RAPID CITY, SD – “Rivalry Week” just isn’t for college football as two Mountain Division rivals squared off in the Black Hills on Wednesday night in the first of a three-game series. The Colorado Eagles rallied from a two-goal deficit to take a 3-2 win in overtime against the Rapid City Rush at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
Rapid City got the scoring started late in the opening period. Brett Perlini scored his fifth of the season as he took a pass from Michael Young and sniped a hard bullet past Eagles netminder, Nathan Lieuwen top shelf at the 14:41 mark of the opening frame. Garrett Haar was also credited with an assist on the play which now gives him a three-game assist/point streak.
The Rush would double their lead late in the 2nd period on a goal from Hunter Fejes. Fejes gets the turnover and accelerates by the Eagles defense to drive the puck home at 14:21 for his fifth goal of the season.
Things were looking good for the home team as they took a 2-0 lead into the final 20 minutes of play.
Apparently something was said in the visitor’s locker room that fired the Eagles up. They came out with a slight chip on their shoulder and stepped up their tempo which paid off at 3:15 when Darryl Bootland scored a shorthanded goal on Colorado’s slashing penalty to Matt Garbowsky. Bootland took the feed from Ryan Harrison on a 2-on-1 and went top shelf beating Rush netminder, Adam Morrison.
It was Bootland again who found the back of the net at 8:04 of the frame when Teigan Zahn took a shot from the blue line and Bootland deflected it through the five-hole of Morrison. The goals were the fifth and sixth goals on the season for Bootland.
With just under 12 minutes left in the game, there was plenty of time left for either team to get the go ahead goal in regulation. Rapid City’s penalty kill unit continued its dominance as it kept the opposition from scoring during the man advantage and when the final buzzer sounded, the game would head into overtime knotted at 2-2.
Overtime didn’t last long as Jesse Mychan got the puck deep in the Rush zone and fired a shot that went off Morrison’s leg pad and Casey Pierro-Zabotel drove home the rebound top corner for the 3-2 game winner.
While the win streak for the Rush comes to an end, they are still on a five-game point streak and can use this performance to fuel a rebound in the road portion of this series.
Lieuwen gets the win stopping 32-of-34 shots faced while Morrison suffers his first loss as he stopped 42-of-45 shots faced.
Both teams will take tomorrow off for Thanksgiving before suiting up for game two of this three-game series on Friday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05pm at the Budweieser Events Center in Loveland, Colorado.
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