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RAPID CITY EDGED OUT BY FORT WAYNE, 4-3

Monday, March 27th
RAPID CITY EDGED OUT BY FORT WAYNE, 4-3

(FORT WAYNE, IN.) – Alex Aleardi scored twice and the Rapid City Rush trimmed a two-goal deficit down to one in the third period but they were ultimately beaten by the Fort Wayne Komets 4-3 on Sunday afternoon at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

Rapid City opened the scoring in the first period with a power play strike. Charles Martin took a shot from the blue line that was blocked in front but Jimmy Soper grabbed the rebound and slid a backhanded pass to Aleardi at the top of the left circle. Aleardi fired a slap shot that beat Ryan Fanti and the Rush took a 1-0 lead.

Fort Wayne tied it shortly thereafter when they worked the puck around the attacking zone and hit Darien Kielb at the left circle. He wound up and blasted a slap shot that sailed past Daniil Chechelev, tying the game at one.

The Komets then took the lead with a bit of puck luck. A pass was sent through the crease and Matt Alvaro grabbed it below the goal line. He fired a blind pass toward the top of the crease that bounced off a Rush defenseman’s skate and into the net, putting Fort Wayne on top, 2-1.

Rapid City tied it again early in the second period. Following an acrobatic Chechelev save in the defensive zone, Soper poke-checked the puck loose at the blue line and led an odd-man rush into the attacking end. He fed Aleardi for a one-timer from the left circle that was blasted past Fanti and the score was 2-2.

But Fort Wayne responded with a pair. First, Jacob Graves carried the puck above the goal line and flicked it through a screened Chechelev to put the Komets on top. Then, Drake Rymsha led a two-on-one break and fired a shot that Chechelev stopped but the rebound found the trailing Mark Rassell. He maneuvered the puck to his forehand and tucked it in to extend the lead to 4-2.

The Rush got one back in the third with another power play tally. Martin slid a pass to Max Coatta at the left wing. He darted a wrist shot through traffic and into the net, cutting the lead to 4-3.

Rapid City pulled Chechelev late but could not mount any significant pressure. The Rush ultimately fell 4-3 and dropped to 30-32-1-0 in the losing effort. Fort Wayne improved to 32-24-4-3 with the win.

Aleardi led the way with two goals and both Soper and Martin recorded two assists. The Rush will now return home for the first of three games in three nights against the Allen Americans. It begins on Thursday night and puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at The Monument Ice Arena.

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