(RAPID CITY, S.D.) - Zach Court scored his first professional goal and Derek Perl netted his first ECHL goal but the Rapid City Rush fell in overtime to the Utah Grizzlies, 4-3, Wednesday night at The Monument Ice Arena.
The Rush opened the scoring in the first period after Garrett Klotz forced a turnover with a stick check and Court snaked his way to the left wing boards. He fired a shot on the short side that snuck through the pads of Brady Devries for his first professional goal and Rapid City took a 1-0 lead.
It added to that lead early in the second period while working on a power play. The Rush whipped the puck around the attacking zone and Stephen Baylis fed Tristan Thompson at the point. He fired a shot to the front of the net that Max Coatta deflected past Devries and it was 2-0.
Utah answered later in the second when Mason Mannek charged down the right wing with an edge on the defense. He fired a wrist shot on net that snuck past Lukas Parik on the far side, cutting the lead to 2-1.
The Grizzlies then tied the game in the opening minute of the third period when Benjamin Tardif fired a shot off the post that ricocheted and sat in the crease where Trey Bradley poked it in, tying the score at two. They then took the lead four minutes later while the Rush were on a power play. After a turnover at the blue line, Bradley was sprung free for a breakaway. He carried the puck in, deked to his backhand and slid it between the legs of Parik, putting Utah on top, 3-2.
Rapid City tied the game late in the third period. Ryan Valentini fired a shot that deflected and bounced to the right wing corner where Derek Perl grabbed in and slung a shot on net. The puck banked off of Devries’ helmet and into the net, evening things at three.
From there the game moved to overtime and just 22 seconds in, Luka Burzan fed a pass to a streaking Bradley on the back post. He deflected it into the net for the game-winning goal and the Grizzlies took the extra point, 4-3.
Perl’s goal was his first in the ECHL and Court netted his first as a pro. Devries, a Rapid City native and former Rushmore Thunder goaltender, made 18 saves for Utah and earned the win after being signed as an emergency goaltender earlier in the day.
The Rush moved to 12-12-2-2 in the overtime loss while Utah improved to 18-9-1-0. Rapid City will again host Utah on Friday for Marvel Super Hero Night featuring Black Widow, presented by CSL Plasma. The Rush will wear specialty jerseys that will be auctioned off after the game and it’s Pucks and Paws Night, where fans are able to bring their dogs to the game by purchasing a special ticket through the Rush. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 PM at The Monument Ice Arena.