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RUSH FALL IN WESELOWSKI’S 500TH GAME

Sunday, January 20th
RUSH FALL IN WESELOWSKI’S 500TH GAME

(RAPID CITY, SD) – Rapid City Rush Captain Riley Weselowski played in his 500th game with the team on Saturday night, and celebrated the occasion by scoring his sixth of the season.  It wasn’t enough as the Florida Everblades won the rubber match of the three-game series with a 5-1 win.

For the first time in the series, Florida scored in the opening period and took a 2-0 lead into the break.  With 5:19 played in the game, Tommy Thompson streaked down the near side of the Rush zone, powered towards the net, and backhanded the puck by Rush net-minder Adam Carlson to put Florida on top 1-0 early (Matt Finn and Ben Masella assisted).  With 4:45 remaining in the period, Nathan Perkovich, from behind the Rush goal line, threw the puck into traffic in front of the net, and it squeaked by Carlson to give the Everblades a 2-0 lead after 20 (Derek Sheppard had the lone assist).

Kyle Platzer extended the Everblades lead in the second period, scoring the first shorthanded goal against the Rush since January 5th in Kansas City.  With 3:55 left in the second, Platzer chipped the puck by a Rush defenseman on his own blue line and came two-on-one with Blake Winiecki down the ice. They played catch in the zone, with the sequence ending on a Platzer shot over the shoulder of Carlson to make it a 3-0 lead (Winiecki had the lone assist).  Following the goal, there were a few altercations, one of which resulted in the ejection of Rush forward Matt Harrington, who was assessed a match penalty for fighting.

After back-and-forth even strength and special teams hockey, both teams settled on four-on-four at the start of the third, and Rush captain Riley Weselowski celebrated his 500th game with the Rush in style.  With 2:23 gone by in the final period, Pierre-Luc Mercier won a faceoff to Josh Elmes, who found the Captain cross ice for a one-timer.  Weselowski’s shot was stopped by the blocker of Everblades goalie Jeremy Helvig, but it bounced so high that everyone on the ice lost sight of it.  It ended up landing behind Helvig and got the Rush on the board, then trailing 3-1 (Elmes and Mercier assisted).  The life provided by Weselowski’s goal was short-lived, as in four-on-four again, Joe Cox and Michael Neville connected to separate further.  Exactly 1:07 later, Neville carried the puck into the zone and threw it on net to Cox’s stick, which got deflected behind Carlson to give Florida a 4-1 lead (Neville had the only assist).  Both connected again as Neville found Cox in the slot from behind the net for his second of the game to bring the contest to its final score of 5-1 with 9:16 remaining.

Adam Carlson suffered the loss, stopping 29 of 34 shots in the effort (11-11-2-2). 

The Rush now embark on the annual “Stock Show Road Trip”, playing six games in five different cities across nine days.  Game one is slated against the Kalamazoo Wings on Friday, January 25th, with puck drop at the Wings Event Center scheduled for 5:30 p.m. MST.

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