(RAPID CITY, SD) – Andrew Radjenovic and Stephen Hrehoriak each scored their first goals for the Rapid City Rush tonight, the latter doing so in his debut with the team, but J.C. Campagna crushed the significance of their three total goals with his game-winner with 1:14 left in regulation to give the Allen Americans a 5-4 win over the Rush on Wednesday night.
Allen struck first in the contest, but the Rush would deadlock the game after 20 minutes of play. Thomas Frazee took a drop pass from Bryan Moore and had his initial shot attempt stopped by the Rush defense, then followed up the rebound with a quick backhander by Rush net-minder Christian Frey to give the Americans a 1-0 lead with 5:36 gone by in the game (Moore got the only assist). Moments later, on their first power play of the night, Gustav Bouramman contained the puck in the Americans zone on the blue line, and his subsequent shot was deflected by Andrew Radjenovic by Allen goalie Jake Paterson, tying the game at 1-1 on his first goal with the Rush with 10:26 left in the first period (Bouramman had the lone assist).
Stephen Hrehoriak, playing in his first game with the Rush, broke the deadlock and gave the Rush their first lead of the game shy of the midway point of the second period. With 8:53 gone by in the second, Shaquille Merasty gloved and intercepted a pass in the Americans zone on the blue line. Merasty fired a shot that was stopped by Paterson, but Hrehoriak, from his knees, squeaked the rebound behind Paterson to give the Rush a 2-1 lead (Merasty had the lone assist). Allen then struck back to not only tie the game, but seconds later took the lead back from the Rush heading into the third period. With 5:42 left in the second, Thomas Frazee notched his second of the game, firing home a Dalton Thrower rebound to square the game up at 2-2 (Thrower had the lone assist), Exactly 13 seconds later, Alex Guptill, from the near corner of the attacking zone, found a wide-open Zach Pochiro in the high slot. Pochiro let a shot fly right over Frey’s shoulder to give Allen a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes of play.
Peter Sivak wasted no time in firing his team-leading 21st goal of the season to tie the game back up in the third. Just 2:47 into the action, Tyler VanKleef connected with Sivak on a “Hail Mary” from his own zone, with the latter rifling a shot under the glove of Paterson to square the game at 3-3 (VanKleef and Riley Weselowski assisted). Allen utilized special teams to re-take the lead on their final power play of the night in the back-and-forth affair. With 8:58 left in the game, Guptill broke the Rush blue line and threaded a centering pass to a partially trailing Spencer Asuchak, who fired a shot by Frey to push Allen back on top at 4-3 (Guptill and Eric Roy assisted). Late in the contest, Radjenovic notched his second goal of the night when he took a Gustav Bouramman pass that was deflected to him by Peter Sivak and slipped another shot blocker side by Paterson to square the game at 4-4 with 3:29 left in the game (Bouramman and Sivak assisted). What looked to be free hockey on the horizon was dashed when, with 1:14 left in the game, Casey Pierro-Zabotel handed off to J.C. Campagna entering the Rush zone. Campagna then skated virtually uncontested towards the Rush net and finished with a rocket in close range by Frey to give the Americans their final lead of the night at 5-4 (Pierro-Zabotel had the lone assist). The Rush couldn’t gain entry into the Americans zone with the extra-attacker, and extended their winless streak to seven games with the loss.
Christian Frey stopped 31 of 36 shots in his second straight start, suffering the loss (3-13-2-1).
The Rush now gear up for a pair of matchups against the Wichita Thunder this weekend, starting the series Friday night, March 16th. Puck drop at Premier Home Mortgage Ice in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center is slated for 7:05 p.m. MST.