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RUSH FIGHT BACK BUT FALTER LATE IN 6-4 LOSS TO WICHITA

Friday, March 10th
RUSH FIGHT BACK BUT FALTER LATE IN 6-4 LOSS TO WICHITA

(RAPID CITY, S.D.) The Rapid City Rush erased a three-goal deficit and tied the game at four in the third period but were beaten by the Wichita Thunder 6-4 on Thursday night at The Monument Ice Arena.

Wichita got the scoring started in the first period while skating with a 5-on-3 power play. The Thunder cycled the puck in the attacking zone and found Cole MacDonald at the point. He fired a snap shot that sailed through traffic and beat Daniil Chechelev high to make the score 1-0.

Just over a minute later, as the second penalty against the Rush was expiring, the Thunder struck again. Kyle Rhodes got loose at the right circle and snapped a wrist shot that got past Chechelev on the short side, extending the lead to 2-0.

Wichita added to that lead in the second period as Mark Liwiski gained the zone with a two-on-one rush. He fed Brett Van Os on the back side for a tap-in past Chechelev and it was 3-0.

The Rush then got on the board shortly thereafter when Carter Robertson found Brett Gravelle at the right circle. He fired a wrist shot that beat Roman Basran on the short side to cut the deficit to 3-1.

The Thunder answered though with another odd-man break. Michal Stinil and Quinn Preston charged in and Stinil fed Preston, who guided the puck into the net to make the score 4-1. That would be it for Chechelev, who was pulled in favor of Adam Carlson following the goal.

Rapid City then began to mount its comeback. First, Zach Court teed up Alex Carlson for a one-timer from the blue line. He blasted it through traffic and between Basran’s legs for his first goal of the season. Later, with Rapid City on the power play, Blake Bennett slid a pass to Robertson at the point. He slung a shot that Logan Nelson deflected in front of the net and in, cutting the deficit to 4-3.

The Rush would later tie the game in the third period with another power play strike. Max Coatta grabbed the puck below the goal line and wrapped around the near post. He stuffed a backhander through Basran and the score was 4-4.

But Wichita took the lead back late in the third after a chance from Stinil caused Carlson to slide out of his net. The puck popped back to Peter Bates in the slot, who dove on the ice and stuffed it into the net, putting the Thunder on top.

Rapid City pulled Carlson for an extra attacker late, while working with a power play, but it was Wichita who cashed in. Jake Wahlin sent a shot the full length of the ice and into the vacated net, pushing the lead to 6-4.

Coatta had a goal and an assist and recorded his 100th career ECHL point, Bennett earned his first pro point in his first professional game and Matt Marcinew extended his point streak to six games with a pair of assists.

Rapid City fell to 24-30-1-0 with the loss while Wichita improved to 27-25-5-0. The Rush and Thunder will meet again on Friday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at The Monument Ice Arena.

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