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FREY EARNS FIRST PRO WIN TO START 2018

Saturday, January 6th
FREY EARNS FIRST PRO WIN TO START 2018

(WEST VALLEY CITY, UT) – Jack Walker broke a 1-1 tie with 2:15 left in regulation, and along with Christian Frey’s 32 saves on 33 shots, helped power the Rapid City Rush to a 2-1 win over the Utah Grizzlies on Saturday night. The win serves as the first for the Rush in 2018, and the first for Frey in his professional career.

Both teams skated to a scoreless draw in the first period, and later played in a second period occupied by fireworks and the game’s only goal through 31:40 of hockey. At the 6:41 mark of the 2nd period, Charley Graaskamp was hauled down towards the Rush net on a breakaway out of the Utah penalty box, taking advantage of a turnover in neutral ice. He was awarded a penalty shot, but Rush net-minder Christian Frey got a leg pad to Graaskamp’s attempt, keeping the game scoreless for the time being. Eventually, Utah broke the 0-0 deadlock just over the midway point of regulation to carry a lead into the third period. The Rush went on a three-on-two break down the ice that finished with a Daniel Leavens shot on Utah goaltender Kevin Carr. Carr made a kick save, and the rebound was immediately flung out to the neutral zone and made its way to Kyle Thomas. Thomas came in the Rush zone on a two-on-one, and elected to shoot on Frey, firing the shot under his glove and in the net to give the Grizzlies a 1-0 lead with 8:20 left in the second (Mike Pelech and Ryan Misiak assisted).

In a stellar third period featuring a goaltender duel between Carr and Frey, Pavel Jenys squared the game up and put the Rush on the board. With 12:18 left in the game, Riley Weselowski sent a pass through the neutral zone up to Peter Sivak, who gained the Utah zone. Sivak dished to a trailing Jenys, who rifled a shot by Carr’s glove to tie the game at 1-1 with his 12th goal of the season (Weselowski and Sivak assisted). Both teams also traded power plays, six for each side throughout the contest, and the Rush benefitted on their final man-advantage of the game in the final minutes, set up by Kevin Carr’s delay of game infraction with less than four minutes remaining. With 2:15 left on the clock, Daniel Leavens, from the near corner of the Utah zone, found Jack Walker on the backdoor of the Utah net, setting the rookie up for the go-ahead tally to push the Rush on top with a 2-1 lead (Leavens and Weselowski assisted). In the last minute of play, the Grizzlies, with the net empty, threw everything at the Rush net, but Frey and company stood tall and hung on for the win, 2-1 over their Mountain Division rivals.

Christian Frey stopped all but one of his 33 shots faced, earning his first win as a professional (1-6-0).

The Rush and Grizzlies will play the final two periods of Friday’s suspended game tomorrow at 1 p.m. MST at the Maverik Center to close out their series. Utah will begin right at the start of the second period with a 3-1 lead.

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