(WEST VALLEY CITY, UT) – Peter Quenneville and Stephen Baylis built a 2-0 lead for the Rapid City Rush in the opening 20 minutes, but Matthew Boucher tied the game in the second period and Hayden Hodgson stuck a dagger in the Rush with 1:55 left in regulation to give the Utah Grizzlies a 3-2 win on Saturday night. The loss, now five straight for the Rush, gives the Grizzlies a clean sweep of their rivals, and extends their lead for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference to .034 with 12 games left on the Rush schedule.
The Rush jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, starting with Peter Quenneville in the opening stages of the game. With 1:59 gone by, the oldest Quenneville brother rifled a one-timer on a pass from his brother, David, whizzing his shot by Utah net-minder Parker Gahagen, pushing the Rush to a 1-0 lead on the team’s first power play of the game (David Quenneville and Hunter Garlent assisted). Moments later, the elder Quenneville couldn’t pocket a shot in the slot area during a net front scramble, but Stephen Baylis did, hacking a loose puck by Gahagen to double the Rush lead to 2-0 at 7:48 (Peter Quenneville and Kevin Spinozzi assisted). The first period was filled with fireworks: three fights took place and 38 PIM were assessed, but no ejections came from any infractions.
Penalties continued to add up, but they favored Utah and got them right back into the game. Matthew Boucher struck twice in 30 seconds, firing a shot down the slot area in a five-on-three power play that beat Rush net-minder Dave Tendeck to get Utah on the board, trailing 2-1 at 7:51 of the frame, just five seconds remaining in the two-man Grizzlies advantage (Ty Lewis and Ryan Lowney assisted). Exactly 29 seconds later, Boucher was at it again with a shot down the middle that beat Tendeck again, squaring the game at 2-2 in a standard power play at 8:20 of the second period (Lewis and Garrett Johnston assisted).
Hayden Hodgson stuck a dagger in the Rush with 1:55 left in the game, providing the Grizzlies with a 3-2 win late, and a four-game sweep of the Rush with every win coming in regulation (Alex Lepkowski and Ryan Lowney assisted).
Dave Tendeck stopped 29 of 32 shots on net in suffering the late defeat (8-10-0-0).
The Rush continue their seven-game road trip, now transitioning to Wichita to take on the Thunder next weekend. Puck drop the first two games on Friday, May 12th and Saturday, May 13th are slated for 6:05 p.m. MDT, while Sunday’s matinee finale is slated for 3:05 p.m. MDT on the 14th at INTRUST Bank Arena.