(RAPID CITY, SD) – Six different Idaho Steelheads inked their names on the scoresheet, led by Kyle Schempp’s two-point night, but it was Tomas Sholl that stole the show with a 20-save shutout, his third of the season, to lead the Steelheads to a 4-0 win over the Rush on Saturday night. The game marks a sweep of the Rush on the weekend series, and coupled with a Kansas City regulation loss, still keeps the Rush trailing by 7 points for the final playoff spot with 5 games remaining.
For a second game in a row, Idaho started the scoring entries, but hit pay dirt in the first period. With just 39 seconds remaining in the frame, Elgin Pearce deflected a shot and slammed the rebound by Rush net-minder Adam Carlson, giving Idaho a 1-0 lead in the final minute of the first (AJ White and Kyle Schempp assisted). Tomas Sholl stopped all 5 shots that he saw in the opening frame in Idaho’s net.
Charlie Dodero pushed the Steelheads ahead by two, taking a pass from his own blue line in on a breakaway, and finished with a laser over Carlson’s shoulder, giving Idaho a 2-0 lead at 3:48 of the second (Steve McParland had the only assist). Sholl earned his keep in the second frame, this time stopping double the shot count: 10 in the second period.
Will Merchant and Kyle Schempp struck for Idaho in the third period to put the game out of reach for the Steelheads. Merchant made it 3-0 at 7:52 when a shot he fired slipped past Carlson while screened (assisted by Robbie Payne), followed by Schempp’s power play shot from the high slot to make it 4-0 with 7:22 remaining in the contest (the goal was unassisted). The Rush could only muster another five shots in the third frame, and fell for the weekend sweep at Idaho’s hands by a 4-0 final score.
Adam Carlson stopped 23 of 27 shots in the defeat, which served as his eighth consecutive start (19-16-3-2).
The Rush now gear up for five consecutive matchups against the Idaho Steelheads, with games three, four, and five coming in Boise next week. Puck drop for game three on March 27th is slated for 7:10 p.m. MST at CenturyLink Arena.