RAPID CITY, SD — After escaping with a narrow win in overtime Friday night the Rapid City Rush came out firing on all cylinders and earned a full-team victory, beating the Utah Grizzlies 8-3 Saturday night for their annual “Rush Fights Cancer” game.
Despite being outshot 16-to-8 in the opening period the Rush were able to take a commanding 3-0 advantage heading into the 1st intermission. The Rush got on the board at the 7:18 mark when Dante Salituro deflected the puck by Grizzlies netminder Sean Maguire and the 4,615 in attendance erupted in celebration sending scarfs onto the ice which would be donated to local cancer patients. Rapid City doubled their lead with 6:07 remaining in the period when Peter Sivak continued his hat trick performance from the Friday night, his 10th goal in his last seven games, and banked the shot off the bar for the 2-0 advantage. Kenton Miller finished off the scoring with 2:06 remaining taking a quick wrister into the back of the net. Utah made a goalie change for the remaining of the period, bringing in Angus Redmond who would also start the 2nd period.
Rapid City was able to solve Redmond just as easy, putting up a trio of goals on the replacement netminder in the middle frame as well, all while being outshot 17-12 by Utah. The first goal came at 6:56 by Tyler Deresky who rifled the puck by Redmond for the 4-0 advantage. Deresky looked to add to his goal total, putting the puck on net with Redmond making the initial stop. Jack Walker came back in with the rebound attempt and poked the puck home at 8:40 to give Rapid City a 5-0 lead. Alex Kromm finished off the scoring for the Rush at 14:18 when he deflected a shot from Eric Shand as the Rush took a commanding 6-0 lead. It looked as though the Rush would take the shutout into the final period of regulation until Jon Puskar got a close shot in from the crease by Rush netminder Adam Vay with under one second left in the period.
Utah went with Maguire for the final 20 minutes of regulation and it wasn’t long before the Rush tallied another goal against him. Salituro pocked his first of two goals in the period just 0:33 into the frame firing a laser by Utah’s netminder to put the Rush back up 7-1. The goal also earned everyone in attendance a free 6″ Subway sub since it was scored within the “Minute of Maddness”. James Melindy was able to answer for Utah 30 seconds later backhanding a shot at close range by Vay to make it a 7-2 contest at the 1:03 mark.. Salituro capped off the special night with his hat trick goal at 8:30, even as the Rush were short-handed, firing a wrister top-shelf to give the Rush a 8-2 lead. Utah added a late goal with 2:50 remaining when Austin Ortega fired a shot from the far wall that made its way past Vay for the 8-3 final.
Adam Vay is credited with the win, stopping 53-of-56 shots on the night, and 99-of-105 shots over the two contests. Sean Maguire and Angus Redmond, who takes the loss, stopped a combined 20-of-28 shots on the night. Both teams went 0-for-4 on the powerplay on the night.
Utah and Rapid City look to wrap up this 3-games-in-3-nights series Sunday afternoon at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. Puck drop is scheduled for 3:05pm MT.