(INDEPENDENCE, MO) – Jared VanWormer struck on the final power play of the game with 1:46 left on the clock to give the Kansas City Mavericks a 2-1 win over the Rapid City Rush in their series finale on Saturday night. The loss puts the Rush a 2-1-0 in the first half of their “Stock Show Road Trip”.
Both teams skated to a scoreless deadlock after one period, mostly in part to Rush net-minder Adam Vay, who made a miraculous save at the buzzer of the first period to deny the Mavericks of a potential five-on-three power play goal. The Rush rode that momentum to strike first in the second, as Peter Sivak and Dante Salituro went on a shorthanded break up the ice within the first two minutes of the period. Sivak deferred to Salituro, who five-holed Mavericks goalie Tyler Parsons to give the Rush a 1-0 lead 1:36 into the second period (Sivak and Josh Elmes notched the assists). The Mavericks tied things up moments later when Eric Freschi broke into the Rush zone and rifled a shot off of a Rush defender and past Vay to square things up at 1-1 with 6:24 played in the second (Mark Cooper and Tyler Parsons assisted).
The final goal of the game wouldn’t come until the final two minutes of the game, and it would be the Mavericks scoring the late dagger for the eventual win. With 1:46 left in regulation, on the final Mavericks power play of the night, Shawn Pauly kicked the puck out of a scrum to a wide open Jared VanWormer, who walked in close range to the Rush net and backhanded a shot top shelf by Vay to give the Mavs a 2-1 lead (Pauly had the only assist). The Rush ended up making one last push with Vay pulled from the net for the extra-attacker, including a shot from Jack Walker through traffic that just rolled centimeters wide of the goal line. The Rush couldn’t muster the game-tying goal, falling to the Mavericks by a 2-1 count.
Adam Vay fell for the first time in 6 starts, stopping 29 of 30 shots on net (9-9-1).
The Rush continue their annual “Stock Show Road Trip”, with their toughest stretch of the trip, playing three games in four nights in three different cities. Their next opponent is the Tulsa Oilers, who they’ll square off against on Tuesday, January 30th. Puck drop at the BOK Center is slated for 6:05 p.m. MST.