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RUSH WIN AT BUZZER WITH STRONG DEBUT FROM DAVID QUENNEVILLE

Saturday, April 24th
RUSH WIN AT BUZZER WITH STRONG DEBUT FROM DAVID QUENNEVILLE

(TULSA, OK) – David Quenneville stuck a dagger in the Tulsa Oilers with his second point in his Rapid City Rush debut: the game-winning goal with 1.1 seconds left in the game to lift the Rush to a stunning 6-5 come-from-behind-win against the Oilers on Friday night. The win, in stunning fashion, gives the Rush wins in both games this series against Tulsa, with the final game of the set coming tomorrow night.

The Oilers and Rush exchanged blows in the first 20 minutes, with Tulsa heading into the locker room with the lead. Oiler Captain Adam Pleskach started off the scoring entries 68 seconds into the game, deflecting a Curtis Leonard blue line shot past Rush net-minder Brad Barone, putting Tulsa on top early 1-0 (Leonard and Matt Lane assisted). Moments later, the Rush, who had a red-hot power play in the game, got their first of three power play goals on the contest. Kevin Spinozzi rifled a shot just inside the blue line with a second remaining on the man-advantage, scorching one by Oilers goalie Devin Williams to square the game at 1-1 at 3:52 of the first (Mike Hedden and Cedric Montminy assisted). The Oilers got a lucky bounce a few sequences later when Ian McNulty fired a seemingly harmless shot towards the slot area. The puck bounced off of a Rush defender, whose stick was pushed into the puck, and trickled past Barone to put the Oilers back on top at 2-1 with 6:50 played in the opening frame (J.C. Brassard and Justin Taylor assisted). Following the end of the first period, Williams was removed from the Oilers net and replaced by Hayden Hawkey, making his second relief appearance in as many games for him.

The Oilers came out firing in the second, scoring a pair of goals in just over 30 seconds. J.C. Brassard started the quick exchange right as the Oilers final power play expired, coming off the blue line from the far wall to throw a shot on Barone. Barone made the initial stop, but Brassard pocketed his rebound to extend the Tulsa lead to 3-1 just 2:39 in (Vincent Marleau had the lone assist). Ian McNulty hit pay dirt for a second time 37 seconds later on a laser from the high slot, ballooning the Oilers lead to 4-1 at 3:16 (the goal was unassisted). The goal prompted the removal of Barone from the game, and Dave Tendeck, who last played for the Rush on February 10th against Tulsa, stepped in relief in the Rush crease. Following the goalie swap, the Rush fired back with two tallies to come within striking distance. With 10:35 left in the second, on the second Rush power play of the game, Cedric Montminy deflected a Kevin Spinozzi pass over the shoulder of Hawkey to cut the deficit to 4-2 (Spinozzi and Mike Hedden assisted). With 5:48 left in the middle frame, Avery Peterson collected a Tyler Coulter pass, and from the near wall unleashed a snipe over Hawkey’s shoulder bring the Rush within one at 4-3, the team’s first even-strength goal of the night (Coulter and Peter Quenneville assisted). However, Tulsa got the last word of the frame when Pleskach notched his second tally. With 55 seconds left in the second, Pleskach came into the Rush zone on a two on one, discreetly faked pass, and five-holed Tendeck to re-establish the multi-goal advantage at 5-3 with one period to go (Lane and Charlie Sampair assisted).

The Rush were 20 minutes away from a rubber match, but it didn’t stop the visiting team from clawing back in dramatic fashion. Tyler Coulter brought the Rush within one on the final power play of the game, deflecting a Hunter Garlent centering pass behind Hawkey to close the gap to 5-4 with 11:31 left in the game (Garlent and David Quenneville earned the assists). The Rush power play finished the game “batting 1.000” at 3/3. Then with 2:59 remaining, Stephen Baylis buried a Tyson Empey centering pass from behind the net, reminiscent of their connection from Wednesday’s contest, tying the game at 5-5 (Empey and Jack Suter earned the assists).

Both teams seemed destined for overtime. Then, a chaotic sequence ended the game.

In the final 10 seconds, the Rush played the puck deep into the Oilers zone. Tulsa tried rimming it out on the far side, but David Quenneville, making his Rush debut tonight, kept the puck in. With less than three seconds remaining, Peter’s younger brother fully wound up and launched a final shot on net. He rifled it by a screened Hawkey to give the Rush the regulation win before the buzzer, stealing an all-important point from the Oilers while vaulting the Rush to a 6-5 win.

Brad Barone started the first 23:16 of the game, allowing four goals on 16 shots. Dave Tendeck, playing his first game in over two and a half months, earned the win in 36:44 of relief, stopping all but one of 16 shots on his net (5-8-0-0).

The Rush conclude their three-game series against the Tulsa Oilers tomorrow night. Puck drop for the finale on April 24th is slated for 6:05 p.m. MDT at the BOK Center.

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