(RAPID CITY, S.D.) – Ilya Nikolaev had two goals and an assist and Alex Aleardi scored for the ninth time in his past eight games but the Rapid City Rush were beaten in overtime by the Allen Americans 4-3 on Friday night at The Monument Ice Arena.
Allen got on the board first early in the first period when Grant Hebert got a shot on net that Daniil Chechelev stopped but the rebound popped to Stefan Fournier on the back side. He knocked home that rebound and the score was 1-0.
The Rush evened things up in the second as Tyson Helgesen took a pass at the top of the left circle and slung a shot on net. Luke Peressini made the save but Aleardi stuffed the rebound through his short side, tying the game at one.
Allen quickly answered when Ty Farmer took a slap shot from the blue line that was blocked but eventually found Jakov Novak. He shot it past Chechelev and the Americans led, 2-1.
Rapid City again tied the score later in the second period after Nikolaev and Carter Robertson passed the puck back and forth in the attacking zone. Nikolaev fired a short side shot that was stopped by Peressini but caromed back to Nikolaev at the right circle. His second shot got through and the score was squared at two.
The Americans grabbed the lead in the first minute of the third period following a defensive zone turnover by the Rush. Novak intercepted a pass and flicked it past Chechelev to put Allen on top. But after the ensuing faceoff was won by the Rush, Matt Marcinew took a shot from the blue line that was blocked in front of the net. Nikolaev swatted it out of midair and into the cage to make it 3-3.
Rapid City controlled the early portion of overtime, but Allen capitalized on its first and only scoring chance. Eric Williams gained the zone and fed a pass to the charging Novak who reached out and deflected it past Chechelev. Novak’s third goal of the game was the game-winner as the Americans took the extra point and won, 4-3.
The Rush moved to 30-33-2-0 with the overtime loss while the Americans improved to 32-30-1-1 in the win. Rapid City and Allen will conclude their season series on Saturday night. It’s Military Appreciation Night, sponsored by AARP, and the team will be wearing specialty jerseys that will be auctioned postgame. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at The Monument Ice Arena.