(RAPID CITY, SD) –The Rapid City Rush had five different goal scorers on the stat sheet, but the defending champion Allen Americans ended up winning a see-saw battle, claiming a 6-5 victory on Saturday night.
Allen struck first for a third consecutive game, but the contest started off with some tension that boiled over from last night that resulted in a double-minor power play for the Rush. Allen killed it off, then followed with a goal from Chad Costello off of a wrist shot from the far wall by Rush net-minder, Adam Morrison, to give the Americans a 1-0 lead at 6:32 of the first period (Spencer Asuchak and Greger Hansen assisted). Over two minutes later, the Rush countered on their third power play of the night when Ryan Misiak fought for the puck off of a lost draw and rifled it by Allen goaltender, Riley Gill, to square the game up at 1-1 at 8:45 of the frame (Ryan Walters had the lone assist). Michael Young pushed the Rush ahead heading into the break when he blasted a centering feed off the blue line by Gill to give the Rush a 2-1 advantage with 44.2 seconds left in the first (Mark Cooper and Logan Nelson earned the assists).
Allen struck twice in this back-and-forth game to pull ahead 3-2. Kale Kerbashian tied the game when he sent a wrist shot over Morrison’s shoulder from the near faceoff circle of the Rush zone, squaring things at 2-2 with 3:30 gone by in the second (Josh Brittain and Jon Martin assisted). Chad Costello earned his second of the night on Allen’s only power play when he blasted a one-timer by Morrison from the far faceoff circle to take a 3-2 lead with 9:04 left in the period (Eric Roy and Dave Makowski assisted). The Rush countered with two goals 34 seconds apart, starting with Terrence Wallin from above the faceoff circles in the Americans zone. His 10th of the year evened the game at 3-3 with 6:35 left in the second (Ryan Misiak and Ryan Walters assisted, both earning their second points of the game). Over a half-minute later, Austin McKay ignited the goal lamp for a second straight game, slamming a rebound off of Gill into an open net to give the Rush a 4-3 lead with 6:01 remaining in the second (Brayden Low notched the lone assist).
Allen drew level again in the third, and eventually pulled away with two goals separated by 55 seconds. The first came from Josh Brittain on a shot through a screen that found its way by Morrison to square the game at 4-4 with 5:04 gone by in the final period (Kale Kerbashian earned his second point with an assist, while Miles Liberati earned his first). Eric Roy followed up with a go-ahead goal with 5:59 gone by in the frame when he came off the blue line and zipped his shot by Morrison to give the defending champs a 5-4 lead (Greger Hanson earned the lone helper). With time winding down, the Rush pulled Morrison for an extra-attacker, but Miles Liberati flipped the puck from his own faceoff circle and down into the empty net, lifting Allen to a 6-4 lead with 1:10 left in the game (Josh Brittain earned the lone assist, his second of the night and third point of the game). Hunter Fejes made things interesting for the Rush with a goal off of a faceoff with 6.7 seconds left in the game (assisted by Mark Cooper, his second of the night), but the Americans won the ensuing faceoff and ran the clock down, taking a 6-5 victory.
Adam Morrison stopped 15 of 20 shots in suffering the loss (7-8-4).
The Rush now play a four-game/five-night/three-city road trip that starts in Wichita on Wednesday night. Puck drop at INTRUST Bank Arena is slated for 6:05 p.m. MST.