(WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah) – The Rapid City Rush outshot the Utah Grizzlies 38-17 and got goals from Alex Aleardi, Rory Kerins and Matt Marcinew but were defeated 4-3 on Saturday night at Maverik Center.
Rapid City started the scoring in the first after Logan Nelson won an attacking zone faceoff back to Carter Robertson. He fired a shot towards the net where Aleardi reached out and deflected it past Lukas Parik, giving the Rush a 1-0 advantage.
Utah answered one minute later as Dylan Fitze gained the zone and left a pass for Jordan Martel at the right wing. Martel carried the puck toward the circle and snapped a shot through Daniil Chechelev’s blocker side to tie the game.
The Rush grabbed the lead back off another won faceoff when Kerins won it clean to Quinn Wichers. Wichers lofted a wrist shot that Kerins deflected in front of the net and in and the score was 2-1.
But Utah again tied the game while skating with a two-man advantage. Andrew Nielsen bombed a slap shot from the blue line the got through traffic and past a screened Chechelev to tie things at two.
Rapid City regained the lead in the second period with a power play strike. Max Coatta found Marcinew loose in the high slot and he uncorked a snap shot. It beat Parik top shelf and the Rush took a 3-2 lead.
The Grizzlies evened the score in the final minute of the second. Tarun Fizer sent a pass toward a crashing Cameron Wright that was broken up by the stick of Ilya Nikolaev. But the puck sat loose in the slot and Kyle Pouncy jumped on it and clapped a slap shot past Chechelev, tying the game at three.
Utah scored the game-winning goal in the third period after Cam Strong stormed into the boards and dug the puck out. It sat loose for a moment until Martel pounced on it and slid a shot past Chechelev on the far post, giving the Grizzlies their first lead of the game.
Rapid City pressured throughout the third and outshot Utah 14-5 in the final frame but the Grizzlies held on and took the win, 4-3.
The Rush lost their third consecutive game and fell to 20-21-1-0 while Utah won its fourth straight and improved to 19-20-1-0. Rapid City will next take the ice on Saturday night in Wichita for the first of back-to-back games against the Thunder. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CT at INTRUST Bank Arena.