RAPID CITY, SD — The Colorado Eagles responded after last night’s 7-3 beating to their division rivals with a strong offensive showing, overcoming a rally by Rapid City to top the Rush 6-3 on “Slap Shot Night.”
Colorado got the first goal of the night at 10:45 of the opening frame when Shawn St-Amant‘s shot was deflected to Casey Pierro-Zabotel who was able to thread the puck through Adam Morrison‘s five-hole for the 1-0 lead. The Eagles would extend their lead with 1:40 left in the frame on their second powerplay of the night when Jake Marto was able to fire a shot off the face-off to put Colorado up 2-0 heading into the 1st intermission.
The middle frame belonged to the Boys from the Black Hills.
Terrance Wallin got the deflection by Eagles netminder Clarke Saunders at 6:11 to cut Colorado’s lead in half. Wallin nets his second goal of the night batting in a rebound shot moments later at 8:31 of the middle frame. Rapid City completed their rally when Mark Cooper took a backdoor shot for a powerplay goal at 16:13 of the period and gave the Rush a 3-2 lead heading into the final twenty minutes of play.
Colorado was not going to go down without a fight, though, and stepped up their game in the 3rd period firing back with four unanswered goals.
Matt Register tied the game at 4:59 firing a shot through traffic beating Morrison.
Then came the “Matt Garbowsky” show.
He scored his first of three straight goals at 8:27 firing a wrister that beat Morrison on his blocker side to put Colorado back on top 4-3. He scored again on a special teams play, just seconds into a Rush powerplay. Garbowsky intercepted a Rush pass and took a backhander beating Morrison for a 5-3 advantage at 16:03. Garbowsky completed his natural hat trick at 19:43 for the 6-3 final score.
Clarke Saunders gets the win stopping 19-of-22 shots faced on the night while Adam Morrison takes his first loss against the Eagles in regulation stopping 25-of-31 shots faced on the night.
The evening was highlighted by the appearance of the Hanson Brothers from the cult classic Slap Shot from 1977. They played an intermission contest against the Rushmore Mites and were a huge draw for the crowd tonight.
With the split the teams will face off in a rubber match tomorrow at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. Puck drop is scheduled for 3:05pm.