RAPID CITY, SD — The season has come to an end for the Rapid City Rush, who will hang up their skates following a rough 3-1 home loss to the visiting Colorado Eagles on Saturday night.
The night started off with Riley Weselowski being awarded the second annual “Blaine Jarvis Heart and Soul Award” named for former the former Rush player who died tragically last season. Former Rush goalie Danny Battochio, who was dressed for tonight’s tilt, came out along with Rush head coach Marc DeSantis for the award presentation to start the night.
The cheers following this presentation were quickly silenced, minus the Eagles fans in attendance, when Jackson Houck put the visitors up 1-0 just 1:08 into the game. The Eagles capitalized on an early turnover in their defensive zone and took the 2-on-1 advantage down the ice which Houck slipped the puck past the outstretched skate of Rush netminder Adam Morrison.
The Eagles would hold on to that 1-0 through nearly 40 minutes of action before the Rush squared the contest up with a tally of their own. With 2:28 left in the 2nd period Geoff Fortman takes the feed from Marcus Ortiz and sends the puck by Eagles netminder Kent Simpson. The tie wouldn’t last long, though, as Matt Register was able to fire the puck over the shoulder of a screened Morrison with just over 46 seconds left in the frame.
The 4,382 fans in attendance tonight were treated to the return of Danny “The Batman” Battochio between the pipes in the 3rd period and the veteran goalie was superb. He stopped all seven shots faced to give the Rush a chance to tie the game but Rapid City couldn’t solve Simpson on the other end of the ice. The empty net goal by Luke Salazar with 1:34 remaining would seal the deal and give the visitors a 3-1 victory to close out the regular season.
Kent Simpson is credited with the win stopping 28-of-29 shots faced while Adam Morrison takes the loss stopping 20-of-22 shots faced.
Rapid City now looks to the offseason to prepare for their upcoming 10th franchise season. Stay tuned to The Sin Bin over the next six months as we look forward to bring you the latest news as Rapid City prepares for a festive 2017-18 season.