(RAPID CITY, S.D.) – Alex Aleardi had two goals and an assist and the Rapid City Rush struck for three goals in the third period as they beat the Tulsa Oilers 6-4 on Friday night at The Monument Ice Arena. Rapid City’s win was its third in a row.
Rapid City opened the scoring early in the first period after Aleardi grabbed a loose puck in the defensive zone and skated up the left wing. He gained the zone and left a drop pass for Logan Nelson who then found Aleardi loose in the high slot. Aleardi ripped a wrist shot top shelf and the Rush took a 1-0 lead.
They added to that lead after Aleardi fired a shot that was blocked but the rebound bounced toward the charging Jon Martin. He swept it into the net with a backhand and the lead was 2-0.
The Oilers would then tie the game with a pair of goals scored less than a minute apart. First, Alex Gilmour tried a wraparound that didn’t get on net but rolled to the trailing Jackson Leef who chipped it past Adam Carlson. Then, Kylor Wall took a shot from the blue line that Blake McLaughlin deflected from the front of the net and in to make the score 2-2.
Aleardi later put the Rush back on top with an incredible individual effort. He grabbed the puck at his own blue line and knifed through the Tulsa defense. Aleardi worked his way to the net, deked from his backhand to his forehand and beat Daniel Manella, giving Rapid City a 3-2 lead.
Tulsa tied it again in the final minute of the third though when the Rush lost track of Dante Sheriff who was loose at the back post. He took a pass and slammed it past Carlson and it was 3-3.
But the Rush grabbed control in the third period, first when Max Coatta forced a turnover and sent the puck toward the net. Brett Gravelle swept it between the legs of Manella putting Rapid City on top. Later, off a won faceoff, Blake Bennett fired a wrist shot that was stopped but Matt Marcinew knocked the rebound in to give the Rush a two-goal lead.
They pushed that lead to three after a failed Tulsa clearing attempt found Colton Leiter’s stick. He quickly fired a shot high past Manella’s blocker to extend the lead to 6-3. Tulsa struck for one more on Sheriff’s second of the game but it wasn’t enough as the Rush hung on for the 6-4 win.
Because the Rush won and scored six goals, all fans in attendance can receive free admission to Watiki Indoor Waterpark resort by showing their game ticket any day between March 18-24.
Aleardi had two goals and an assist, Marcinew finished with a goal and an assist and Carlson made 37 saves in the win, Rapid City’s third in a row. The Rush improved to 27-30-1-0 while Tulsa dropped to 19-30-7-1.
Rapid City and Tulsa will meet again on Saturday night for the second of three consecutive games between the teams. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at The Monument Ice Arena.