(WINDSOR, CO) – Peter Sivak struck twice in the second period to build a 2-0 lead for the Rapid City Rush, but Jake Marto started a stretch of four unanswered goals for the Colorado Eagles, including a pair by the ECHL’s leading goal-scorer Michael Joly, to give the Eagles a 4-2 win on Friday night. The loss ends the Rush’s current point streak at 4 games (2-0-2).
Both teams once again skated in a scoreless duel in the opening period, but wouldn’t carry the zeroes over into the third period like Wednesday’s counterpart. With 5:30 gone by in the second, Peter Sivak took advantage of a scramble in front of the Colorado net, set up by Anthony Collins in on the forecheck. Collins jammed the puck to Ian Brady behind the net, who zipped a behind-the-back pass to Josh Elmes on the blue line. Elmes’ shot got through to Eagles goaltender Joe Cannata and was saved, but Sivak pocketed the rebound to give the Rush a 1-0 lead (Elmes and Brady assisted). Sivak made it 2-0 with 1:04 left in the period on a play started by Josh Elmes blocking a shot in his own zone. Elmes sacrificed, then kicked the puck to Sivak with speed through the neutral zone. Sivak rifled a snipe bar-down by Cannata to push the Rush to a 2-0 lead (Elmes had the lone assist). Exactly 14 seconds later, Jake Marto took advantage of disarray in the Rush zone, flew in at full speed to the far side, and whizzed a wrister by Rush net-minder Adam Vay to cut the Rush lead to 2-1 with 50.7 seconds left in the period (Garbowsky had the lone assist).
Colorado rode the momentum from Marto’s late tally to eventually rip off four unanswered goals in earning the win. The ECHL’s leading goal-scorer, Michael Joly, scored his first 3:01 into the third period on passes from Jesse Mychan and Matt Register from the far faceoff circle of the Rush zone to square the game at 2-2, then followed up 1:55 later with another tally from Register and Marto to give Colorado a 3-2 lead with 15:04 left in the game. J.C. Beaudin put an exclamation point on the scoreboard on the Eagles final power play of the game, shoveling one by Vay with 13:00 left on the clock to make it a 4-2 advantage for the defending champs (Brady Shaw and Collin Bowman assisted). The Rush flipped the tables on Colorado shortly after with some great chances deep in the Eagles end, but Cannata and company hung on to eventually give the Eagles a 4-2 victory in the second of three meetings this week against the Rush.
Adam Vay stopped 28 of 32 shots on goal in suffering the loss (4-8-1).
The Rush continue their six game road trip against the Colorado Eagles with the final meeting of their three-game set tomorrow night, January 13th. Puck drop is slated for 7:05 p.m. MST at the Budweiser Events Center.