(RAPID CITY, SD) – Tyson Empey fired a shot that ricocheted off of Indy goalie Sean Romeo and in with 2:58 left in regulation to give the Rapid City Rush a 3-2 win over the Indy Fuel on Friday night. A third straight win for the Rush, it also kicked off the team’s annual “Military Appreciation Weekend” festivities, and provides the Rush with victories in the first two games of this four game series.
Indy struck late to take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. With 2:54 left in the first period, Josh Dickinson led a charge into the Rush zone and passed to Terry Broadhurst, who fired a shot on Rush net-minder Dave Tendeck. Tendeck made the original save, but Matt Marcinew picked up the loose change to put Indy up 1-0 (Broadhurst and Dickinson assisted).
Both teams went back and forth in the middle frame, leaving deadlocked entering the last 20 minutes. Tyler Coulter got the Rush on the board when Avery Peterson found him in the slot area crashing the Fuel net. The “Red Sea” parted, and Coulter waltzed in on Indy goalie Sean Romeo with a five-hole tuck to square the game at 1-1 with 9:54 gone by in the second (Peterson had the lone assist). The Fuel jumped back on top, however, as Dmitry Osipov rifled home his first goal of the season, a shot on a rotation to the blue line through a screen that blinded Tendeck to propel the Fuel to a 2-1 lead with 6:38 left (Cliff Watson and Nick Hutchison assisted). In the final minutes of the period, John Albert sent home his first goal in a Rush uniform to even the game up again. With 80 seconds remaining, Ian Edmondson kicked the puck up ahead to Albert, who switched off with Eric Israel coming through neutral ice. Israel gained the blue line and dropped to Albert, whose full windup slap shot squeaked under Romeo’s arm and in, squaring the game at 2-2 (Israel and Edmondson assisted).
The deadlock remained until the final three minutes, when the Rush got the last say on the scorecard. With 2:58 left in the game, Tyson Empey collected a Cedric Montminy pass in neutral ice and came into the Fuel zone on the left wing side. Empey just fired the puck towards Romeo, who couldn’t snag it and watched it fly off of his paraphernalia and in, vaulting the Rush to a 3-2 advantage (Montminy and Kevin Spinozzi assisted). Desperation kicking in, Indy pulled Romeo for the extra attacker, but Tendeck and the Rush withstood the barrage and claimed the 3-2 win in 60 minutes.
Dave Tendeck, winning his third straight start, stopped 29 of 31 shots on net to secure the victory (11-11-0-0).
The Rush continue their seven-game homestand and four game in five day series against the Indy Fuel. Puck drop for tomorrow, May 22nd, is slated for 7:05 p.m. MDT, while Sunday’s finale is slated for 4:05 p.m. MDT on May 23rd at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Ice Arena.
The Rush also continue their annual “Military Appreciation Weekend” festivities as well, with Saturday’s game, presented by Ebelution Heating & Cooling, honoring all of the men and women who have served and continue to serve the United States. The Rush will continue to wear specialty jerseys, also sponsored by Ebelution Heating & Cooling, that will be auctioned following the Saturday game. Active duty military and veterans can buy tickets for both games for $15 each at the Rush office.