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COATTA’S HAT TRICK NOT ENOUGH IN 6-4 LOSS TO UTAH

Saturday, January 7th
COATTA’S HAT TRICK NOT ENOUGH IN 6-4 LOSS TO UTAH

(RAPID CITY, S.D.) – Max Coatta recorded his second ECHL hat trick and Lucas Feuk scored his first ECHL goal but the Rush were beaten by the Utah Grizzlies 6-4 on Friday night at The Monument Ice Arena.

Utah got the scoring started in the first period while on a power play. Dylan Fitze took a shot from the right circle that deflected off a Rapid City stick and sailed past Daniil Chechelev to make it 1-0.

The Rush would answer late in the opening period after controlling an attacking zone faceoff. Carter Robertson found Coatta at the left wing. He spun and fired a wrist shot through traffic. It beat Garrett Metcalf high on the glove side and the game was tied at one.

The Grizzlies regained the lead early in the second. Cameron Wright received a pass at the top of the right circle and fired a shot high past Chechelev, giving Utah a 2-1 advantage.

Rapid City answered with Coatta’s second when Brett Gravelle sped down the left wing and found Coatta sprinting into the attacking zone. Coatta sent a snap shot top shelf and in on Metcalf, evening the score at two.

But Utah answered immediately as Cam Strong skated through the neutral zone and into the attacking end. He fired a wrist shot through Chechelev and the Grizzlies took a 3-2 lead.

Rapid City struck again in the first minute of the third period as Coatta sprinted to a loose puck in the neutral zone and burst into the attacking end. Coatta darted a wrister high on the glove side of Metcalf and in, tying the game at three and summoning hats from the crowd.

Utah countered quickly with another strike from Fitze. Then, with the Grizzlies on a power play, Wright was teed up for a point-blank one-timer that he cranked through Chechelev and the score was 5-3.

The Rush cut it back to one when Logan Nelson gained the zone and sent a pass to the crashing Feuk on the back door. He steered it past Metcalf for his first of the season and Rapid City was back within one.

In the final minutes, the Rush pulled Chechelev for an extra attacker and created a pair of chances, but it was Utah who cashed in. Keaton Jameson cleared the puck from his own zone and it rolled the length of the ice and into the empty net to make it 6-4.

Coatta’s hat trick was his second with the Rush and Rapid City’s second of the season, Feuk netted his first North American goal and Gravelle had two assists. The Rush dropped to 16-17-0-0 and Utah snapped a six-game losing streak and improved to 12-18-0-0.

Rapid City and Utah will finish their three-in-three set on Saturday night. It’s First Responders Night, presented by Firehouse Brewing. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at The Monument Ice Arena.

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