BOISE, ID — A close contest on the road goes to the home team as the Idaho Steelheads pull away in the third period to edge the Rapid City Rush 3-1 on Wednesday night.
The opening frame saw the Rush outshoot the Steelheads 11-8 and both teams go 0-for-2 on the power play but neither team could solve the opposing netminder.
The game was scoreless through much of the middle frame until Idaho was finally able to cash in on the man advantage. Rapid City could barely get their penalty kill unit settled in when Rob Linsmayer got a near pointblank shot by Rush netminder Adam Morrison for the 1-0 lead at 16:34. Less than 60 seconds later the Rush were able to square the game back up when Logan Nelson pocketed his 10th goal of the season at 17:24 with a deflection that beat Steelheads netminder Branden Komm for the tally.
Idaho was able to regain the lead at 6:39 of the 3rd period when Aaron Harstad fired a wrister by Morrison for his fifth goal of the season and put the home team on top with a 2-1 advantage. The Rush pulled Morrison with just under two minutes left in regulation but they weren’t able to capitalize on the man-advantage. Idaho was able to ice the game with 30 seconds left when Brian Nugent was able to finally get the puck into the empty net to give the Steelheads the 3-1 win over their division rivals.
Brandon Komm takes the win stopping 30-of-31 shots on the night while Adam Morrison suffers the loss stopping 30-of-32 shots in 59 minutes of action.
Both teams will square off again on Friday with puck drop scheduled for 7:10pm MT.
Playoff Scenarios: Heading into this seven game road trip, the Rush knew they virtually had to come away with a clean two points in every contest. Alaska took a 2-1 loss in regulation to Cincinnati on Wednesday which keeps the Rush at 17 points out of the final playoff spot with 11 games left in the season. While not mathematically eliminated, they are just about needing a miracle to get that final spot.