RAPID CITY, SD – The Alaska Aces rebounded after Wednesday’s shutout to top the Rapid City Rush 5-1 to split their pre-Christmas series on Friday night.
The first 20 minutes ended in a scoreless tie before the visiting Aces erupted with two quick goals to open the middle frame.
Justin Brenton was able to secure the loose puck and fire a shot over Rush netminder, Adin Hill‘s shoulder at 1:23. Shortly after that, Steven Tarasuk ripped the puck through a sea of bodies and by Hill to quickly double the Aces lead at 1:52. Alaska would add a late goal at 18:05 as Nolan Descoteaux was able to get a shot from the blue line to put Alaska up 3-0 heading into the final period.
The Aces kept the pressure on as they extended their lead to 4-0 when Dax Lauwers scored his first professional goal at 9:04, sending the puck through traffic and by Hill.
Rapid City would prevent the shutout as Ryan Walters was able to take the puck across all three lines before taking a backhand attempt off the bar and by Aces netminder, Lukas Hafner at 13:08. Alaska would put all comeback attempts to rest less than a minute later when Peter Sivak fired a one-timer by Hill during a 2-on-1 with Daniel Moynihan at 13:44.
Lukas Hafner is credited with the win stopping 33-of-34 Rapid City shots he faced while Adin Hill takes the loss stopping 29-of-34 Alaska shots he faced.
The ECHL will be taking a 3-day break for holiday celebration. Rapid City returns to the ice on Wednesday, December 28th, as they start a three game series against the Idaho Steelheads to close out 2016. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:35pm MT at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Ice Arena.