(RAPID CITY, S.D.) – Jimmy Soper and Alex Aleardi each had two goals and an assist and Adam Carlson made 53 saves but the Rapid City Rush dropped a wild, back-and-forth game to the Idaho Steelheads in overtime by a score of 7-6 on Saturday night at The Monument Ice Arena.
Idaho struck first in the opening period. Matt Register carried the puck to the high slot and sent a backhander through traffic that snuck through Carlson’s glove side to make the score 1-0.
But Rapid City would quickly respond, first when Quinn Wichers skated the puck from the right wing to the blue line and flipped a shot on net. Soper deflected it from the top of the crease, tying the score at one.
Later, Logan Nelson sent a backhander on net that was stopped but Weiland Parrish batted the rebound out of midair and into the net, giving the Rush the lead. Rapid City extended that lead when Soper deflected a Colton Leiter shot that bounced in for a power play goal and the lead was 3-1.
Early in the second period, Aleardi found himself loose at the top of the right circle and buried a snap shot top shelf to extend the lead to 4-1. But Idaho would begin to chip away at the lead. First, Wade Murphy snapped a shot past Carlson off an odd-man rush. Then, late in the middle period, Jack Becker converted to cut Rapid City’s lead to 4-3. Idaho flung 29 shots on goal in the second period, 27 of which Carlson stopped.
In the first minute of the third, with Rapid City on a power play, Idaho’s Willie Knierim carried the puck into the attacking zone with a two-on-one break. He flicked a wrist shot past Carlson, tying the game at four.
The Rush then countered with a pair of goals. First, Brett Gravelle was fed by Calder Brooks and darted a wrist shot top shelf on the short side of Josh Boyko, putting Rapid City back on top. Later, Aleardi danced around a defender and as the puck rolled away from him, Boyko sprinted out of his net to poke it free. Aleardi beat him to the loose puck, skated wide and slung it into the net to give the Rush a 6-4 lead.
But Idaho again answered, first as Carlson got caught out of position on a Colton Kehler shot. Then, Jade Miller beat Carlson with a wrist shot that tied the score at six.
In the final minute of overtime, Ryan Dmowski carried the puck out of his defensive zone and into the attacking end. He fired a wrist shot from the right circle that got past Carlson on the blocker side for the game-winning goal.
Because the Rush scored six goals, all fans in attendance can receive free admission to Watiki Indoor Waterpark Resort from April 16-22.
Rapid City earned a point in the overtime loss and finished its season at 33-34-5-0 with 71 points. The team will host an end-of-season party on Monday night from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at The Monument Ice Arena.