(RAPID CITY, SD) – Garrett Klotz and Mike Hedden struck within 46 seconds of each other in the first period, spearheading a total team effort with 11 different point collectors as the Rapid City Rush defeated the Allen Americans by a 4-2 score on Wednesday night. The win marks three in a row for the Rush dating back to April 10th at Tulsa, and gives them this week’s series opener against their long-time rival.
The Rush jumped out front with two quick goals in succession, carrying a lead into the first intermission. Garrett Klotz, returning to the lineup for the first time since the birth of his daughter last week, got the Rush on the board when he slipped a net-front rebound, while falling to the ice, past Allen goaltender Frank Marotte, giving the Rush a 1-0 lead at 4:03 of the first (Mikael Tam and Eric Israel assisted). Exactly 46 seconds later, Cedric Montminy sprang Hunter Garlent and Mike Hedden up the ice on an odd-man break. Garlent feathered a pass perfectly to Hedden’s tape, with the latter burying a shot into a wide open net to quickly double the Rush lead to 2-0 at 4:49 (Garlent and Montminy assisted). Allen gained some life right before the end of the period, halving the deficit in the final minute. With 49 seconds remaining, Zan Franklin capped off a chaotic offensive zone sequence for the Americans by slamming a loose puck in the crease past Rush net-minder Adam Carlson, cutting their deficit to 2-1 (Matt Register and Tim Doherty assisted).
Johnny Coughlin provided the second period’s only goal, his second of the season coincidentally against Allen, to re-establish the multi-goal lead for the Rush. With 3:09 left, Eric Israel left the puck for a speeding Tyson Empey in front of the bench area. Empey streaked into the Allen zone, all the while Coughlin snuck behind everyone to the backdoor area of the net. Empey was the only person to recognize his presence and backhanded him a pass to which he slammed home to push the Rush to a 3-1 lead (Empey and Israel assisted).
Peter Quenneville kept things rolling for the Rush in the third period, giving them the ultimate insurance they needed to seal the win. At 8:50 of the third, Avery Peterson bulldozed into the Allen zone, leaving the puck for an oncoming Quenneville. He backhanded a shot off the bar and over Marotte’s shoulder, tripling the Rush lead to 4-1 and moving into a share for the team’s goal-scoring lead with his 19th of the year (Peterson and Tyler Coulter assisted). Allen didn’t back down, and yet again closed the gap on their final power play of the game. Spencer Asuchak deflected a sharp-angle shot from Steve Owre point-blank past Carlson, slicing the Rush lead to 4-2 with 4:24 left in regulation (Owre and Register assisted). Allen pulled Marotte for the extra attacker for the final three minutes of the game, and despite a late onslaught, couldn’t gain more ground against the Rush, who closed out with a 4-2 win in their series opener.
Adam Carlson stopped 28 of 30 shots in earning the victory (13-8-2-1).
The Rush continue their series against the Allen Americans this Friday and Saturday, April 16th and 17th. Puck drop for both games is slated for 7:05 p.m. MDT at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Ice Arena.
Join us tomorrow, April 15th from 5p.m. to 7 p.m. to paint the ice in honor of a loved one or friend affected by cancer. A donation to the Monument Health Foundation is suggested prior to painting your names. Saturday night’s game is our annual "Rush Fights Cancer Night", presented by Dakota Barricade. The Rush will wear specialty lavender jerseys, also sponsored by Dakota Barricade, recognizing all forms of cancer, and will honor those throughout the night that have either fought, are currently fighting, or have lost their fights to cancer. The jerseys will be auctioned off after the game, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the Monument Health Foundation.