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RATELLES GORDIE HOWE HAT TRICK PACES EAGLES

Friday, December 8th
RATELLES GORDIE HOWE HAT TRICK PACES EAGLES

(WINDSOR, CO) – Colorado’s Joey Ratelle ripped off a goal, an assist, and two fighting majors for a Gordie Howe Hat Trick, and Sam Brittain stopped all but one of 20 shots on goal, pacing the defending champion Eagles to a 4-1 win over the Rapid City Rush on Friday night.

Joey Ratelle claimed the only goal of the first period to afford the defending champs a 1-0 lead after one period of play. With 6:19 left in the first period, Ratelle scored on the second Eagles power play of the game when he took a Gabriel Verpaelst pass from the far faceoff circle and zipped a wrist shot by Rush net-minder Adam Vay to give Colorado their 1-0 lead (Verpaelst and Jake Marchment assisted).

Despite a valiant second period effort offensively, the Rush failed to break the goal line of Eagles goaltender Sam Brittain, and the Eagles rode that momentum to an additional two tallies. With 5:33 played in the second, Gage Ausmus fired a wrist shot through traffic from the far wall of the Rush zone, and it eluded a screened Vay to double the Eagles lead to 2-0 (Joey Ratelle and Collin Bowman assisted). With 4:09 left in the period, Ben Storm entered the Rush zone over the blue line and dropped the puck back to Ryan Harrison, who flung a wrist shot over Vay’s glove to give the Eagles a 3-0 lead (Storm and Emil Romig assited). The third goal prompted the substitution of Vay for a second night, and this time it was Christian Frey replacing him in net for the duration of the period. Frey stopped all 3 shots he saw in relief in the second frame.

Matt Garbowsky added a fourth for the defending champs in the final five minutes of the game to expand the lead by four. With 4:33 left in the game, Garbowsky took a Michael Joly pass from the far corner of the Rush third in the high slot, and rifled a shot over Frey’s glove to make it a 4-0 advantage (Joly and Drayson Bowman assisted). Rush special teams spoiled the bid for Brittain’s shutout with 2:20 left in the game, as Marcus Ortiz slipped a sharp-angle attempt by Brittain to bring the game to its 4-1 final tally in Eagles’ favor (Andrew Miller and Josh Elmes assisted). At the end of the game, a number of skirmishes broke out, setting the table for the final matchup tomorrow night.

Adam Vay stopped 25 of 28 in 35:51 of work, suffering the loss (3-4-0). Christian Frey relieved him for the final 24:09 of the contest and stopped 8 of 9 shots.

Both teams will rematch tomorrow at the Budweiser Events Center, with puck drop slated for 7:05 p.m. MST.

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Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Savannah Ghost Pirates @ Rapid City Rush
Wednesday, February 28th
Savannah Ghost Pirates @ Rapid City Rush
Puck Drops:
7:05 PM MST
The Monument
Savannah Ghost Pirates
SAV Savannah Ghost Pirates
at
Rapid City Rush
RC Rapid City Rush
The Monument
WEATHER PERMITTING NIGHT
Friday, March 1st
WEATHER PERMITTING NIGHT
Puck Drops:
7:05 PM MST
The Monument
Savannah Ghost Pirates
SAV Savannah Ghost Pirates
at
Rapid City Rush
RC Rapid City Rush
The Monument
JURASSIC WORLD NIGHT
Saturday, March 2nd
JURASSIC WORLD NIGHT
Puck Drops:
7:05 PM MST
The Monument
Savannah Ghost Pirates
SAV Savannah Ghost Pirates
at
Rapid City Rush
RC Rapid City Rush
The Monument

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