(RAPID CITY, SD) – Justin Faryna provided the only goal of the contest for the Rapid City Rush, who fell to the Idaho Steelheads by a 3-1 score on Friday night. With Kansas City falling in regulation to South Carolina, the Rush still trail by 7 points for the final playoff spot in the Mountain Division with 6 games remaining.
Both teams skated to a scoreless deadlock after 20 minutes of play, but then exchanged goals back-and-forth, leading the Steelheads to a lead heading into the final period. AJ White got things started for the Steelheads with 11:45 gone by in the second period, slipping a Nolan Gluchowski rebound by Rush net-minder Adam Carlson, putting Idaho up with a 1-0 lead (Gluchowski had the lone assist). Down a goal thanks to the Steelheads Captain, Rush Captain Justin Faryna counter-punched with a goal of his own to tie the game. With 4:21 left in the second, Dylan Quaile fired a blue line shot that Faryna batted down, corralled in his feet, and tucked past Idaho goaltender Ryan Faragher, squaring the game at 1-1 (Quaile and Dexter Dancs assisted). With less than a minute to go, however, Idaho jumped ahead once more, and Robbie Payne’s late tally ended up being the difference maker. With 57.7 seconds left, Payne took a pass from Henrik Samuelsson into the Rush zone, and found Payne, whose initial shot was denied by Carlson. Payne zipped the rebound on the blocker side and gave the Steelheads a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes (Samuelsson and Will Merchant assisted). The Rush were only held to four shots on goal in the final period of play, unable to muster a tying goal, and thanks to Steve McParland’s empty-netter with 3 seconds left, Idaho took the win by a 3-1 score.
Adam Carlson stopped 29 of 31 shots in the defeat, which also was his seventh consecutive start (19-15-3-2).
The Rush now gear up for five consecutive matchups against the Idaho Steelheads, with game two coming on March 23rd. Puck drop is slated for 7:05 p.m. MST at Premier Home Mortgage Ice in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. March 23rd is a jam-packed night, beginning with “Hockey N Hops” at 5 p.m. at Rushmore Hall H, followed by our “Construction Night” theme night, featuring hand and power tool giveaways, as well as foam hammers to the first 800 fans, courtesy of Knecht Home Center.