(RAPID CITY, SD) – Ian Brady’s first professional goal tied the game for the Rapid City Rush with 2:03 left in regulation, but a Jordan Murray strike with 19 seconds left in the game overshadowed the career marker and a three-point night for Dante Salituro, as the Brampton Beast edged the Rapid City Rush on Wednesday night by a 5-4 score.
For a second consecutive game, the Rush drew first blood on the scoresheet, and for a third straight game, Dante Salituro hit pay dirt. On the first Rush power play of the game, Salituro took the puck to the far faceoff on a deflected pass from Gustav Bouramman, and fired a shot past Beast goaltender Andrew D’Agostini to give the Rush a 1-0 lead with 10:42 gone by in the first period (Bouramman and Evan Janssen assisted). Matt Caito doubled the Rush lead moments later in the midst of four-on-four hockey. Caito kicked the puck up to Salituro in the Rush zone and he took it into the Beast third. Salituro tried to make a move around his defender, but the puck kicked off the defender’s skate and was left in an open area. Caito swooped in and backhanded the puck past D’Agostini to give the Rush a 2-0 lead with 4:59 left in the first (Salituro and Janssen assisted). The Beast eventually got the last word when they struck within the last seconds of the frame. With 1.6 ticks left on the clock, Jordan Henry came in off the blue line and, from an insanely sharp angle, threaded a puck behind Rush net-minder Steve Michalek to cut the Rush lead to 2-1 after one period (Matt Petgrave and Luc-Olivier Blain assisted).
Brampton controlled the second period and ripped off three goals to take the lead heading into the third. The first goal came from Matt Petgrave, who took a shot from the high slot that trickled off of a body and behind Michalek to tie the game at 2-2 with 3:31 played in the second (Paul Cianfrini and Luc-Olivier Blain assisted). Blain gave the Beast a 3-2 lead over halfway through the period when he trailed behind as the Beast counter-attacked into the Rush zone. Nathan Todd’s pass found Blain who fired top shelf over Michalek to give Brampton a 3-2 lead with 7:36 left in the second (Todd and Cianfrini assisted). Exactly 20 seconds later, Scott Jacklin pounced on a rolling puck next to Michalek’s net for his first goal of the season, pulling Brampton away from the Rush with a 4-2 lead (Willie Corrin and Brandon Marino assisted).
Down, but not out, the Rush clawed back to tie the game with over 2 minutes remaining in regulation. Kenton Miller brought the Rush within striking distance when he took advantage of a mad scramble in front of the Beast net. Through the chaos, Miller sent a loose puck over D’Agostini’s shoulder to bring the Rush deficit to 4-3 with 13:59 left in the game (Riley Weselowski and Dante Salituro assisted). With 2:03 left in the game, Ian Brady squared things up with his first goal as a pro, firing a wristshot from the blue line by a screened D’Agostini to level the game at 4-4 (Dylan Labbe and Jimmy DeVito assisted). Despite the comeback, Jordan Murray silenced the Rush crowd and put the nail in the coffin to eventually give the Beast the win. With 19 seconds left, Murray came into the Rush zone and fired a shot off of a defender in front, took the rebound by an outstretched Michalek, and backhanded the puck in, giving the Beast a stunning 5-4 victory over the Rush.
Steve Michalek stopped 25 of 30 shots in the game, suffering the loss (1-2-0).
The Rush and the Beast will rematch on Friday, November 3rd in the second of a three-game set. Puck drop is slated for 7:05 p.m. MST at Premier Home Mortgage Ice in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.