RAPID CITY, SD — The visiting Idaho Steelheads came away with a decisive 6-1 victory Wednesday night to start the three-game series against the Rapid City Rush.
The visiting Steelheads were able to light the lamp first, but it wasn’t until the last quarter of the opening period. Joe Faust was able to get just enough of the puck to go by Rush netminder Shane Owen at 15:38 while on the man advantage. It was Idaho’s third powerplay opportunity of the opening frame. Connor Chatham doubled the Steelhead’s lead at 18:20 when he deflected the puck into the back of the net. Idaho would take the 2-0 advantage into the 1st intermission.
Things seem to really fall apart for the Rush in the middle frame as they were outshot 27-to-7 and the visiting Steelheads continued to add to their lead with another pair of goals. The first came from Daniel Tedesco at 11:59 when he took the feed from the wing and ripped a shot by Owen for the 3-0 edge. Idaho did have a goal waived off with 7:28 left in the period but they were able to reclaim that tally with 1:40 remaining. Jefferson Dahl deflected a shot by Owen to give the Steelheads a commanding 4-0 advantage heading into the 2nd intermission.
Idaho didn’t waste any time in burying Rapid City to start the final frame as Henrik Samuelsson tallied his 11th goal on the season just 1:27 into the period when he pocketed a rebound attempt point blank to put Idaho up 5-0. Rapid City did erase the shutout bid by Philippe Desrosiers when Jack Walker scored his first professional goal as he bounced the puck off Desrosiers for the lone tally for the home team. Any excitement from the stands over that goal was quickly erased when Jefferson Dahl scored just 13 seconds into the man advantage for the eventual 6-1 final score.
The Steelheads owned this contest from the first puck drop to the final horn outshooting the Rush 52-to-29 and went 2-for-5 on the man advantage.
Philippe Desrosiers is credited with the win stopping 28-of-29 shots on the night while Shane Owen takes the loss stopping 46-of-52 shots.
Both teams will face off against each other again on Friday for the second game in this series. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 pm MT at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Ice Arena.