(INDEPENDENCE, MO) – Cedric Montminy and Chris Lebinger built an early 2-0 lead for the Rapid City Rush, but the Kansas City Mavericks scored three unanswered goals in the second period and staved off a late Rush rally to hand the Rush a 3-2 loss on Tuesday night. The loss is the first in regulation on the “Stock Show Road Trip” through 4 games, giving the Rush a .500 record at 1-1-2-0.
For the first time since game two against the Florida Everblades two weeks ago, the Rush provided the game’s first goal and maintained their lead after the first 20 minutes. With 5:26 left in the first, the Rush won an offensive zone draw to the blue line, and Josh Elmes deferred cross ice to Richard Coyne. Coyne blasted a shot from the point that missed the net, but Cedric Montminy settled the puck on the bounce, and threw it from behind the goal line off of Mavericks goaltender Mason McDonald’s skate and into the net, giving the Rush a 1-0 lead (Coyne and Elmes got the asissts).
The Rush kept their momentum going in the second and struck in the opening minutes of the frame, but the Mavericks stormed back with three unanswered goals to take an advantage into the final period. At 3:48 of the second, Dylan Quaile helped Pierre-Luc Mercier exit the Ruhs zone after sustained d-zone pressure, and Mercier led the charge down the ice. Mercier entered and handed off to Chris Leibinger, who settled the puck a rifled a shot by McDonald to extend the Rush lead to 2-0 (Mercier and Quaile assisted). The Mavericks, right as their first power play of the game expired, began their comeback and cut the Rush lead. At 9:19 of the second, Jordan Klimek fired a blue line shot that deflected off of Mavericks captain Rocco Carzo and towards Rush net-minder Adam Carlson. Carlson made the initial save, but Jordan Ernst pocketed the rebound to put the Mavericks on the board, trailing 2-1 (Carzo and Klimek assisted). Kansas City thought they tied the game up shortly after, however the goal that would’ve been the first in the career of Brett Beauvais was waved off for a crease violation. Within the last minutes of the second, Corey Durocher actually did tie it up on a goal that counted, taking a Willie Raskob pass in the slot area, and slipping a shot by Carlson’s blocker side to square the game at 2-2 with 2:52 left in the second (Raskob and Darian Dziurzynski assisted). Exactly 1:36 later, Jared VanWormer gave the Mavericks their only lead of the game, one they wouldn’t relinquish, when he deflected a shot on net past Carlson to make it a 3-2 Mavericks lead with 1:16 left in the frame (Joey Sides and Raskob assisted).
The Rush had a number of chances to square things up in the third period, especially in the final seconds, while shorthanded, when Elmes carried the puck into the attacking zone and full speed. He found Cedric Montminy in the slot, but the shot he took wasn’t elevated high enough, and McDonald made the save, hanging on for the 3-2 Mavericks win.
Adam Carlson stopped 33 of 36 shots on net in suffering the defeat (12-12-2-2).
The Rush continue the annual “Stock Show Road Trip”, playing their fifth game of six in their fourth of five different cities across nine days. Game five against the Cincinnati Cyclones on February 1st comes with puck drop at US Bank Arena slated for 5:35 p.m. MST.