(RAPID CITY, S.D.) – Daniil Chechelev made 38 saves, Alex Aleardi had a goal and an assist and the Rapid City Rush beat the Kansas City Mavericks 5-2 on Wednesday night at The Monument Ice Arena. The Rush won their third consecutive game and were victorious for the fifth time in their past seven outings.
Rapid City started the scoring in the opening period while working on a power play. Jon Martin found Simon Lavigne in the high slot for a one-timer that he blasted past Shane Starrett. Lavigne’s third goal in his past four games made the score 1-0.
They would add to that lead later in the first after Tyson Helgesen skated down the left wing and found Alex Aleardi loose above the right circle. He sent a snap shot past Starrett top shelf to extend the advantage to 2-0.
Kansas City would answer with a flurry of shots that Chechelev turned aside. A rebound eventually bounced to Jeremy McKenna on the backside and he jammed it home, putting the Mavericks on the board.
Rapid City answered within the next minute, however, when Martin forced a turnover and fed Keanu Yamamoto. He then found Logan Nelson who hit him back for a one-timer that Yamamoto buried, pushing the score to 3-1.
The Mavericks brought themselves within one again in the second. Matt Marcinew had a shot blocked in the attacking zone that bounced onto Nick Pastujov’s stick. He gained the zone with an odd-man rush and hit Cole Coskey, who deked and slid a shot past Chechelev to make it 3-2.
The Rush extended their advantage again early in the third period after Aleardi hit Calder Brooks with a pass at the left wing. Brooks kicked the puck to himself and fired a backhander past Starrett, extending the lead to two.
Kansas City pulled Starrett for an extra attacker late in the game and with the net empty, Brooks sent a pass of the left wing boards that hit Rory Kerins in stride in the neutral zone. He brought it over the blue line and fired the puck into the empty net, pushing the score to its 5-2 final.
Chechelev matched a season-high with 38 saves, Aleardi extended his point streak to seven games and Brooks now has five goals in his last three games. The Rush improved to 7-7-0-0 while Kansas City dropped to 7-4-1-0.
Rapid City and Kansas City will take Thanksgiving off and meet again on Friday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at The Monument Ice Arena.