ANCHORAGE, AK — The Rapid City Rush dug in deep scoring twice in the final 90 seconds to force overtime, but a defensive miscue propelled the Alaska Aces to a 5-4 victory.
Alaska was able to light the lamp first in the rubber match when Ryan Trenz notched his first goal of the season at 2:35 of the 1st period, blasting a one-timer past Rush netminder Kent Patterson. Rapid City would tie the contest back up when Brandon Lowe snuck the three-inch piece of rubber between the five-hole of Aces netminder Michael Garteig at 5:23. The tie was short-lived, though, as Alaska’s Tim Wallace took a hard wrister into the back of the net a mere 0:17 later. Ryan Misiak would knot the game back up at 2-2 at 12:18 took a turnover in the Aces’ end and flipped the puck past Garteig. With 1:10 left in the opening period Stephen Perfetto put a cap on the offensive onslaught when he sent a slapshot by Patterson to give the home team a 3-2 lead after the first 20 minutes of action.
The Aces would double their lead in the middle frame when Ben Lake drove the puck by Patterson at 7:13.
As the minutes in the third period ticked down, the 2-goal deficit began to loom large for the Boys from the Black Hills. The tactic of pulling the goalie for the extra attacker doesn’t have the highest percentage of success when facing a mountain that large. But the Rush were seeking to keep their win-streak alive at all costs.
And it had the opportunity to pay off.
With Patterson pulled late in the game the Rush were able to pull within one goal off a goal from Ryan Walters with 1:19 remaining in the game. Nathan Moon then buried the game-typing score with a mere 14.4 seconds left off a cross-ice pass from Ryan Walters.
It looked as though Rapid City had the momentum to start a winning streak.
The Aces Stephen Perfetto and Peter Sivak put an end to that when Perfetto handled a turnover and dished the puck to Sivak who sent the puck by Patterson just 16 seconds into overtime, sealing the 5-4 victory for the Aces.
The win gives the Aces the victory in the weekend series. Garteig secures the win, stopping 21-of-25 shots, while Patterson takes the loss stopping 54-of-59 shots.
The Rush return home a mid-week contest against the Steelheads on Wednesday before hosting the Royals on Friday and Saturday.