RAPID CITY, SD — An evening that was filled with incredible emotion before the initial puck-drop fell short as the visiting Colorado Eagles topped the boys from the Black Hills 5-3.
Scuffles during warm-ups only carried over in part to the rest of the game but a pre-game tribute to Blaine Jarvis and the 2016 “Pink at the Rink” definitely fueled a well of emotion from those in attendance. So much so that no one even flinched when the emergency alert system went off right before the drop of the puck, not a single fan got up to leave.
That intensity paid off as Rapid City was the recipient of a fortunate bounce when Jimmy Bonneau’s dump pass took a lucky bounce and found it’s way past Eagles’ goalie Eric Levine for the early 1-0 lead.
Colorado would fight back, though, on a wrister from Kyle Ostrow who fired the puck top shelf with 10:59 left in the opening period. The Eagles would take a 2-1 lead later in the period when Adrian Veideman banked the puck off the near post and behind Danny Battochio’s shoulder.
Both teams would trade-off goals in the middle frame to keep things interesting. Rapid City tied the game at 2-2 with the lone powerplay goal of the night after Ryan Misiak’s rebound shot powered past Levine for Misiak’s first goal in a Rush jersey.
It looked as though both teams would skate into the 3rd period deadlocked at 2-2 but the Eagles found the back of the net with just 1:08 left off a point blank shot from Jesse Mychan.
The Eagles doubled their lead with 13:27 left in the game when Veideman notched his second goal of the evening off a screened shot that had eyes, going by Battochio.
The Rush had a chance to level the game in the dying minutes, thanks to a goal from Lindsay Sparks that brought the home team within a score. But having the extra attacker on the ice over the last couple minutes didn’t provide any extra spark or opportunity. Darryl Bootland would silence any further rally when the Eagles finally had a clean shot on the empty net for the eventual 5-3 final.
Both teams square off again tomorrow night in Loveland, CO with the puck drop slated for 7:05pm MT. With the win, the Eagles (24-20-2-0 — 50 pts) remained in the 8th and final playoff position in the Western Conference, while the Rush (18-24-2-2 — 40 pts) are mired in 13th place and 10 points out of a playoff position.
We’d like to pass on our continued prayers and support for the Jarvis family.