BOISE, ID — The Rapid City Rush found themselves in another deep hole heading into the 3rd period but their late surge wasn’t enough as they fall to the Idaho Steelheads 5-2 on Wednesday night.
The Steelheads wasted no time in taking advantage of an early penalty to Rush newcomer Jack Walker who was called for slashing just 20 seconds into the contest. Idaho capitalized when Joe Faust ripped a shot from the blue line at 1:23 for his first goal of the season and gave the home team an early 1-0 advantage. Idaho doubled their lead at the 12:00 mark with an easy tap-in goal by Steven McParland. Less than 90 seconds later Idaho would tally their third goal of the frame Henrik Samuelsson deflected a shot by Rush netminder Adam Vay to extend Idaho’s lead to 3-0. The Steelheads would take that lead into the 2nd period, also holding a 14-to-6 advantage in shots on goal.
Rapid City did step up their tempo in the middle frame, registering 11 shots on goal, but the lone tally would again go to the home team. Will Merchant pocketed his sixth goal of the season at 15:57 when he ripped a one-timer from the blue line to beat Vay and give Idaho a very comfortable 4-0 strangle-hold on the game.
Rapid City did extend their goal-scoring streak to 23 games without a shutout thanks to a pair of goals in the final 20 minutes of regulation. Jimmy DeVito kept the streak alive at 11:09 of the period when he was credited with the goal as the puck squeaked by Steelheads netminder Philippe Desrosiers. Rapid City scored another quick goal, this time off an explosive shot from Pavel Jenys at 12:48 from the blue line to make it a 4-2 contest. Rapid City continued to put offensive pressure on Idaho but were unable to capitalize on their remaining attempts. Idaho would register a late goal at 19:29 when Corbin Baldwin flung the puck the length of the ice into the empty net after the Rush pulled Vay for the extra attacker.
Philippe Desrosiers is credited with the win for the Steelheads, stopping 33-of-35 shots on the night while Adam Vay takes the loss stopping 32-of-36 shots.
Idaho scored the lone powerplay goal of the night, going 1-of-5 with the man advantage, while the Rush couldn’t light the lamp on their three opportunities.
Rapid City has now dropped six straight games to Idaho and will look to break that streak when the Steelheads travel to Rapid City for a three-game series next week.
In the meantime, the Rush now travel for a two-game set in Utah. Puck drop for the Friday/Saturday series is scheduled for 7:05pm MT at the Maverik Center in West Valley City, Utah.