RAPID CITY, SD — On Marvel/Scout Night the Rapid City Rush held tough in a low-scoring, defensive game to top the Utah Grizzlies 2-1 and sweep the weekend series.
For the second straight game, the visiting Grizzlies lit the goal lamp first. Austin Ortega scored his 11th goal of the season when he deflected a shot by Rush netminder Christian Frey just 4:37 into the opening period. Rapid City would battle back to square the game up at 12:25 when Kenton Miller scored on the man advantage with a backhander in front of the crease to get the puck by Grizzlies netminder Joel Rumpel. This was Miller’s 18th goal on the season. Utah would outshoot Rapid City 11-to-8 in the opening frame but went 0-for-1 on the man advantage while Rapid City scored on their lone powerplay opportunity.
The middle frame was scoreless with the visiting Grizzlies continuing to outshoot the Rush, this time 14-to-9 in the middle frame and 25-to-17 over the first 40 minutes of regulation.
Rapid City would break the tie just five minutes into the final period. On their second powerplay opportunity for the night, Rapid City would strike it rich, this time with Gustav Bouramman netting his 5th goal of the season. With a simply wrister Bouramman flung the puck over the shoulder of Rumpel to put the Rush ahead 2-1. Utah played themselves out of the opportunity to tie the game late when Travis Howe was called for a match penalty for an illegal check to the head with just under five minutes left in regulation. This would put the visiting Grizzlies at a disadvantage for the remainder of the game. Rapid City was unable to capitalize but also kept Utah from regaining and momentum with a late goal to tie the game.
The Grizzlies ended up outshooting the Rush 32-to-26 and went 0-for-3 on the power play while the Rush scored on their first two chances and finished 2-for-4 on the power play.
Christian Frey is credited with the win stopping 31-of-32 shots on the night while Joel Rumpel takes the loss stopping 24-of-26 shots in regulation.
This game marked the final head-to-head match-up of the season between these two teams. The Rush earned the clean sweep in this three-game series and went 8-3 on the season, winning eight-of-the-last-nine meetings.
Rapid City Rush: Have a very important road trip next weekend as they travel to Mountain Division foe Wichita for a three-game set against the Thunder. Puck drop for the first game is Friday, February 16th, at 7:05 pm CT at the Intrust Bank Arena.
Utah Grizzlies: Travel for a 2-game series at the Allen Americans next Friday/Saturday. Puck drop for Friday night’s game will be at 7:00 pm CT.