(RAPID CITY, SD) – Mike Hedden hit pay dirt for the 200th time in his pro career, and Charlie Curti cashed in on another tally late in the second period, but Adam Carlson, on his birthday nonetheless, stole the show with a 32-save shutout of the Tulsa Oilers on Saturday night, leading the Rapid City Rush to a 2-0 win on Saturday night.
For the first time this week, the Rush both provided the game’s first goal and carried a lead into the first intermission. Mike Hedden got the Rush on the board first when he carried a loose puck from the rightwing wall of the Rush attacking zone and circled up to the high slot. He rifled a shot through traffic past Oilers goalie Devin Williams to give the Rush a 1-0 lead 2:21 into the contest (the goal was unassisted). With the tally, Hedden scored the 200th goal of his 12-year professional career. Adam Carlson, on the opposite side of the ice, staved off all 11 shots he saw in the first 20 minutes.
Charlie Curti provided some separation for the Rush late in the second period, doubling their lead heading into the last frame. With 3:43 remaining, Curti, from just inside the Oilers blue line, sent a wrist shot through traffic and past Williams, vaulting the Rush to a 2-0 advantage (Mikael Tam and Jack Suter assisted). Once again, Carlson remained perfect, this time turning aside 8 shots on his net in the second period.
Carlson continued to catch fire and led the rest of the way. With 13:01 left in the game, he made a game-breaking split save stop as the Oilers came up through the Rush zone with a chance. He remained perfect the rest of the way, staving off that chance and an additional 12 to seal a 2-0 win for the Rush in the series finale.
Adam Carlson, making his first start since January 6th, earned his first shutout win of the season on 32 saves (3-4-0-0).
The Rush now embark on a seven-game road trip over the next two weeks, beginning with a “three-in-three” against the Utah Grizzlies this upcoming weekend. Puck drop on Friday, February 19th, and Saturday, February 20th, is slated for 7:10 p.m. MDT, while Sunday’s matinee finale is 1:10 p.m. MDT at the Maverik Center.