(RAPID CITY, SD) – Tyler Coulter tied the game with 1:43 left in regulation, Cedric Montminy assisted all three regulation goals, and with all three shooters scoring in the shootout round, the Rapid City Rush earned the sweep of the Kansas City Mavericks with a 4-3 shootout win on Sunday afternoon. The win marks five straight for the Rush dating back to March 6th vs Greenville, and gives them a 5-1-0-0 record through six games of the team’s eight-game homestand, which concludes this weekend against the Utah Grizzlies.
The Mavericks provided the game’s first goal for the first time in the weekend series, but the Rush countered with a late back-breaking goal to leave the frame deadlocked after 20. In the second of two bouts of four-on-four hockey, Adam Brady got Kansas City on the board first when he buried a Nick Pastujov pass from behind the Rush net past Rush net-minder Gordy Defiel, giving the Mavericks just their second lead of the series at 1-0 with 9:18 left in the first (Pastujov and Zach Osburn assisted). However, with just 7 seconds remaining, Cedric Montminy continued a containment in zone by Charlie Curti down the near wall. Montminy flung a pass out front to a wide-open Gabriel Chabot, who blasted a one-timer past Mavericks goalie Matt Greenfield to square the game at 1-1 (Montminy and Curti assisted).
The game of tug-of-war continued in the second period, with the Mavericks jumping on top again before the Rush answered. In a mad net-front scramble, Jared VanWormer notched his first goal since returning to Kansas City when he backhanded a rebound past Defiel to give the lead back to the Mavericks at 2-1 with 9:22 left in the second (Lane Scheidl and Marcus Crawford assisted). However, just over two minutes later, the Rush countered again thanks to some slick passing. With 7:04 left in the second, Charlie Curti jumped into the rush through neutral ice, giving way to Montminy on the far wall. Montminy hit Peter Quenneville on the back door right on his tape, with the latter rifling a shot into an open net past Greenfield to square the game at 2-2 (Montminy and Curti again assisted).
The final four minutes were chaotic, with the Mavericks again leapfrogging the Rush for the lead. With 3:51 left in the game, Brodie Reid came into the Rush zone and unwound a full slap shot that was denied by Defiel. The rebound, however, was potted by Mavericks Captain Rob Bordson, again pushing Kansas City back in the lead at 3-2 (Reid and Luke Bafia assisted). Right before Defiel was given the signal to shoot to the bench for the extra skater, but the extra skater wasn’t necessary after all. With 103 second left in the game, Tyler Coulter entered the Mavericks zone and patiently navigated the slot area of the attacking third. Coulter faked out Greenfield and slipped the puck behind him to once again tie the game late for the Rush at 3-3 (Montminy had the lone assist). Despite earning a power play towards the end of regulation, the Rush couldn’t sneak in a game-winner in regulation. Seven-minute overtime was also not enough to determine a victor, so the teams went to the shootout.
It took two and a half rounds of shootouts for the Rush to emerge victorious. Adam Brady scored in the bottom of the first round for Kansas City, while Brodie Reid was denied by Defiel in the second round. Tyler Coulter, Peter Quenneville, and Hunter Garlent all buried on their shots in the top of the rounds, in order, with the latter yet again showcasing his post-regulation magic to seal the sweep and five consecutive wins in the top of the third round, lifting the Rush to a 4-3 shootout win.
Gordy Defiel stopped 30 of 33 shots in regulation and overtime, and one of two shooters in the shootout round to earn the win (4-4-1-0).
The Rush conclude their eight-game homestand against the Utah Grizzlies this upcoming weekend. Puck drop for both “College Night”, presented by Bud Light Seltzer on Friday, March 19th, and “Nickelodeon Night featuring Double Dare”, sponsored by Singh Contracting on Saturday, March 20th, is slated for 7:05 p.m. MDT.