in a row to take a 1-0 lead into the intermission. Just 20 seconds into their first power play of the night, Will Merchant fired a shot from the far faceoff circle and beat Rush net-minder, Christian Frey, over his shoulder to afford the Steelheads their 1-0 lead at 8:40 of the first period (Joe Faust and Henrik Samuelsson assisted). Ryan Faragher, in Idaho’s net for a second consecutive night, stopped all 7 shots he saw from the Rush.

The Rush clamped down on the penalty-kill, despite seeing three appearances, but the Steelheads pulled ahead with a second goal late to take a two-goal advantage into the third. With 3:51 left in the second, Connor Chatham carried the puck into the Rush zone with a defender on his backside, powered towards the net, and slipped the puck through Frey’s five-hole to give the Steelheads a 2-0 lead (Eric Sweetman had the lone assist).

The game went out of control in the third period, and it resulted in the assessment of 56 of the games 78 penalty minutes. Rush Head Coach Daniel Tetrault was ejected for arguing egregious calls from head referee Kenny Anderson, which prompted Assistant Coach Nello Ferrara to command the Rush bench for the remainder of the game. Dylan Labbe was later ejected within the last 10 minutes of the game as a result of a physical sequence after the midway point of the frame, leaving the Rush shorthanded on defense. Despite 9 power plays eventually awarded to Idaho, the Rush and Christian Frey would stand tall and weather the storms. Eventually, Idaho broke with another tally, this one from Brady Brassart, who extended his point streak to 9 games when he slapped a loose puck by Frey with 3:31 left in the game to make it 3-0 (Steven McParland and Justin Parizek assisted). The Rush eventually broke Faragher’s shutout in an extra-attacker situation. Coach Ferrara pulled Frey in the midst of four-on-four hockey to create a five-on-four advantage, and Dante Salituro registered the only goal as a result with 1:25 left in the game, putting the Rush on the board trailing 3-1 (Kenton Miller and Matt Caito assisted). Brady Brassart put the exclamation point on the scoresheet with an empty-netter in the final seconds, sealing a 4-1 Steelheads win.

Christian Frey, starting for the first time since October 22nd, stopped 21 of 24 shots faced in the defeat (0-4-0).

Both teams conclude their series tomorrow night at Premier Home Mortgage Ice in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, with puck drop slated for 7:05 p.m. MST.

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