(RAPID CITY, S.D.) – The Rapid City Rush, proud affiliate of the NHL’s Calgary Flames, boat-raced the Fort Wayne Komets 9-5 on Saturday night at The Monument.
Jimmy Soper opened the scoring just 1:13 into the game with his sixth of the season. Soper, playing in his 200th career ECHL game, would go on to log his 200th professional point later in the contest.
While Jake Johnson evened the game for the Komets, the Rush saw Charles Martin and Logan Nelson score to close the period.
In the second period, Fort Wayne’s special teams took charge with Ethan Keppen scoring on the powerplay and Jack Dugan getting a shorthanded marker.
In a tie game, Keanu Yamamoto powered home a one-timer to make it 4-3 Rush, and give R.C. a lead they would not relinquish.
In the third period, the Rush blitzed for five goals, with four of them coming before the halfway mark of the period.
Mark Duarte, who had four points in the game, scored less than two minutes in to extend the lead to 5-3. Then, Mason McCarty notched a powerplay goal that eventually became the game-winner. The Rush scored a powerplay goal in every game of the series.
Nelson, now just two points shy of 400 career professional points, logged his second goal of the night to make it 7-3. After the Nelson goal, Brett Gravelle joined in the offensive contribution to make it 8-3, before Duarte added his second goal of the night.
It’s the third time this season the Rush have scored eight or more goals, winning every game handedly.
Fort Wayne’s Ture Linden and Xavier Cormier would add non-consequential goals at the tail end to shrink the deficit to 9-5.
Rapid City has now won each of their last three home series and hopped over Allen for third in the division with the win. The Rush have won eight of their last nine games at home.
This year’s Rush group is now a game ahead of last season’s team with 17 wins. Tonight’s victory officially marks the halfway point of the season with Rapid City sitting at 17-17-2.
The Rush remain at home for two more games against the Idaho Steelheads on Friday and Saturday. The Rush took three of six possible points against Steelheads during the teams’ most recent three-game set in the middle of December.