(TULSA, OK) – Cedric Montminy and Hunter Garlent earned a goal and an assist each, and Peter Quenneville scored twice, later adding the shootout winner to vault the Rapid City Rush to a 5-4 shootout win over the Tulsa Oilers on Saturday night. The win gives the Rush a split through the first two games of this weekend series, forces a rubber match in the finale tomorrow, and creates a three-way tie for fifth in the Western Conference.
The Rush started off with a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes, with both goals going to Peter Quenneville. Quenneville’s first came at 12:50 when he received a close range pass from Tyler Coulter and rocketed a shot past Oilers goalie Devin Williams, putting the Rush ahead 1-0 (Coulter and Mikael Tam assisted). With 26 seconds remaining in the period, Quenneville launched another laser past Williams from the right wing wall following the conclusion of a Rush power play, doubling the lead to 2-0 entering the dressing room (Butrus Ghafari and Ian Edmondson assisted).
Tulsa came firing at the start of the second period, immediately cutting their deficit in half. Just 25 seconds into the second, Matt Lane picked up a loose puck behind the Rush net, wrapped around, and slid the puck past Rush net-minder Brad Barone to get Tulsa on the board, trailing 2-1 (Gregg Burmaster and Vincent Marleau assisted). Roughly seven minutes later, Cedric Montminy was the beneficiary of a fortuitous bounce from a Hunter Garlent and Stephen Baylis sequence and pumped home the rebound past Willaims, re-establishing the multi-goal lead at 3-1 with 7:27 gone by (Garlent and Baylis assisted). Tulsa struck back again on the power play not too long after, as Alex Brooks came off the blue line uncontested and slammed home a back-door one-timer to bring the Oilers in striking distance again, trailing 3-2 with 6:08 left in the second (Danny Moynihan and Mike McNicholas assisted). Peter Quenneville, looking for a hat-trick and a two-goal Rush lead again couldn’t fire off his one-time shot because his stick broke in two. The broken stick sprung Danny Moynihan on a shorthanded odd-man rush, in which he rifled a shot past Barone to tie the game at 3-3 with 3:55 left in the second (Justin Hamonic had the lone assist). On the very same power play, however, the Rush got one back from Hunter Garlent, firing a one-timer of his own past a screened Williams to lift the Rush to a 4-3 lead with 3:09 left (Kevin Spinozzi and Cedric Montminy assisted).
Danny Moynihan once again drew the game level in the opening minutes of the third. Just 77 seconds in, Moynihan fired a rebound just over the shoulder of Barone and barely under the bar to square the game at 4-4 (Mike McNicholas and Alex Brooks assisted). Neither team could produce a game-winner in the remainder of the final period, including Tulsa on their last power play of the game with just over 3:30 to play, so extra hockey was required to determine a victor.
Overtime didn’t produce a winner either, prompting the necessitation of the shootout. After both teams went scoreless in the first round (Coulter for the Rush, Moynihan for Tulsa), Peter Quenneville beat Williams glove side to put the Rush in the driver’s seat in the top of round two. Alan Lyszczarczyk was denied by two inches of iron in the bottom of the second, bringing the shootout to its final round. After Hunter Garlent missed for the Rush, and Alex Brooks, with a chance to perpetuate the game, couldn’t even get his shot off, giving the Rush the win by a 5-4 score.
Brad Barone, playing in his second game with the Rush this year, stopped 30 of 34 shots on net and didn’t allow a shootout goal on all three shooters in the victory (2-0-0-0 with the Rush, 7-2-1-1 overall)
The Rush conclude their weekend-long road trip in a rubber match finale against the Tulsa Oilers. Puck drop for the final game on Sunday, April 11th is slated for 3:05 p.m. MDT at the BOK Center.