(WICHITA, Kan.) - Two goals from Brett Van Os helped power the offensive attack as the Rapid City Rush defeated the Wichita Thunder, 5-3, Saturday night at INTRUST Bank Arena. The win was Rapid City’s third in a row.
Wichita opened the scoring in the first period as Tyler Jeanson fired a shot on net that Bailey Brkin stopped but the rebound found Logan Fredericks on the back door. Fredericks flipped the puck into the back of the net and the Thunder took an early lead.
Rapid City answered later in the first when Kenton Helgesen hit Van Os on the right wing boards and crashed the net. Van Os fired the puck toward the front of the net and it bounced off a Wichita skater and got past Jake Theut, tying the game at one.
In the second, Wichita grabbed the lead again when Carter Johnson brought the puck into the attacking zone and nudged a pass to Stephen Johnson, who cranked a one-timer past Brkin and the score was 2-1.
The Rush evened the score once again just past the halfway point of the second though as Van Os controlled the puck on the right wing boards. With Garrett Klotz providing a screen in front, Van Os sent a shot on net that Theut never saw as it sailed into the goal to make it 2-2.
90 seconds later, Rapid City took the lead when Klotz cranked a shot from the high slot that Theut stopped but Zach Court had inside position on the defense and corralled the rebound. He slung it in under Theut’s pads and the Rush went ahead for the first time, 3-2.
Early in the third period with Rapid City on a two-man advantage, Brett Gravelle took a pass at the right wing circle and snapped it to Calder Brooks in front of the net. Brooks redirected the puck past Theut, pushing the Rapid City lead to two.
Wichita answered with a power play goal of its own five minutes later as Jay Dickman finished a centering pass in front of the net. But they were unable to get an equalizing goal and Rapid City pushed the lead back to two in the final minutes when Helgesen cashed in with an empty-netter to make it 5-3.
Van Os had two goals, Helgesen picked up a goal and an assist and Klotz had two assists as the Rush won their third straight game. Rapid City improved to 17-14-3-2 in the win while Wichita dropped to 12-19-4-0.
The Rush will now return home for three games in three nights against the Idaho Steelheads. It begins on Friday night and puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 PM at The Monument Ice Arena.