(RAPID CITY, SD) – Five different players scored for the Rapid City Rush, and with the help of a 7/7 penalty kill and the 29-saves of Storm Phaneuf, the Rush defeated the Tulsa Oilers by a 5-2 score prior to the Thanksgiving holiday on Wednesday night. The win ends a 3-game losing streak for the Rush in the final series of their home-stand.
The Rush struck twice in the opening frame to carry an advantage into the first intermission With 7:51 played in the game, Peter Sivak sprung Dante Salituro and Pavel Jenys on a two-on-one break down the ice. Salituro feathered a saucer pass to Jenys, who deflected the puck by Tulsa goaltender Devin Williams to put the Rush up 1-0 (Salituro and Sivak assisted). Tulsa tied things under two minutes later when Conner Bleackley found Kale Kessy wide-open in front of the Rush net. Kessy hit pay dirt on a point-blank shot by Rush net-minder Storm Phaneuf to square the game at 1-1 with 9:40 played in the period (Bleackly earned the lone assist). With time winding down, Gustav Bouramman initiated a sequence that kept the puck in the offensive zone and gave the Rush the advantage heading into the break. With 1:48 left in the first, Bouramman maneuvered the puck to Alex Guptill, who found an open Alex Kromm on the back door of Williams net to vault the Rush to a lead they wouldn’t surrender at 2-1 (Guptill and Bouramman assisted).
Under a minute into the second, Evan Janssen, in his first game back from the AHL, put the Rush up by a pair. Just 54 seconds into the frame, Dylan Labbe completed a spin pass from behind the net to Janssen in front, deflecting the puck over Williams shoulder to give the Rush a 3-1 lead (Labbe and Salituro assisted). Gustav Bouramman added to his spectacular night with a rocket of a one-timer into an open 4’x6’ on a Matt Caito blue line pass to push the Rush to a 4-1 lead after two periods with 6:15 left in the second (Caito and Kenton Miller earned the assists).
The Rush started the final period off with some quick offense, cashing in within the first two minutes for their final goal of the night With 18:42 left in the game, the puck was turned over to Jenys in the high slot of the Oilers zone, and his full wind-up shot went off the cross bar. The rebound zipped right to Salituro, who snapped the rebound by Williams to afford the Rush a 5-1 lead (Jenys had the only assist). The goal prompted the removal of Williams from the game, and Jake Hildebrand finished the contest in net for the Oilers. Tulsa got the last word on the scoresheet with 16:36 left in the game when Charlie Sampair ripped a shot off of Phaneuf’s paraphernalia and in, bringing the score to its eventual 5-2 final (Steve Kaunisto and Hildebrand assisted).
Storm Phaneuf, starting for the first time since opening night in a loss to Allen, secured his first win of the season with 29 saves on 31 shots (1-1-0).
Both teams will rematch at Premier Home Mortgage Ice in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center on Friday, November 24th. Puck drop is slated for 7:05 p.m. MST.