RAPID CITY, SD — A day after suffering a tough defeat on the heels of an impressive road trip the Rapid City Rush rebounded with an impressive victory, topping the visiting South Carolina Stingrays 5-2 for Coach Mark DeSantis‘ 100th victory as a head coach.
Both teams skated to a scoreless opening frame with the Rush outshooting the opposition 9-to-4 but their respective netminders held true.
Rapid City would break that drought with a pair of goals to start off the 2nd period. The first came from Anthony Collins, his eighth of the season, who secured a turnover deep in the Stingrays zone and a fired a shot by their netminder Steven Summerhays at 6:10 for the 1-0 lead. The Rush doubled their lead just over three minutes later with their first-of-two powerplay goals on the night. Logan Nelson took a feed from Ryan Walters and finished the play with a quick backhand at 9:14 for a 2-0 advantage. South Carolina would respond quickly at 9:56 when Joey Leach fired a rebound shot by Rush netminder Adam Morrison to make it a 2-1 contest. Rapid City would pocket one more goal before intermission, their second on the powerplay, when Hunter Fejes fired a sharp angle shot by Summerhays who initially made the save but let the puck drop beyond the goal line at 19:20. The head referee conferred with the goal judge and it was ruled a valid goal giving the Rush a 3-1 advantage heading into the final 20 minutes of competition.
Over half of the final frame went scoreless until South Carolina cut into the Rapid City lead again. The Rush were not able to clear the puck after a flurry of saves by Morrison and Patrick Gaul capitalized by sending the rebound into the back of the net at 13:02 to make it a 3-2 contest. Rapid City would not let the visitors get any closer, though, getting goals from Austin McKay at 13:36 and Nicholas Miglio at 15:33 to push the Rush to a 5-2 advantage. Morrison and the rest of the Rush were able to hold off any attempts from the visitors to rally and hang on for the win.
Adam Morrison gets the win stopping 23-of-25 shots faced while Steven Summerhays takes the loss stopping 18-of-23 shots on the afternoon.
The game started off with a wonderful rendition of the National Anthem sung by the Douglas High School Choir along with prayers from the Lakota Nation, Jewish, and Christian faiths, respectively, on the first ever Faith Night.
Both teams will square off in a rubber match on Monday night, the rescheduled game from Friday night’s originally scheduled tilt. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:35 pm MT.