(CORALVILLE, IOWA) – The Rapid City Rush, proud affiliate of the NHL’s Calgary Flames, defeated the Iowa Heartlanders on Thursday night, 4-2 in Coralville.
Jimmy Soper opened the scoring just 3:24 into the game with his first of the season from Zack Hoffman and Brett Gravelle. 58 seconds later Alex Aleardi scored to make it 2-0 off a cross-ice feed from Maurizio Colella.
While the Rush dominated in shots in the first period 18-7, Iowa drew blood midway through the frame when Nick Campoli found Jesse Jacques for his first of two goals in the contest.
Rapid City earned the two-goal lead back when Blake Bennett collected a rebound and roofed it over Hunter Jones to make it 3-1 at the end of the period.
Jones would duel Matt Radomsky, making his first pro start, and the Winnipeg native was equal to the challenge. A stalling Rush offense managed only eight shots in the final two periods while Radomsky stopped 28 of the 29 he faced in the last 40 minutes.
A late-second-period powerplay saw Jacques score his second of the night with just 42 seconds left in the second period, setting up a thrilling third.
With the Rush offense depleted, Rapid City took back-to-back penalties in the final 10 minutes, giving Iowa a golden chance to tie, but the Heartlanders couldn’t convert. Iowa finished the night 1-for-5 on the powerplay.
Mark Duarte would add the insurance marker for the Rush when Alex Aleardi capped off his three-point performance with a cross-ice pass through the slot.
Rapid City will face Iowa again on Friday night at 5:35 p.m. MT. Fans are invited to join the Rush for their official watch party at Firehouse Sky Box downtown.