(BOISE, Idaho.) - David Tendeck made 41 saves and both Chase Harrison and Tristan Thompson scored but the Rapid City Rush came up short and were beaten by the Idaho Steelheads, 5-2, Friday night at the Idaho Central Arena.
Idaho opened the scoring just over three minutes into the first period. Following a defensive zone turnover by the Rush, Will Merchant fed Luc Brown in front of the net. Brown brought the puck between his legs and flipped a wrist shot under the crossbar to make it 1-0.
Rapid City answered just seconds after killing off a penalty as Logan Nelson nudged a loose puck in the neutral zone to Harrison who had just been freed from the penalty box. He barreled in and fired a wrist shot through Jake Kupsky’s five hole to tie the game.
The Steelheads grabbed the lead again less than a minute and a half into the second period after Colby McAuley hit a streaking Merchant in the slot. Merchant chipped the puck in high on Tendeck’s glove side and the score was 2-1.
The Rush tied it again halfway through the middle period after Thompson carried the puck in with a two-on-one break. As Garrett Klotz crashed the net, Thompson fired a wrist shot top shelf that beat Kupsky, tying the game at two.
Idaho answered again late in the second when Matt Stief took a wrist shot from the blue line. With inside position, Shawn McBride deflected the shot past Tendeck to put the Steelheads on top, 3-2.
That score would hold throughout the third period until the Rush pulled Tendeck for an extra attacker in the final minutes of the game. Idaho quickly cashed in on that risk, first when McAuley found the empty net with a backhander for his own zone, and then again after AJ White lobbed one into the empty net to push the score to its 5-2 final.
Thompson and Harrison each scored their third goals of the season and Tendeck made 41 saves in the loss, which snapped a three-game winning streak for the Rush. Rapid City moved to 11-11-1-2 while Idaho improved to 15-8-0-1.
The Rush and Steelheads will each take Saturday off before returning to action on Sunday afternoon. Puck drop at the Idaho Central Arena is scheduled for 4:05 PM.