(WEST VALLEY CITY, UT) – Cedric Montminy completed a two-point night with a game-winning goal that broke a 1-1 deadlock with 3:16 remaining in regulation to give the Rapid City Rush a 2-1 win over the Utah Grizzlies on Friday night. The win gives the Rush victories in both games played this week as part of a three-game series against the Grizzlies, and points in five consecutive matchups against their Mountain Division rival. Additionally, the win puts the Rush in a tie for third in the division, one point behind Utah and Tulsa at the front of the pack.
Both teams skated to a scoreless draw after 20 minutes of play, with Utah goalie Joe Cannata stoning all 12 shots he saw, and Rush net-minder Adam Carlson doing the same with the 14 he faced. Eventually, one goal line broke in the second period, and it was the Rush striking first, forcing another turnover in the Grizzlies third. With 2:10 gone by in the second, Cedric Montminy created a turnover on the near wall of the Grizzlies zone, and found the Rush’s leading scorer, Andrew Radjenovic, streaking down “Main Street” in the slot area. Radjenovic rifled a shot by Cannata’s glove inside the far post to give the Rush a 1-0 advantage with his team-leading 15th goal of the season (Montminy had the lone assist). Carlson remained perfect through two periods, stopping an additional 6 shots in the second to bring his save total to 20 heading into the third.
Utah tied the game up with less than ten minutes remaining in the game following the end of a Rush penalty kill. With 7:27 remaining in the game, J.T. Henke flung the puck on net through traffic, and it deflected off of an object and squeaked by Carlson to square the game up at 1-1 (Nolan De Jong had the lone assist). Montminy finished his outstanding night with the game-winner in the final minutes of the game. With 3:16 left, Montminy started a rush through the neutral zone with Pierre-Luc Mercier and Michael Turner. Montminy deffered to Turner, who wound up for a shot on Cannata that was initially stopped, but produced a rebound to Montminy in the slot. Montminy buried it to give the Rush a 2-1 lead with his second point of the contest and fourth in the last two games (Turner and Mercier assisted). Despite an extra-attacker effort from Utah, the Rush held on for a 2-1 regulation win, their second of the week against the Grizzlies.
Adam Carlson shined once again in net for the Rush, stopping all but one of 32 shots on net for his 10th win of the season (10-4-2-2).
The Rush conclude their two-week road trip of 8 games in 12 nights tomorrow night against the Grizzlies on Saturday, December 15th. Puck drop for game three, the finale of this series against Utah, is slated for 7:05 p.m. MST at the Maverik Center.