(WEST VALLEY CITY, UT) – Cedric Montminy struck twice, and Adam Carlson stopped all but one of 43 shots on net to help lead the Rapid City Rush to a 2-1 win over the Utah Grizzlies at the Maverik Center on Thursday night. The win gives the Rush four straight, all coming at the expense of their Mountain Division rival, and with this being the only game in the ECHL, allowed the Rush to gain two points on Kansas City, now trailing the Mavericks by 7 points for the final divisional playoff spot with 9 games remaining in the season.
Both teams traded blows in the first period, and came out square at one aside. Utah started off the scoring entries with 6:34 left in the first when Will Smith banked in a rebound on a Gabriel Verpaelst shot from close range, squeaking the puck by Rush net-minder Adam Carlson to give Utah a 1-0 lead (Verpaelst and Jake Marchment assisted). The Rush countered 2:32 later on their first power play of the game, deadlocking it after 20 minutes. With 4:58 left in the first, Chris Leibinger gained a rebound on a shot from the blue line and found Cedric Montminy wide-open on the back door of the Utah net. Montminy pocketed the shot behind Kevin Carr to square the game at 1-1 (Leibinger and Dexter Dancs assisted).
Cedric Montminy gave the Rush the lead early in the second, and from there, the Rush wouldn’t look back. With 2:07 gone by in the second, Brandon Fehd contained the offensive zone and fired it behind the goal line in the Grizzlies third. Dexter Dancs corralled the rebound and found Montminy in between the hash marks, finishing with a rifle by Carr to give the Rush a 2-1 lead with his second of the contest (Dancs and Fehd assisted).
Carlson, the reigning ECHL Goaltender of the Week, staved off a third period rally for the Grizzlies, stopping all 19 shots in the final 20 minutes, backstopping the team to a 2-1 win, their fourth in a row, all coming against the Grizzlies.
Carlson shined once again following his weekly award recognition, stopping all but one of 43 shots on his net (18-13-3-2).
The Rush continue their six consecutive matchups against the Utah Grizzlies, with the series currently shifted to West Valley City, Utah this week. Puck drop for game five on Saturday, March 16th is slated for 7:05 p.m. MST at the Maverik Center.