(BOISE, Idaho) – Matt Marcinew scored with less than two minutes to go in the game to bring the Rapid City Rush within one but the Idaho Steelheads hung on and beat the Rush, 3-2, Wednesday night at Idaho Central Arena.
The Steelheads opened the scoring early in the first period. Jade Miller took a pass at the left wing boards and fired it toward the front of the net. Zach Walker had position at the top of the crease and deflected the pass over the left shoulder of Daniil Chechelev, giving the Steelheads a 1-0 lead.
They added to that lead in the final minute of the first period. Ty Pelton-Byce grabbed the puck from the left wing corner and blindly sent a pass toward the slot. It bounced off a Rapid City defenseman’s skates and found Colton Kehler’s stick. Kehler fired a snap shot past Chechelev to make the score 2-0.
Rapid City got itself on the board in the second period as Rory Kerins controlled the puck behind the net. He stuffed a wraparound attempt on the near post that sat partially on the goal line until Jon Martin poked it the rest of the way in to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Idaho answered, however, when Patrick Kudla gained the zone and hit Jack Becker streaking toward the net. Becker quickly deked backhand to forehand and slid the puck between Chechelev’s legs, giving Idaho a 3-1 lead.
Late in the third period, with the Rush still trailing by two, Chechelev made a flurry of saves following a Rush defensive zone turnover and, as Rapid City charged out of the defensive zone, he sprinted to the bench for an extra attacker. With the extra attacker on, Kerins threaded the needle to Marcinew at the left circle. Marcinew blasted a shot past the lunging Jake Kupsky and the score was 3-2.
Rapid City again pulled Chechelev for the extra attacker but could not mount anything further. The Steelheads withstood the late push from the Rush and hung on for the 3-2 win.
Marcinew netted his fifth goal of the season, Kerins had two assists and Chechelev made 33 saves on 36 shots in the loss. The Rush moved to 2-3-0-0 while Idaho improved to 4-1-0-0 in its win.
Rapid City will take Thursday off before once again tangling with Idaho on Friday night. Puck drop at Idaho Central Arena is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.