KALAMAZOO, MI — The Rapid City Rush fall in a gritty 2-1 contest to the Kalamazoo Wings in their first ever meeting on Thursday night.
The home team Wings lit the lamp for the sole tally in the opening period. At the 9:48 mark Danny Moynihan secured the loose puck during a scramble in front of the Rush net, batting the three-inch piece of rubber by Rush netminder Adam Vay for the 1-0 advantage. In the closing moments of the frame, Vay went down to trap the puck to draw a whistle but got hacked on his wrist. While defending himself, he was called for a double-minor that would bleed into the 2nd period. Kalamazoo held a 14-to-9 edge in shots-on-goal along with the 1-0 lead on the scoreboard after the first 20 minutes of play.
It didn’t take Kalamazoo long to double their efforts and take full advantage of the ill-timed penalty to Vay from the 1st period. At 2:23 of the second, Eric Kattelus was able to rifle a shot over Vay’s shoulder to put the home team up 2-0. Rapid City responded to end their scoreless streak at the 5:00 mark. Daniel Leavens ripped a shot from the high slot sending the puck by Wings netminder Joel Martin making it a 2-1 contest. Both teams put up 11-shots-on-goal in the middle frame with the Wings getting the lone powerplay goal.
Kalamazoo kept the pressure up in the final period, outshooting the Rush 12-to-6, to hold any rally from Rapid City at bay. Even with the 6-to-5 advantage after pulling Vay with 1:26 remaining the Rush were unable to score the equalizer and force extra time.
The Wings held a 37-to-26 edge in shots-on-goal for the night and went 1-for-3 on the man advantage while the Rush were held scoreless on their four opportunities.
Joel Martin is credited with the win stopping 25-of-26 shots on the night while Adam Vay takes the loss stopping 35-of-37 shots he faced.
Rapid City Rush: Wrap-up their “Stock Show Road Trip” with a Friday night tilt against the Ft Wayne Komets. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:00 pm MST at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.
Kalamazoo Wings: Travel to Quad City to take on the Mallards with puck drop scheduled for 8:05 pm EST Friday night.