(RAPID CITY, SD) – Two goals scored seven seconds apart in the second period helped power the Florida Everblades to an eventual 4-0 win over the Rapid City Rush on Wednesday night. The game was the first matchup ever between both teams, and the beginning of a three-game series for the week.
Both teams skated to a scoreless deadlock, until Florida scored twice in seven seconds in the second period, At 4:40 of the second, after a great sequence in the offensive zone for the Rush, Joe Cox led the Everblades in transition and charged into the Rush zone on a partial two-on-one. Cox put a shot towards the Rush net that appeared to deflect off of a Rush defender’s stick and slip under Adam Carlson’s leg pad, giving the Everblades a 1-0 lead (Kyle Platzer and Ben Masella assisted). Exactly seven seconds later, right off of the center ice faceoff, Tommy Thompson won it back to Derek Sheppard, who entered the Rush zone on the far side. Sheppard squeaked a shot under Carlson’s blocker on the post to give the Everblades a 2-0 lead after two periods (Thompson had the only assist).
The Rush had a glorious opportunity with 12:30 left in the game, as Darby Llewellyn drew a penalty shot on a turnover in close range to the Florida net. Llewellyn, however, missed the goal mouth by inches, and Florida preserved its lead. Captain John McCarron buried an empty-netter with 1:51 remaining to seal the game at 3-0 (assisted by Blake Winiecki), and was followed by a turnover at the red line that sprung Kyle Platzer on a breakaway, finishing with a forehand shot by Carlson to bring the game to its final score of 4-0 with 1:13 left (assisted by Mitch Vandergunst).
Adam Carlson stopped 21 of 24 in the effort, suffering the loss (10-10-2-2).
The Rush continue their series against Florida on Friday, January 18th, playing in their annual “Rush Fights Cancer” Night, where we all renew our pledge in the fight against the insidious disease we all know as cancer. Puck drop for the most emotionally charged night of the year is slated for 7:05 p.m. at Premier Home Mortgage Ice in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.