RAPID CITY, SD — The Rapid City Rush rebounded from a tough Friday night loss to the visiting Alaska Aces to split the weekend series with an impressive 5-1 over the division leaders.
After an emotionally charged puck drop to honor SD Highway Patrol trooper Zach Bader, who is recovering from injuries sustained from a routine traffic stop on Interstate-90 on October 24, both teams skated to a scoreless 1st period with each tallying 8 shots-on-goal.
The Rush, though, would be the first to light the lamp, the first of many on the afternoon.
The hometown team got things going in the middle frame when Daniel O’Donoghue scored his 3rd goal of the season, this one coming off the first power-play attempt for the Rush, at 7:15.
Special teams would again be key as Taylor Doherty scored his first goal in a Rush sweater getting a shorthanded goal off a soft wrister from just inside the blue line that went top shelf at 14:03 of the period.
To further drive the stake in, Spencer Pommells would get a wrister up high at 17:59 to give Rapid City a 3-0 lead.
Alaska didn’t want to go quietly into the night and took a bit of wind out of Rapid City’s sails when Ben Lake scored his second goal in as many games with just 14.4 seconds left in the period to end the shutout bid for Danny Battochio.
Not wanting to rest on their laurels the Rush continued to apply pressure to Aces netminder Steven Summerhays with both Winston Day Chief and O’Donoghue finding the back of the net mid-way through the 3rd period.
With the win Rapid City moves back into 2nd place in the division thanks to the loss by Utah Saturday night.
Rapid City finishes out their home stand next weekend as they host the defending Kelly Cup Champion Allen Americans for a pair of games on Friday and Saturday nights.
The puck is scheduled to drop at 7:05pm for both contests.