RAPID CITY, SD — The contest was scoreless heading into the final period of regulation before the Rapid City Rush and Alaska Aces finally solved the opposing netminder, with Ryan Walters lifting the home team to a 2-1 victory off his late goal Friday night.
For the first 40 minutes of play, neither team were able to send the puck by the opposing netminder. Rapid City was able to pepper the Aces netminder Kevin Carr with 21 shots while the visiting Aces were able to send 15 shots at Rush netminder Adam Morrison.
Alaska finally broke the deadlock at 5:29 of the 3rd period. The Aces found themselves on an odd-man rush heading into the offensive zone and Charlie Sampair finished the play with a quick back-door shot to beat Morrison and giving Alaska a 1-0 advantage.
The lead was short-lived as Ryan Misiak pocketed his 15th goal of the year just 35 seconds later to square the contest at 1-1. Terrance Wallin secured a turnover in the Rush offensive zone and blasted a shot from the blue line that Misiak deflected by Carr to send the fans at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Ice Arena into a frenzy of emotion.
The clock continued it’s decent and it looked as if this tilt was heading to extra time, especially with the Rush having to kill off a later penalty to Michael Young for cross-checking. But Ryan Walters found a way to secure the win in regulation when he found himself in a 2-on-1 advantage with Misiak and took the shot, rifling the puck top shelf by Carr at 16:09 to give the Rush a 2-1 lead. Morrison and company were able to fend off any rally attempt from their divisional visitors and secured the natural two-goal win.
Adam Morrison takes the win stopping 25-of-26 shots faced, while Kevin Carr suffers the loss, stopping 28-of-30 shots on the night.
Both teams will square off again for the final time at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Ice Arena on Saturday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 pm MT.
Playoff Scenarios: With the regulation win over the Aces, the Rush are now 14 points out of the final playoff spot with 13 games left in the season. Alaska still has one game in hand over Rapid City as well.