WEST VALLEY CITY, UT – The Rapid City Rush rallied from a 3-1 deficit that went back-and-forth in the 3rd period before the Utah Grizzlies settled the tilt in overtime for the 6-5 victory on Friday night.
Rapid City would light the lamp first 5:32 into the game. Brett Perlini knocked in the rebound off Zach Tolkinen‘s shot, sending the puck by Utah netminder, Ryan Faragher.
Less than four minutes later, the home team would tie the game when Jon Puskar took a 2-on-1 and fired a wrister by Rush netminder, Austin Lotz, at 9:29 of the opening frame. Utah would continue the offensive onslaught with their second goal coming just over two minutes later at 11:52 when Erik Bradford stormed the Rush net and squeaked the puck by Lotz. Johnny McInnis would double Utah’s lead and cap-off the 1st period scoring at 17:13 when he deflected a shot by Mike Banwell.
The Rush were definitely down after the first 20 minutes but they were far from out.
Josh MacDonald scored his tenth of the season and cut the Grizzlies lead in half at 8:56 of the middle frame when he deflected a Brenden Walker pass for the power play goal. Ryan Walters tied the game up with his sixth goal of the season when he deflected the feed from MacDonald by Faragher at 10:55. Utah pulled ahead late in the frame, however, when they scored a power play goal of their own off a shot by Mathieu Aubin at 17:48. But the Rush again tied the contest moments later when Michael Young took the puck off of a feed from Ryan Misiak on a 2-on-1 advantage and crashed the net at 18:25. Faragher left the game at the end of the period and would not return due to injury with Ryan McKay coming in to close out the contest.
The teams would trade off goals again in the final period with Utah regaining the lead at 11:07 off a goal from Banwell only to see Rapid City tie the game up again late with 2:29 remaining in regulation.
The home team would come away with the second point when Banwell pocketed his second goal of the night at 3:34 in OT as he poked in a rebound off a shot from Ralph Cuddemi.
Ryan McKay is credited with the win, stopping 3-of-4 shots faced (Faragher stopped 18-of-22 shots he faced before leaving the game) and Austin Lotz takes the loss stopping 25-of-31 shots faced on the night.
Both teams will square off again Saturday night with the puck scheduled to drop at 7:00pm MT at the Maverik Center.