(RAPID CITY, SD) – Mike Hedden tied the game past the midway point of the first period, but the Allen Americans, led by Corey Mackin’s three points, defeated the Rapid City Rush by a 4-1 score on Saturday night. Allen’s win, coming on the Rush’s annual “Rush Fights Cancer Night”, staves off a sweep at the hands of the Rush, who claimed the first two games in the series on Wednesday and Friday.
Both teams traded blows in the first period, leaving deadlocked after 20 minutes. Corey Mackin opened the scoring entries at 8:52 of the first, burying a backdoor pass from Les Lancaster behind Rush net-minder Brad Barone amidst a chaotic sequence to give Allen a 1-0 lead (Lancaster and Steven Owre assisted). Moments later, Mike Hedden drew the game level to create the deadlock heading into the dressing room. With 7:51 left in the first, Mikael Tam dished to Ian Edmondson at the blue line, who fired a shot that was initially stopped by Allen goalie Jake Paterson. Hedden, in front of the net, gloved down the rebound and slammed it home outside the crease, squaring the game at 1-1 (Edmondson and Tam assisted).
After a scoreless middle frame, Allen pulled away from the Rush, beginning with the eventual game-winner from Scott Conway. Just 2:02 into the final period, Conway picked up a rebound off of a kick save from Barone, and fired it into an open net to push the Americans ahead at 2-1 (Chad Butcher and Corey Mackin assisted). Shy of the midway point of the frame, four-on-four hockey concluded and put the Rush on the power play. Seconds into the shortened Rush power play, Les Lancaster rifled a shot from the high slot past Barone’s blocker to double the Allen lead to 3-1 with 8:51 played in the frame (Steven Owre had the lone assist). Butcher then provided the final twist of the dagger on a power play with 2:16 left in the game, dashing the Rush comeback hopes at 4-1 (Mackin and Philip Beaulieu assisted).
Brad Barone suffered his first loss since returning to the Rush organization, stopping 42 of 46 shots in the defeat (3-1-0-0 with the Rush, 8-3-1-1 total).
The Rush go back on the road to square off in a three-game series against the Tulsa Oilers. Puck drop for all three games on Wednesday, April 21st, Friday, April 23rd, and Saturday, April 24th is slated for 6:05 p.m. MDT at the BOK Center.