(TULSA, OK) – Giovanni Fiore headlined the scoresheet with a goal and two assists, and Erik Källgren stopped all but one of 38 shots on net to lead the Rapid City Rush to a 4-1 win over the Tulsa Oilers on Sunday. The win gives the Rush a sweep of the Oilers in three games dating back to last Sunday, October 13th, and gives the Rush a 3-1-1 record in their five-game road trip to start the year.
For a second night in a row, the Rush and Oilers skated to a scoreless deadlock after 20 minutes of play. In similar fashion, the Rush jumped on the board first thanks to Giovanni Fiore in the opening minutes of the second period. With 2:42 gone by in the frame, the Oilers turned the puck over in the slot to Fiore, who fired a laser past Oilers goalie Devin Williams to put the Rush up 1-0 (the goal was unassisted). Special teams have elevated the Rush throughout the series against Tulsa and continued to do so roughly five minutes later when the Rush earned a five-on-three power play. Peter Quenneville doubled the Rush lead with his third power play goal of the season, firing a one-timer off a Chris Izmirlian pass to make it a 2-0 advantage with 11:24 left in the period (Izmirlian and Fiore assisted). In the final minutes of the second, Tulsa cut the Rush lead in half on their first power play goal of the season. With 2:46 left in the frame, Miles Liberati slung a shot from the point that slipped past a screened Erik Källgren in the Rush net, putting Tulsa within striking distance heading into the third down 2-1 (Josh Wesley and Ryan Tesink assisted).
Early in the third period, Alex Rauter re-established the two-goal Rush lead, and the team never looked back. Just 3:22 into the final frame, Giovanni Fiore won a faceoff back to Rauter in the high slot, with the latter finishing with a rocket off the back bar and over Williams’ shoulder to give the Rush a 3-1 lead (Fiore had the lone assist). Tulsa, in desperation mode, pulled Williams from the net for an extra attacker with over two minutes to play, but Chris Izmirlian countered the maneuver with his first goal in a Rush uniform into the empty net, lifting the Rush to an eventual 4-1 win.
Erik Källgren earned his first win in the ECHL, stopping 37 of 38 shots in the complete 60-minute effort (1-1-0-0). For a fourth consecutive game, the Rush power play scored a goal, going 8/22 in that timeframe (36.4%).
The Rush now turn their sights to their 12th Opening Weekend in franchise history, playing host to the Mountain Division rival Utah Grizzlies. Puck drop for the first home games of the season, Friday, October 25th and Saturday, October 26th is slated for a 7:05 p.m. MDT at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Ice Arena. Throughout the weekend, the Rush will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the team’s 2010 CHL Championship, with 17 alumni players from the team attending the weekend series. The team will wear specialty red jerseys both nights, modeled after the ones the 2010 team wore the night they clinched the title. The jerseys will be auctioned live following the Saturday night game. Additionally, Friday’s game features a tailgate party from 4:30-6:30, and red rally towels, provided by Vast Broadband, will be on every seat in the arena.
Tickets for all 36 games are on sale now! Visit www.rapidcityrush.com to purchase yours today!
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