(RAPID CITY, S.D.) - Alec Butcher had two goals and an assist, Logan Nelson dished out three assists and the Rapid City Rush rode three power play goals to a 3-1 win over the Utah Grizzlies on New Year’s Eve at The Monument Ice Arena. Rapid City picked up the win in front of a season-high crowd of 4,307 fans.
The Grizzlies opened the scoring with less than two minutes to play in the first period. Christian Simeone snapped a shot on net from the short side that managed to trickle through Lukas Parik and Utah took a 1-0 lead.
Rapid City answered in the second period while working with a two-man advantage as Nelson fired a pass to Butcher at the bottom of the left wing circle. Butcher slung a shot on net that beat Cole Kehler on the far post, tying the game at one.
Early in the third, with the Rush again on the power play, Nelson sent a no-look, backhanded pass to Jake Wahlin who sniped a wrist shot to the upper left corner past Kehler’s glove and the Rush took a 2-1 lead.
They would add to that lead six minutes later, again while on a power play. Nelson fired a shot that deflected off a Utah skater in front and bounced to Butcher on the back door. With Kehler out of position, he put it into the empty net and the lead grew to 3-1.
Butcher had two goals and an assist, Nelson matched a season high with three assists and Parik made 24 saves on 25 shots. The Rush improved to 13-12-2-2 in the win and now have points in three straight games and in each of their last five home games.
Rapid City and Utah will meet again on New Year’s Day, completing a stretch of four games in six days against one another. Puck drop at The Monument Ice Arena is scheduled for 7:05 PM.