(ALLEN, TX) – Andrew Radjenovic (2g-2ast) and Tyler Poulsen (1g-3ast) extended their point streaks to five each with a pair of four-point performances, and coupled with Adam Carlson’s 34 saves, and the first professional goals of Blake Heinrich and Brandon Fehd, powered the Rapid City Rush to a 6-3 win against the Allen Americans on Wednesday night. The win not only comes with the Rush shorthanded by two players, but also gives the Rush points in five consecutive games, sole possession of third place in the Mountain Division, and a three-point gap separated from the Tulsa Oilers and Utah Grizzlies in first.
Even though the Rush were outshot in the first period, they blasted the Americans on the scoreboard and carried a 4-1 lead into the period break, with all goals coming in a span of 2:54. Garrett Klotz notched an ignition of the goal lamp in back to back games, and started off the scoring rally for the Rush against his former club. With 7:12 left in the first, Dylan Quaile blocked a shot and sent the puck the full length of the ice for what was supposed to be an icing call, but Pierre-Luc Mercier beat his defender to the dots. Mercier collected the puck, and centered it for Klotz, and while the pass was deflected by Allen goalie Kyle Hayton, Klotz got a hold of the puck and buried it off the back bar to give the Rush a 1-0 lead (Mercier and Quaile assisted). Exactly 21 seconds later, Blake Heinrich trailed Tyler Poulsen and Andrew Radjenovic on a two-on-one down the ice into the Rush attacking zone. With 6:51 remaining, Radjenovic deferred to an oncoming Heinrich, who slipped it by Hayton to give the Rush a 2-0 lead (Radjenovic and Poulsen assisted). Under two minutes later, Tyler Poulsen self-chipped by former Rush forward Dante Salituro in front of the Americans bench, and powered towards the net. Poulsen, while being hooked from behind, maintained possession and slipped the puck by Hayton to give the Rush a 3-0 lead with 5:13 remaining in the first (the goal was unassisted). Ending the furious rally 55 seconds later was Andrew Radjenovic, who fired a Chris Leibinger pass off the bar and in to make it a 4-0 Rush lead with 4:18 left (Leibinger and Poulsen assisted). Radjenovic’s goal prompted the removal of Hayton from the Americans net, leading to Jeremy Brodeur’s entry in between the pipes. Following the goalie change, Adam Miller banked a loose puck in front of the Rush net by net-minder Adam Carlson to cut the Rush lead to 4-1 with 2:20 left in the period (Mike Gunn and Garrett Clarke assisted).
Both teams skated to a scoreless second period, but amped up the entries again in the final frame. Zach Pochiro brought the Americans within two with just 3:25 into the third, once again banging home a loose puck by Carlson to make it a 4-2 game (Braylon Shmyr and Dave Makowski assisted. Under three minutes later, on their last of two power plays in the game, Andrew Radjenovic restored the two-goal lead when he stuffed a Tyler Poulsen rebound through Brodeur’s five-hole to bring the Rush lead to 5-2 at 6:13 of the period (Poulsen and Quaile assisted). After a fiery exchange of hostility following the power play goal, the game quieted down until Johnny McInnis collected another loose puck in front of Carlson and squeaked it by him to cut the Rush lead to 5-3 with 2:16 left in the game (Jacob Doty and Zach Pochiro assisted). Allen pulled Brodeur from the net for an extra attacker, and instead of completing his hat trick, Radjenovic unselfishly passed to recent SPHL call-up Brandon Fehd in the neutral zone. Fehd waltzed towards the empty net and slammed the puck home for the first goal of his ECHL career with 1:41 left in the game, giving the Rush an exclamation point on a 6-3 win.
Adam Carlson, in his fifth consecutive start, claiming standings points in each appearance, stopped 34 of 37 shots (8-3-2-2).
The Rush continue their two-week road trip in which they play 8 games in 12 nights on Friday against the Wichita Thunder, starting a “three-in-three” series. It’s also the first of 8 games head-to-head between the Mountain Division rivales, with puck drop slated for 6:05 p.m. MST at INTRUST Bank Arena.