LOVELAND, CO — Each teams’ respective netminder held court between the pipes Wednesday night as it took extra time for the Colorado Eagles to squeeze out a 2-1 victory over the Rapid City Rush.
Both teams skated to a scoreless draw over the first forty minutes of play. The first period saw a combined 16 shots on goal that were all negated. Rapid City did have a golden opportunity to get the night’s first tally in the middle frame when Tyler Deresky fired a shot on net that initially signaled the goal lamp but was eventually waved off after review. So the scoreless contest would continue into the final twenty minutes of regulation.
The visiting Rush would eventually notch the first tally of the night when Jack Walker took the feed from Dante Salituro and slipped the puck by Eagles netminder Joe Cannata with a nifty backhand at 6:17 giving Rapid City a 1-0 edge. Colorado would counter on the tail-end of a short 5-on-3 advantage, scoring just as the first power play expired, when Michael Joly fired a point-blank shot that went off Rush netminder Christian Frey and into the net at 12:22 of the frame.
That score would stand forcing the game into overtime.
It looked as though the game was heading for a shootout as time was winding down but with 65 seconds remaining Brady Shaw cashed in while Frey was screened to give the defending Kelly Cup Champs the narrow 2-1 victory.
Colorado had the narrow edge in shots-on-goal 38-to-33 and went 1-for-5 with the man advantage while the Rush were held in check on their lone powerplay attempt.
Joe Cannata is credited with the win stopping 32-of-33 shots on the night while Christian Frey takes the loss in overtime stopping 36-of-38 shots faced.
Both teams square off again Friday night at the Budweiser Events Center for Game 2 of this three-game weekend series. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 pm MT.