(WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah) – The Rapid City Rush, proud affiliate of the NHL’s Calgary Flames, lost to the Utah Grizzlies at Maverik Center on Saturday night, 4-2.
The Rush opened the scoring when Alex Aleardi tapped home a one-timer from Keanu Yamamoto on the powerplay in the first period. Rapid City had been 1-for-18 in on the man advantage in the last four games, but scored on their only powerplay tonight.
Physicality reigned through the game as Jarrod Gourley and Josh Wesley dropped the gloves just 19 seconds in the game. Brandon Yeamans and Jordon Stone would go on to fight in the second period, and there were plenty of nudges and bumps through the contest.
Fighting through the physicality, the Rush extended the lead late in the second period when Blake Bennett deflected home a shot from Maurizio Colella. The Rush carried a 2-0 lead into the third period.
In the third, Utah blasted 18 shots on net, and Brandon Cutler finally broke through Matt Radomksy’s shutout bid 8:35 into the third period. The Grizzlies would go on to score twice more and ventured from down two to up one in just 7:57.
Josh Wesley tied the game on a point blast after a Mick Messner faceoff win 10:56 into the period. Then Tyler Penner drew Utah ahead on a short-side wrist shot. Nathan Burke added an insurance marker in the final two minutes to seal the win.
The Rush had not lost in regulation after having a third period lead since October 27 when they had a 2-1 lead against Kansas City.
Rapid City is now on a five-game losing streak for the first time this season. The team had not been swept in a three-game road series prior to tonight’s loss. With their win, the Grizzlies have now tied the Rush for fifth in the Mountain Division standings.
The Rush head east on Friday to square off against the North Division’s Maine Mariners, in the only meeting between the Rush and a North team this season .