(WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah.) – The Rapid City Rush scored twice to bring themselves within one in the third period but were ultimately beaten by the Utah Grizzlies, 5-2, Friday night at Maverik Center.
Utah opened the scoring in the second period when Charle-Edouard D’Astous carried the puck through center and left a pass for Mason Mannek. Mannek fired a snap shot past Brad Arvanitis on the far post and the Grizzlies took a 1-0 lead.
They added to that lead later in the second after a Rush turnover at the blue line sprung Trey Bradley with some space. Bradley hit Ben Tardiff, who buried his chance and the Grizzlies lead grew to 2-0.
Utah got one more late in the second when Bradley carried the puck toward the net and was stick-checked as he attempted a shot. The puck rolled to the back side where it sat for a charging D’Astous. D’Astous lunged into a shot that beat Arvanitis and the score was 3-0.
The Rush got themselves on the board in the third period. Gabe Chabot brought the puck down the right wing and fired a shot that was blocked. It pinballed its way to the right post, where Colton Leiter reached out and nudged it in, cutting the Utah lead to 3-1.
Rapid City then brought itself within one as a bouncing puck found its way to the front of the net where Alec Butcher was crashing. Butcher got to the puck in front of the crease and flipped a shot top shelf past Trent Miner to make the score 3-2.
Utah answered, however, as Nate Clurman fired a shot on the short side that Arvanitis blocked but the rebound bounced to Dylan Fitze. Fitze’s first shot was stoned by Arvanitis but he managed to poke the rebound home, extending the Grizzlies’ lead to two once again.
Shortly thereafter, the Rush pulled Arvanitis for an extra attacker and Avery Peterson had a shot blocked at the blue line. It found its way to Bradley, who carried the puck into the attacking end and shot it into the empty net, pushing the score to its 5-2 final.
Rapid City fell to 33-22-5-5 in the loss while Utah improved to 37-25-2-1. The Rush and Grizzlies will meet one more time this week, on Saturday night in West Valley City. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. at Maverik Center.