(RAPID CITY, SD) – The Tulsa Oilers scored with just 61 seconds remaining in the game and defeated the Rapid City Rush, 4-3, Saturday night at The Monument Ice Arena. Ryan Valentini and Logan Nelson each recorded multi-point games in the losing effort for the Rush.
With the game tied at three late in the third period, the Rush tried to find Valentini open on the back post but the puck sailed past him, bounced off the boards and caromed into the neutral zone. Tulsa gained possession and charged in with a three-on-one rush that eventually found Dylan Sadowy for a close-range shot that snuck under David Tendeck and put the Oilers on top.
Rapid City pulled Tendeck for an extra attacker in the final minute but could not mount enough pressure for an equalizer, as Tulsa held on for the 4-3 win.
The Oilers opened the scoring when Jordan Ernst jammed a rebound past Tendeck just over 90 seconds into the first period. Rapid City answered later in the period with a power play goal as Hudson Elynuik fed Tristan Thompson for a one-time blast from the point. The puck navigated traffic and beat Daniel Mannella top shelf for Thompson’s first professional goal, tying the game at one.
Tulsa took the lead back early in the second when Sadowy was fed on the back post for a tap-in off an odd-man rush. The Rush again equalized, this time in the final minute of the middle frame as Valentini sped into the attacking zone and hit Nelson on the right wing. Nelson then found Alec Butcher in front of the net for a backhander that was flipped past Mannella to even things at two.
Rapid City took its first lead of the game in the third period as Ryan Valentini fired a wrister through Mannella for his first ECHL goal. The Oilers made it 3-3 on an Alex Gilmour wrist shot from the right circle that got through a screened Tendeck.
The Rush fell to 1-1-0 in the loss while Tulsa improved to 1-1-0 with the win. Rapid City will next take the ice on the road on Friday night against the Idaho Steelheads. Puck drop at the Idaho Central Arena is scheduled for 7:10 P.M.