(FORT WAYNE, IN) – Keanu Yamamoto scored two goals and netted one more in the shootout and the Rapid City Rush erased a two-goal third period deficit and beat the Fort Wayne Komets in a shootout 6-5 on Friday night at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. Rapid City won for the sixth consecutive game, matching a season-high.
With the game tied at three early in the third period, the Komets struck for a pair of goals within a minute of each other to give themselves some breathing room.
Marcus McIver took a slap shot from the top of the right circle that hit the post but the rebound bounced to Shawn Boudrias who swatted it past Adam Carlson. Then, Jacob Graves fired a shot that Carlson stopped but Oliver Cooper gathered the rebound and tucked it home to make it 5-3.
The Rush got one back near the halfway point of the third when Jason Horvath took a shot off a won faceoff that bounced off a stick and found Yamamoto on the back side. He swept it home and cut the deficit to one.
Later, with just over two minutes to go, Colton Leiter sent a cross-ice pass to Brett Gravelle at the right circle. Gravelle loaded up a shot and beat Rylan Parenteau high, evening the score at five.
After a scoreless overtime, the game progressed to a shootout. Both teams failed to convert on their first attempt and the Rush sent Blake Bennett out for the second round. In his first career shootout try, he roofed a backhander to put Rapid City in front. Carlson then made a save on Drake Rymsha in the second round and the Rush turned to Yamamoto with a chance to win it. He carried the puck in deep, deked from his backhand to his forehand and jammed the puck through the legs of Parenetau for the game-winner.
The Rush improved to 2-0 in shootouts and are now 7-1 in games decided after regulation.
Rapid City started the scoring in the first period with a power play strike from Max Coatta. Fort Wayne answered with a Daniel Maggio goal that evened things at one.
Both teams scored twice in the second period. Jimmy Soper started it off when he played the puck to himself off the boards to create an odd-man break. He fired a wrist shot past Parenteau that made it 2-1. Fort Wayne then got goals from Adam Brubacher and Cooper. Rapid City tied it at three again on Yamamoto’s first of the game, a wrist shot from the left wing circle.
Yamamoto’s two-goal game was his third of the season, Horvath had two assists and Soper’s goal was his 20th, the first time in his career he has netted 20 goals. Rapid City improved to 30-30-1-0 in the win while Fort Wayne earned a point and moved to 30-24-4-3. The Rush extended their winning streak to six games, matching their longest streak of the season.
Rapid City and Fort Wayne will meet again on Saturday night for the second of three games scheduled for the weekend. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m. ET at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.