(RAPID CITY, SD) – Garrett Klotz provided the only goal for the Rapid City Rush, who thanks to a five-point night from Kale Kessy, a four-point night from Tony Calderone, and multi-point performances from A.J. White, Brad McClure, and Reid Petryk, fell to the Idaho Steelheads by a 9-1 score on Friday night.
Idaho struck twice in the first to leave the first 20 minutes with a 2-0 lead. A.J. White started off scoring as the Steelheads came down the ice on a two-on-one rush following a Rush power play. With 4:15 gone by, Brad McClure’s initial shot was stopped by Rush net-minder Adam Carlson, but White, in his 100th Steelheads game, picked up the rebound and tucked it in to give Idaho a 1-0 lead (McClure had the lone assist). Tony Calderone doubled Idaho’s lead on their second power play of the game when Kale Kessy barely contained the zone on the blue line, worked cross ice, and found Calderone open for a one-timer to make it a 2-0 Steelheads lead heading into the second period (Kessy had the lone assist).
Idaho began to separate themselves from the Rush with four goals in the second period, countered by only one Rush strike in the frame. Jeff King made it 3-0 Idaho when he sprung on a breakaway after a Rush shot got deflected on the Steelhead’s blue line, finishing by Carlson over his shoulder at the 5:07 mark of the period (the goal was unassisted). Kale Kessy extended the advantage to 4-0 on a two-on-one down the ice, taking a Calderone pass at the very last second, tapping it by Carlson over three minutes later at the 8:38 mark of the frame (Calderone had the lone assist). Garrett Klotz, in his first game back from suspension, interrupted the Idaho scoring entries on the team’s second power play of the contest to break the Steelheads shutout bid. With 7:37 left in the period, the Rush won the draw on the man-advantage, and just 10 seconds into it, Riley Weselowski blasted a one-timer from the point that was deflected by Klotz past Steelheads goalie Tomas Sholl to make it 4-1 (Weselowski and Josh Elmes assisted). The Steelheads countered exactly 11 seconds later, when Calderone earned his second of the game with a laser off the back bar to make it 5-1 with 7:26 left in the second, prompting the substitution of Carlson in the Rush net for Tyler Parks (Kessy and White assisted). Parks only saw two shots in the second period, but one of them was Mitch Moroz’ deflection off of a Calderone shot on the power play that escaped him with 57.5 seconds left in the second to make it a 6-1 Steelheads lead after two (Calderone and Kessy assisted).
Idaho added three more tallies before the final buzzer, starting off with Brad McClure. McClure took advantage of a feverish scramble in front of the Rush net, and got the last stick to a shot initiated by Kyle Schempp to make it 7-1 Idaho at the 8:12 of the final frame (Schempp had the lone assist). The Steelheads, then on a two-man advantage for under 90 seconds, capitalized when Reid Petryk found Kessy for a back-door one-timer to make it 8-1 with 9:30 left in the contest (Petryk had the lone assist, earning his 100th point on the play). Petryk then completed the scoring entries on a two-on-one with Elgin Pearce, while shorthanded, with a one-timer on a pass from Pearce to bring the game to its final score of 9-1 in the last five minutes of the game (Pearce had the lone assist).
Adam Carlson, making his first start since his AHL call-up to Milwaukee, suffered the loss, stopping 10 of 15 shots in 32:34 of action (10-6-2-2). Tyler Parks stopped 8 of 12 shots in 27:26 of relief.
The Rush rematch the Steelheads tomorrow night on “Nickelodeon Night”, with special Spongebob Squarepants jerseys to be auctioned off following the game. Puck drop for the December 29th showdown is slated for 7:05 p.m. MST at Premier Home Mortgage Ice in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.