TULSA, OK – The Rapid City Rush continue their current surge as they topple the league leading Tulsa Oilers 3-2 and sweep the series.
This game was filled with numerous scoring opportunities and superb play by both netminders. But the difference may well have been the special teams play from the visiting Rush who continued their penalty kill streak to 26 straight over the last 10 games and found the back of the net on 2-of-6 power play opportunities.
The home team started the scoring early from their newest member, Darik Angeli, who just arrived hours before puck drop. Angeli scored just 28 seconds into the tilt getting a rebound off Phil Brewer‘s wraparound attempt that was initially stoned by Rush netminder, Adam Morrison.
Late in the opening period, Tulsa’s Tyson Wilson was called for a two minute tripping infraction giving the Rush their first man advantage of the night. Rapid City responded 60 seconds later when Josh MacDonald took a rebound off a shot by Lindsay Sparks by Oilers netminder, Colin Stevens, at 18:07 for the power play goal.
Rapid City would take the lead early in the middle frame when Triston Grant took a sharp angle shot, potentially banking the puck off Stevens for Grant’s first goal of the season.
Rapid City would hold onto their lead until the opening minutes of the 3rd period when Jacob Poe fired a shot from the blue line that appeared to get deflected by Morrison into the back of the net at 1:44 of the final frame.
The tie was short-lived, however.
Tulsa’s Garrett Ladd was called for slashing at 2:20 and just six seconds later, Zach Tolkinen took a shot from the blue line for the team’s second power play goal of the night and the first goal for Tolkinen on the season.
That goal would prove to be the game winner after the Rush staved off a late 6-on-4 advantage when Grant was called for boarding at 18:26 and the Oilers had pulled Stevens for the extra attacker.
Morrison gets the win for the Rush, stopping 36-of-38 attempts from the Oilers. Stevens takes the loss for the Oilers as he stopped 24-of-27 attempts on the night.
After the rocky start this team had to begin the season, many felt that a road trip to Tulsa and Allen would spell certain disaster. But this team has found a way to gel and compete for the full 60 minutes of play and in doing so, has not only given the top team in the league their first home loss, but swept them in the process.
Now they travel to play the defending Kelly Cup Champion, Allen Americans, for a single game tilt on Saturday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:05pm MT.