(RAPID CITY, S.D.) - Lukas Parik made 46 saves en route to his first professional shutout and the Rapid City Rush took out the Utah Grizzlies, 3-0, Monday night at The Monument Ice Arena.
The Rush opened the scoring early in the first period as Christian Evers carried the puck below the net and fed Gabe Chabot in the slot. He fired a shot low on the glove side past Garrett Metcalf and Rapid City took a 1-0 lead.
They added to that lead with just over a minute to play in the first and in the waning seconds of a power play. Brett Gravelle gained the zone and dropped a pass to Jake Wahlin, who threaded one to Ryan Valentini above the left wing circle. He sniped a wrist shot top shelf on Metcalf and the lead swelled to 2-0.
But the story throughout the game was Parik, who the Grizzlies were unable to solve despite a multitude of chances. They fired 14 shots on net in the first, 14 in the second and 18 in the third period, but Parik stopped everything. He recorded several flashy gloves saves throughout the night and frustrated a Grizzlies attack that had outscored its opponents, 26-10, over its past six games, all of them wins.
Utah pulled Metcalf for an extra attacker in the final minutes and an Alec Butcher hooking penalty sent them to a power play with 1:21 to go. However, with less than a minute left, Stephen Baylis grabbed a loose puck in his own zone and sent a long pass ahead to Logan Nelson. Nelson fielded it off the end boards and fired a sharp angle shot into the empty net, pushing the score to its 3-0 final.
Parik’s 46 saves were a season-high for a Rapid City goaltender and the most he has recorded in his professional career. The Rush improved to 12-12-1-2 in the win while Utah dropped to 17-9-1-0. Rapid City will again host Utah on Wednesday night. Puck drop at The Monument Ice Arena is scheduled for 7:05 PM.