(RAPID CITY, SD) – Austin McKay notched a goal and an assist in his Rapid City Rush debut, but a third-period brawl stole the show in a matchup between the Allen Americans and Rush in which the Americans won 9-3. The game marked the 9th Annual “Pink at the Rink” game held in the Black Hills.
Two games in a row, the Americans drew first blood. The Rush earned a two-man advantage for a full two minutes, but couldn’t solve Allen goaltender, Riley Gill. The Americans, however, used their power play to get on the board. With 2:32 left, Greger Hanson buried a back-door feed and beat Rush net-minder, Austin Lotz, to give the Americans the 1-0 lead (Chad Costello and Spencer Asuchak assisted).
The Rush struck back in the opening moments of the second when Trison Grant slammed a rebound by Americans goaltender, Riley Gill, to square the game at 1-1 just 2:47 into the second period (Austin McKay, making his Rush debut tonight, notched the lone assist for his first point with the team). Allen countered with 6:31 left in the second when Greger Hanson blasted a slapshot at the top of the near faceoff circle by Lotz to the Americans back on top, 2-1, heading into the third period (Kale Kerbashian and Dave Makowski earned the assists).
Allen scored 7 goals in the third period, and received goals from Greger Hanson (PP-2:32), Bryan Moore (3:18), Jon Martin (3:35), and Dyson Stevenson at 4:38 to take a 6-1 lead in the third period. What everyone will be talking about tomorrow is what transpired at 6:08 of the final frame. Rapid City’s Alex Mikulovich cleanly hit Allen’s Bryan Moore, and Moore took exception to the hit. What followed was an altercation that lasted almost 10 minutes, and featured 49 PIM between both teams: 26 to the Americans and 23 to the Rush, including the ejections of Allen’s Dyson Stevenson and Bryan Moore, and Rapid City’s Triston Grant and Alex Mikulovich.
Following the fracas, Allen went on a two-man advantage and received power play goals from Chad Costello (7:01) and Derek Mathers (9:01) to jump to an 8-1 lead. The Rush, however, didn’t stop fighting, and cashed in on two goals 20 seconds apart. Austin McKay continued his stellar Rush debut when, on his team’s fourth power play of the night, he fired a shot that was initially stopped by Riley Gill, but potted the rebound to make it 8-2 Allen with 6:23 left in the game (Nick Miglio and Dyson Mayo assisted). A third of a minute later, Terrence Wallin found Ryan Walters streaking down the slot with a no-look, behind the back pass, and Walters danced around Gill for his team-leading 22nd goal of the season, bringing the deficit to 8-3 with 6:03 left in the game (Wallin earned the lone assist). Greger Hanson capped off a four-goal night with a shorthanded tally with 2:44 left in the game, sealing an eventual 9-3 Allen win.
Austin Lotz suffered the loss, stopping 21 of 30 shots on net (2-6-2 total).
Both teams rematch tomorrow for their week-series finale at 7:05 p.m. at Premier Home Mortgage Ice in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.