(RAPID CITY, S.D.) – The Rapid City Rush scored three times in the third period and went on to beat the Utah Grizzlies 5-2 on Thursday night at The Monument Ice Arena. Rory Kerins led the way with two goals as the Rush won for the third time in the past four games.
With Rapid City leading 2-1 early in the third, the Grizzlies tied things up with a power play goal. Keaton Jameson snuck one past an out-of-position Daniil Chechelev off a rebound and the game was tied at two.
The Rush grabbed control back quickly, however, when Ilya Nikolaev ran down a loose puck in the slot. He carried it for a stride and snapped a shot between the legs of Trent Miner, putting the Rush on top, 3-2.
Rapid City extended that lead later in the third when Kerins grabbed the puck in the neutral zone and gained the zone with Matt Marcinew on an odd-man break. Kerins flicked a wrist shot from the left circle that got past Miner and the score was 4-2.
Later, Calder Brooks forced a turnover at neutral ice, took the puck and glided into the attacking zone. From the left wing he sent a snap shot top shelf past Miner’s blocker, extending the lead to its 5-2 final.
Rapid City got its first goal when Kerins slashed into the attacking zone on a breakaway. He fired a wrist shot that Miner stopped but was able to backhand the rebound home to make it 1-0. Utah’s Cameron Wright then netted a power play goal in the second period to tie the score at one. The Rush took the lead back two minutes later after Carter Robertson took a wrist shot from the right circle that Miner stopped. Keanu Yamamoto crashed through the crease and poked the puck to Marcinew, who fired a wrist shot home and gave Rapid City a 2-1 lead.
Kerins had two goals, Nikolaev and Marcinew each had a goal and an assist and Chechelev made 29 saves on 31 shots. The Rush won for the third time in their last four games and improved their record to 16-16-0-0. Utah lost its sixth straight and fell to 11-18-0-0.
The Rush and Grizzlies will continue their three-in-three stretch on Friday night. It’s Nugget’s Birthday, presented by Fleet Farm, and any student who shows a report card with an A on it can get a free ticket courtesy of Gateway Autoplex. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at The Monument Ice Arena.