(ALLEN, TX) – Peter Quenneville, Tyler Coulter, and Hunter Garlent hit the scoresheet twice and combined with Adam Carlson’s 33 saves, helped the Rapid City Rush take their series opener against the Allen Americans with a 5-2 win on Wednesday night. The win extends the team’s point streak to eight games dating back to March 6th against Greenville (7-0-0-1).
Both teams traded blows in the first period, leaving deadlocked at 1-1. Josh Lammon started things off for the Americans when Samuel Laberge took a turnover behind the Rush net and found Lammon in the slot. Lammon slung a shot past Rush net-minder Adam Carlson to give Allen an early 1-0 lead at 12:21 of the first (Laberge had the lone assist). The Rush fired back at the end of the first, with Hunter Garlent finishing a physical shift. With 2:20 left in the period, the Americans failed to clear their zone and the Rush went to work below the goal line. The puck was kicked up to the blue line to Charlie Curti and Ian Edmondson, who then fired it towards the Americans net. The shot was stopped by Allen goalie Justin Kapelmaster, but Garlent potted the rebound to square the game at 1-1 (Curti and Edmondson assisted). Following the period, Hayden Hawkey replaced Kappelmaster in the Allen net.
The Rush notched the only goal of the second period within the first minutes to claim a lead heading into the final 20 minutes. With 1:47 gone by, Peter Quenneville started a sequence in neutral ice, crossed into the Allen zone and threw the puck off of Tyler Coulter in front of the net. Coulters deflection was denied by Hawkey, but he slid out of his crease and gave Quenneville a wide open net to give the Rush a 2-1 lead (Coulter had the only assist).
Allen drew the game level in the third period early, but the Rush found a way to pull from the Americans late. At 3:53 of the final period, Kayle Doetzal collected the puck just inside the blue line and fired a shot over Carlson’s shoulder, squaring the game at 2-2 (Kameron Kielly and Spencer Asuchak assisted). Undeterred, the Garlent-Sturtz-Baylis line created a turnover in neutral ice and buried the eventual game-winner. With 8:21 left in the game, Stephen Baylis intercepted the puck in neutral ice and kicked it up to Garlent, creating a three-on-one in-zone. Garlent patiently waited and deferred to Sturtz, who rifled a shot past Hawkey to push the Rush ahead to 3-2 (Garlent and Baylis assisted). In the closing minutes, another sequence in which the Americans failed to clear their zone gave the Rush some room to breathe. With 2:22 left in the game, Quenneville fought for the puck up the far wall of the Allen zone, which came to Ghafari from off the blue line. Ghafari fired the puck on net and Coulter picked up the rebound from the action, potting it to vault the Rush to a 4-2 lead (Quenneville and Ghafari assisted). Gabriel Chabot ended the contest with an empty-net goal 55 seconds later, sealing the win at 5-2 (Mike Hedden had the lone assist).
Adam Carlson earned the win, stopping 33 of 35 shots on net (11-5-1-1). Carlson hasn’t lost in regulation in his last seven starts, going 6-0-0-1 with a shutout, a 1.54 GAA, and a .954 SV%.
The Rush continue their three-game series against the Allen Americans. Puck drop for game two is slated for 6:05 p.m. MDT at the Allen Event Center on Friday, March 26th.