(BOISE, Idaho.) - Lukas Parik made 26 saves on 28 shots but the Rapid City Rush could not get their offense rolling and they were shut out by the Idaho Steelheads, 3-0, Sunday afternoon at the Idaho Central Arena.
Rapid City had chances to strike in the first period, notably a two-man advantage power play for 1:47 but it did not cash in. The Rush and Steelheads played to a scoreless tie throughout the first and well into the second period.
Idaho opened the scoring with just six minutes remaining in the second period after Colby McAuley forced a turnover in the attacking zone and hit A.J. White in the high slot. White carried the puck toward the net and fed McAuley on the back post for a one-timer that beat Parik, putting the Steelheads on top, 1-0.
The Steelheads added to that advantage in the opening minutes of the third while working on a power play. Matt Stief took a shot from the blue line that hit traffic in front of the net. White was providing a screen and managed to muscle the puck just over the goal line past a sprawling Parik to make the score 2-0.
Rapid City pulled Parik for an extra attacker with less than two minutes to go in the third and mounted several scoring chances but could not solve Matt Jurusik. With less than ten seconds remaining, Idaho gained possession off a won defensive zone faceoff and Casey Johnson sent a shot the full length of the ice that rolled into the empty net, pushing the score to its 3-0 final.
The Rush fell to 11-13-1-2 in the loss while Idaho improved to 16-8-0-1. Rapid City will now take eight days off before returning to action for the first of four games in six days on Monday, December 27 against the Utah Grizzlies. Puck drop at The Monument Ice Arena is scheduled for 7:05 PM.