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RUSH OPEN WITH WIN A WIN IN UTAH, 5-3

Saturday, October 22nd
RUSH OPEN WITH WIN A WIN IN UTAH, 5-3

(WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah.) – The Rapid City Rush got goals from five different players, highlighted by Logan Nelson’s go-ahead strike in the third period, as they went on to beat the Utah Grizzlies, 5-3, Friday night at Maverik Center. Daniil Chechelev made 34 saves on 37 shots in net as the Rush came away victorious on ECHL opening night.

With the game tied at three in the third period, Matt Marcinew found Alex Aleardi below the goal line. Aleardi snapped a pass to Nelson in the slot who waited a beat then fired a wrist shot past the glove of Trent Miner, giving the Rush a 4-3 lead.

That lead held into the final minutes, when Utah pulled Miner for an extra attacker. The Grizzlies swarmed the Rush net but were unable to crack Chechelev, and eventually Marcinew poked a puck toward center ice. Calder Brooks won the footrace to the loose puck, split two Utah defensemen and guided it into the empty net, extending the Rapid City lead to 5-3.

The Rush opened the scoring in the first period while skating with a power play. Brooks sent a pass toward Nelson in the slot that hit a stick and trickled toward Marcinew at the left circle. He pounced on the puck and sent a snap shot high past Miner to make the score 1-0.

They added to that lead just over a minute later when the Rush won a defensive zone draw and charged into the attacking end. Keanu Yamamoto hit Jon Martin on the right wing for a wrist shot that squirted through Miner, pushing the score to 2-0.

Later in the first, Martin forced a turnover in the attacking end and teed up Rory Kerins at the left circle. Kerins fired a shot through traffic and past Miner, extending the Rapid City lead to 3-0.

Utah struck back for three goals in the second period to even things up. First, Zach Tsekos buried a shot off a saucer pass to the back post. Later Dakota Raabe one-timed a pass on the far post through Chechelev. Finally, Tarun Fizer was sprung for a breakaway and he tucked a shot around Chechelev’s pad, evening the score at three.

Marcinew had a goal and two assists, Martin, Nelson and Brooks each had a goal and an assist and Kerins’ goal was his first as a pro. Chechelev made 34 saves on 37 shots, including all 14 he saw in the first period, in his first start as a Rush.

Rapid City improved to 1-0-0-0 in the win while Utah fell to 0-1-0-0. The Rush and Grizzlies will meet again on Saturday night in West Valley City. Puck drop at Maverik Center is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.

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