(BOISE, ID) – Jimmy DeVito and Pavel Jenys scored under two minutes apart in the final period of regulation to give the Rapid City Rush some life, but the Idaho Steelheads jumped out to an early lead, finishing with a 5-2 win on Wednesday night.
Idaho took an early lead on special teams within the first 90 seconds of the contest. Joe Faust ripped a shot from the blue line that zipped past Rush net-minder Adam Vay to give the Steelheads a 1-0 lead 1:23 into the contest (Cody Corbett and A.J. White assisted). With 12:00 gone by, Steve McParland doubled the Steelheads lead when he led a charge while blazing over all three lines and into the Rush zone. McParland deferred to Tommy Thompson, who gave back to McParland in front for the tap-in to make it 2-0 (Thompson and Eric Sweetman assisted). Idaho finished the scoring rally 1:28 later when Henrik Samuelsson deflected a Will Merchant shot over Vay’s shoulder to make it 3-0 with 6:32 left in the first (Merchant and White assisted).
Will Merchant was responsible for the lone strike in the second period, and it propelled the Steelheads to a 4-0 lead after 40 minutes of play. After his team’s fourth power play of the game expired, Merchant unloaded a one-timer from the blue line that whizzed by Vay to make it a 4-0 game in Steelheads favor with 4:03 left in the second (Corbett and Samuelsson assisted).
The Rush pushed back in the third period, but the spark wasn’t enough to overcome the Steelheads. With 8:51 left in the game, Jimmy DeVito carried the puck into the Steelheads zone, broke wide, and fired a shot on the net of Philippe Desrosiers. Desrosiers lost the puck in his pads and it trickled in the net, ridding Desrosiers of his shutout and cutting the deficit to 4-1 (the goal was unassisted). Around 100 seconds later, Pavel Jenys carried a Geoff Fortman pass to the high slot of the Steelheads zone and unloaded a rocket by Desrosiers to cut the deficit to 4-2 (Fortman had the lone assist). The Rush pounded the Steelheads net to the tune of 18 shots in the final period, but Desrosiers stopped all other attempts, including a late two-minute flurry with a Rush empty net and extra-attacker. Corbin Baldwin took advantage of the open net, flinging the puck in to seal the deal for the Steelheads with a 5-2 win.
Adam Vay stopped 32 of 36 shots on net, suffering the loss (3-6-0).
The Rush road trip concludes with a pair of games in Utah against the Grizzlies on Friday and Saturday, December 15th and 16th. Puck drop for both games at the Maverik Center is slated for 7:05 p.m. MST.