RAPID CITY, SD — Fresh off being swept by the Utah Grizzlies, the Rapid City Rush were looking to end the season with a solid performance against their rivals the Colorado Eagles. They did not disappoint as they pulled out a 4-2 triumph on Friday night.
The visiting Eagles would get the lone tally late in the opening period. Matt Brown was able to secure the loose puck on an attempt from Darryl Bootland and fired the puck by Rush netminder Adam Morrison at 15:08 for the 1-0 advantage.
The Rush would score a pair of goals in the middle frame to jump on top heading into the second intermission. The first goal came from Ryan Misiak at 3:31 who took the feed from Mike Monfredo‘s shot and deflected it over the shoulder of Eagles netminder Lukas Hafner to square the contest 1-1. Rapid City took the lead in the closing minutes when Geoff Fortman rifled the puck through a screen and by Hafner for the 2-1 advantage at 16:57 of the second period.
The Eagles would not go quietly into the night, however. Matt Garbowsky would breath new life into his club when he tied the contest 2-2 at 9:33 of the third period, firing the puck off the crossbar and by Morrison. The game looked to be destined for overtime at this rate as the neither goalie seemed to be slowing down as the night progressed.
A pair of quick-strike goals from the home team would put that possibility to rest.
Fortman scored his second goal of the night with just 2:34 remaining in regulation when he made quick work on a rebound attempt from a shot by Triston Grant to put the Rush back on top 3-2. Before the score could be announced over the PA system the Rush were able to double that lead when Ryan Walters jumped on a loose puck in the Eagles zone and quickly fired a wrister just seven seconds later giving the Rush a 4-2 advantage.
Even with Hafner getting pulled with 1:43 remaining in regulation the Rush were able to hold on for the 4-2 win over their long time rivals.
Adam Morrison is credited with the win stopping 36-of-38 shots faced on the night while Lukas Hafner takes the loss stopping 22-of-26 shots faced on the night.
The Rush will conclude their season hosting the Colorado Eagles one final time Saturday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05pm MT.