(RAPID CITY, SD) – Cedric Lacroix struck twice, Tommy Apap and Alex Rauter had two points each, and Billy Christopoulos stopped all 18 shots he saw to hand the Rapid City Rush a 5-0 loss on Sunday afternoon. The loss gives Indy a split of the series, with the Rush winning 5-4 in overtime on Wednesday and 3-2 in regulation before suffering a 3-2 loss on Saturday and 5-0 loss today.
The Fuel jumped out to a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes, starting the scoring within the first two minutes of the game for a second straight night. Just 89 seconds into the game, Tommy Apap received a cross-ice pass, entered the Rush zone, and fired a wrist shot from the far side that beat the blocker of Rush net-minder Adam Carlson, giving the Fuel an early 1-0 lead (Alex Rauter and Willie Raskob assisted). In the final minutes of the frame, a net-front scramble developed in front of Carlson’s net, and Cedric Lacroix tucked home the rebound for his first of two on the game to double the Fuel lead to 2-0 with 3:29 left in the first (Jordan Schnieder and Alex Rauter assisted). Following the goal, Carlson was removed from the game and substituted by Brad Barone, who manned the Rush net for the remainder of the game.
Both teams failed to score in the second period, but then the Fuel turned up the heat in the final period. After securing a Rush turnover inside the blue line, Dmitry Osipov rifled a shot off the bar and past Barone, tripling the Fuel advantage to 3-0 at 4:07 of the period (the goal was unassisted). Just over the midway point of the frame, Lacroix notched his second when he deflected a Cliff Watson blue line shot off of another body and in to extend the thrashing to 4-0 with 8:30 left in the game (Watson and Apap assisted). Matt Marcinew ended the scoring entries when he turned a blatant Rush turnover into a fifth Fuel goal, tucking it past Barone to bring the game to its eventual score of 5-0. Billy Christopoulos stopped every shot he saw: 9 in the first period, 5 in the second, and 4 in the third.
Adam Carlson sustained the loss, stopping 9 of 11 shots before his removal after 16:31 of game time (13-12-2-1). Brad Barone stopped 22 of 25 shots in 43:29 of relief.
The Rush continue their seven-game homestand with their final three home games of the season this weekend against the archrival Allen Americans. Puck drop for Friday, May 28th, and Saturday, May 29th is slated for 7:05 p.m. MDT, while Sunday’s matinee showdown on the 30th is slated for 4:05 p.m. MDT at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Ice Arena.
This year, the Rush introduces “Black Hills Night” on Saturday, May 29th against the Allen Americans. This game, presented by LIV Hospitality (Hotel Alex Johnson, Cadillac Jack's Gaming Resort, Tin Lizzie Gaming Resort, and Watiki Indoor Waterpark Resort), spotlights the history and culture of the Black Hills. The game begins with a pregame tailgate party at 4:30 p.m. featuring live music, interactive exhibits, and more.
The final home game of the season on Sunday, May 30th is “Fan Appreciation Night”, sponsored by Rush Mountain, where we say “thank you” to the best fans in the ECHL for their support through the 2020-21 season and beyond.