(BOISE, Id.) – Lukas Parik made 32 saves on 34 shots and Logan Nelson netted his first goal of the season but the Rapid City Rush were edged by the Idaho Steelheads in overtime, 2-1, Saturday night at the Idaho Central Arena.
Rapid City opened the scoring near the halfway point of the first period when Darren McCormick hit Nelson at the blue line. Nelson split the defense and gained the zone unimpeded. He toe-dragged into a wrist shot that beat Matt Jurusik between his legs, giving the Rush a 1-0 lead.
Idaho finally cracked Parik with just over two minutes to play in the second period as Will Merchant hit a streaking Yauheni Aksiantsiuk at the right circle. He slammed a shot on net that a lunging Parik got a piece of but the puck trickled over the goal line to put the Steelheads on the board and tie the score at one.
The Steelheads mounted various high-quality scoring chances on Parik throughout regulation but the 20-year-old rookie stood on his head, helping Rapid City keep it a 1-1 game. The Rush killed off a five-minute Idaho power play that began in the second and bled over into the third and used that momentum to get the better of the play in the third period. They fired a season-best 14 shots on net in the third but were also stymied by Jurusik and the game moved to overtime, still tied at one.
After the opening faceoff of overtime was tied up, Aksiantsiuk picked up a loose puck and gained the attacking zone toward the left circle. He let loose a snap shot that beat Parik high on the glove-catching side to win the game for the Steelheads.
Nelson’s goal extended his season-opening point streak to four games, McCormick recorded his first ECHL point and Parik made 32 saves on 34 shots in his North American professional debut. Rapid City moved to 2-1-1 with the overtime loss while Idaho improved to 3-2-0. The Rush will return to action on Friday night in West Valley City for the first of two games against the Utah Grizzlies. Puck drop at the Maverik Center is scheduled for 7:10 PM.