RAPID CITY, SD — The Brampton Beast squeaked out a last-second win on Wednesday, but the Rapid City Rush squared the weekend series with a gritty 3-2 shootout win Friday night.
The Rush are improving their scoring opportunities as they lit the lamp first for the third straight contest. Gustav Bouramman tallied his first professional goal with just 2:17 gone by in the opening frame. Thirty seconds into their opening powerplay Bouramman rips the puck from the blue line by Beast netminder Andrew D’Agostini for the early lead. The Rush doubled their lead just over two minutes later on their second power-play of the night when Kenton Miller drove a rebound shot into the back of the net at 4:26 for his fifth goal of the season. Brampton wouldn’t let the Rush leave the period unscathed, however, as they drew blood at 14:19 when Matt Petgrave got the puck by Rush netminder Steve Michalek.
Both netminders and respective defenses are on point during the middle frame as the Beast outshoot the Rush 9-to-6, but the goal lamps remain dark heading into the final twenty minutes of regulation. The most significant takeaway from the middle frame was Rapid City’s PK unit shutting down four powerplay opportunities for the visiting Beast. But you could tell Brampton was hungry to get that equalizing goal.
The visitors would waste no time in the final period to put the pressure on Rapid City. With just 1:47 into the frame Corey Durocher would rifle a shot through traffic and through the 5-hole of Michalek to knot the game at 2-2.
The game continued through a 3-on-3 overtime period and into a 5-round shootout. Both teams couldn’t break free from the tie until the 8th round when Matt Caito sends the 2,313 Rush fans in attendance into a frenzy with a top shelf goal. Michalek would deny Luc-Olivier Blain in the bottom of the round to secure the 3-2 victory and the crucial second point in the standings for the Rush.
Steve Michalek secures the win stopping 28-of-30 shots in regulation and overtime while Andrew D’Agostini takes the loss stopping 18-of-20 shots on the night.
The rubber match of this exciting series will happen tonight. Puck drop at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center is scheduled for 7:05 pm MT.
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