WEST VALLEY CITY, UT — The Rapid City Rush regained their composure after being swept by the Eagles to start their four-game stretch against the Utah Grizzlies with a gritty 3-1 victory on Monday afternoon.
Both netminders were playing lights out during the opening period until Rush captain Riley Weselowski pocketed his first goal of the season at the 14:41 mark, backhanding the puck by Grizzlies netminder Angus Redmond for the 1-0 edge. The home team Grizzlies owned the shots-on-goal stat in the opening frame registering 16 shots compared to Rapid City’s eight and the Rush had the lone penalty as well with a slashing minor given to Peter Sivak with 4:06 left to play.
The Rush did step up their tempo in the middle frame, outshooting the Grizzlies 13-10 but it was Utah that registered the lone goal. Utah was awarded a 5-on-3 power play towards the end of the period and Austin Ortega took advantage with a shot from the face-off circle that went by Rush netminder Adam Vay to square the game up. The Rush did get a lucky bounce toward the end of the period benefiting from a power play opportunity that bled into the final frame.
Sivak did his part pocketing his 10th goal of the season just 0:27 into the final 20 minutes of regulation, rifling the puck over Redmond’s glove to regain the Rush advantage. Utah did appear to tie the game up midway through the period but after an official review, the goal was correctly waved off. Utah pulled Redmond with 67 seconds left in regulation but couldn’t capitalize. Instead, Tyler Deresky was able to tally a late empty netter with under a second left on the game clock for the 3-1 final.
Vay gets his fifth win of the season, stopping 36 of 37 shots on the afternoon while Redmond takes the loss stopping 29 of 31 shots faced. Both teams registered a goal with the man-advantage with Rapid City’s power play unit went 1/2 while Utah went 1/5.
With the win, the Rush posted a 3-2-1 record during their six game road trip.
Both teams continue the remaining three games in their series in Rapid City this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Friday night’s tilt is slated for 7:05pm MT.