(RAPID CITY, S.D.) – The Rapid City Rush nearly erased a three-goal third period deficit but their comeback fell one goal short as they were defeated by the Kansas City Mavericks, 5-4, Sunday afternoon at The Monument Ice Arena.
Kansas City started the scoring in the first period. Ben Johnson gained the zone and sent a snap shot low past the blocker of David Tendeck and the Mavericks took a 1-0 lead.
The Rush answered after Calder Brooks fired a shot on net that Matt Greenfield stopped. Brett Gravelle gathered the rebound and sent it back to Brooks on the back door. From a sharp angle, Brooks snuck a shot over the goal line and the game was tied at two.
The Mavericks quickly took the lead back as they struck for a goal just 23 seconds later. Off a won faceoff Darik Angeli snapped a shot from the left circle that got past Tendeck on the near post to make it 2-1.
Rapid City once again evened things later in the period while on a penalty kill. Alec Butcher hit Ryan Zuhlsdorf who fired a shot from the right circle that beat Greenfield top shelf. Zuhlsdorf’s goal extended his point streak to nine games and the game was tied at two.
Kansas City took the lead back in the second, first when Angeli was fed cutting to the net. He deked to his backhand and roofed a shot past Tendeck to put the Mavericks on top. Later in the period, Angeli was hit on the back door for a one-timer that he hammered home and Kansas City’s lead grew to 4-2.
Angeli struck for one more in the third period, a one-timer from the left circle that got past a screened Tendeck to make the score 5-2. The Rush pressured late in the third period and got back on the board after Colton Leiter took a shot from the blue line that bounced off the end boards to Brett Van Os in front of the net. Van Os shoved the puck through Greenfield to make it 5-3.
In the final minute, with an extra attacker on, Zuhlsdorf sent a shot on net that was blocked but Gravelle snagged the loose puck at the right post. He stuffed it in and the deficit shrank to one.
The Rush then drew a penalty and again pulled Tendeck for an extra attacker for the final 35 seconds but were unable to grab the equalizer. The comeback fell one goal short as Kansas City took the game, 5-4.
Gravelle and Zuhlsdorf each had a goal and an assist, and the Rush saw their season-long point streak snapped at six games. Rapid City fell to 31-21-4-4 in the loss while Kansas City improved to 29-30-4-1.
The Rush will return to the ice on Friday night for the first of three games against the Atlanta Gladiators. Puck drop at The Monument Ice Arena is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.