(BOISE, ID) – Cedric Montminy scored a historic 20th goal as part of a third period comeback that was completed by Dylan Quaile’s game-tying goal with 2:14 left in the game, but the Rapid City Rush fell short in a shootout despite the heroics, falling to the Idaho Steelheads by a 4-3 score on Friday night. With the shootout loss, and a Kansas City loss to Toledo, the Rush still remain in the playoff hunt, now four points behind the Mavericks with three games left. If Kansas City wins their next game, or the Rush lose tomorrow in regulation, then the Rush will be eliminated from the 2019 Kelly Cup Playoffs.
Only one goal came out of the first period, and it belonged to the Rush, who scored first for a second consecutive game against the Steelheads. With 3:52 gone by in the contest, Zach Fischer won a neutral zone draw ahead to Darby Llewellyn, who threaded a pass through a defender to Tyler Poulsen. Poulsen, from the high slot, fired a shot that whizzed past the glove of Idaho goalie Tomas Sholl, giving the Rush a 1-0 lead (Llewellyn and Fischer assisted).
Idaho stormed back in the first minute of the second to tie the game, and eventual rode that momentum to three unanswered goals for a second intermission lead. Just 42 seconds into the period, after a blue line turnover by the Rush in the offensive zone, Elgin Pearce and Spencer Naas went on a two-on-one break. Pearce’s shot was initially stopped by Rush net-minder Adam Carlson, but Naas pocketed the rebound to square the game at 1-1 (Pearce had the only assist). At 6:03 of the second, Alexander Dahl won a faceoff to Steve McParland, who found Ondrej Vala on the blue line. Vala unloaded a shot that fizzed by a screened Carlson, giving the Steelheads a 2-1 lead (Dahl and McParland assisted). Elgin Pearce capped off the second period scoring on an awkward shot from the goal line with 7:54 left to extend Idaho’s lead heading into the third period. Pearce took a pass from Jeff King on the blue line, cross-ice and to the goal line, and while it appeared that Pearce didn’t get all of his shot, it somehow fluttered off of Carlson and in, bringing the Steelheads advantage to 3-1 after 40 minutes (King and Kyle Schempp assisted).
The Rush, as they’ve made a custom this season, came storming back in the third, and eventually forced extracurricular activity. Cedric Montminy got things started for the Rush with 3:24 gone by in the third, when he took a Justin Faryna pass up the ice, and fired a shot over Sholl top-shelf, becoming the fifth rookie in team history to record a 20-goal season, while chiseling the Rush deficit to 3-2 (Faryna and Fischer assisted). Then, with the goalie pulled late, Dylan Quaile jumped off the blue line, and while straddling the goal line, squeaked a shot in the near post of Sholl to square the game at 3-3 with 2:14 left in regulation (Llewellyn and Tyler Poulsen assisted).
Both teams traded blows in overtime, with the Rush generating more offense at 3 shots to 1, but neither team could crack the other’s goal line. In the shootout, Idaho took the win in two and a half rounds on goals from Steve McParland and Henrik Samuelsson, while the Rush had shots stopped from Alex Rauter and Cedric Montminy. Idaho hung on to take the second point in a 4-3 final.
Adam Carlson suffered the shootout loss, stopping 35 of 38 shots, while also staving off one of the three shooters past 65 minutes (20-16-3-3).
The Rush finally conclude their five consecutive matchups against the Idaho Steelheads, with puck drop for the final game slated for 7:10 p.m. MST at CenturyLink Arena tomorrow night.