TULSA, OK — For the second consecutive game the Rapid City Rush were able to own the final 20 minutes in a close game to secure the victory, this time topping the Tulsa Oilers Friday night.
The Oilers struck first with an early goal from Shawn Bates at 3:38. Tulsa was able to secure a turnover in neutral ice and the odd-man rush allowed Bates to take the feed and fire the puck by Rush netminder Adam Morrison for the early 1-0 lead.
Things got a little dicey at the 14:05 mark when a scrum broke out over what the Rush considered an illegal hit that the refs didn’t see. After the dust settled a total of 18 penalty minutes were handed out with 12 of those going to Rush head coach Mark DeSantis. Coach DeSantis would be ejected from the game with put assistant coach Danny Tetrault into the spotlight to lead his club. Thankfully he was able to help guide his team to kill off a 5-on-3 man advantage late and head into the 1st intermission only down by a single goal.
Rapid City came out swinging in the middle frame and finally found the back of the net at 6:34 when Austin McKay scored his third goal of the season. McKay was able to cash-in on a 5-on-3 man advantage and secure the loose puck in front of the crease and sneak it by Oilers netminder Colin Stevens to square the contest 1-1. Just over a minute later Logan Nelson was able to secure another loose puck and backhand the three inch piece of rubber by Stevens to put the Rush up 2-1 at 7:37.
Tulsa responded moments later to square the contest up again. The tying goal came at 9:14 when Garrett Ladd fired a shot over Morrison’s shoulder.
The Rush would retake the lead once again with 8:15 left in the frame. Hunter Fejes secured a rebound in front of the crease and blasted it by Stevens to put Rapid City back up 3-2.
Through 40 minutes of play the Oilers were outshooting the Rush 25-to-21 but solid efforts by both netminders were keeping the contest tight.
Just over five minutes into the final period Tulsa would once again square the contest up. Darcy Murphy was able to deflect a shot from Garrett Haar that made its way past Morrison at 5:02 to even the tilt at 3-3.
Tulsa looked to put the pressure on Rapid City after they went on their fourth powerplay of the night at 12:09 from a high-sticking minor to McKay. The outcome was the complete opposite. Ryan Walters was able to feed the puck to Ryan Misiak who took the breakaway opportunity and found an opening through Stevens’ five-hole and a shorthanded goal, putting the Rush back up 4-3 with 7:25 left in the game. Pulling their goalie late for the extra attacker was not enough for Tulsa to square the game again as Fejes added his second goal of the night, scoring an empty netter with 39 seconds left to seal the 5-3 road win.
Adam Morrison gets the win, stopping 35-of-38 shots on the night. Colin Stevens takes the loss for Tulsa, stopping 25-of-29 shots on the night.
With the win the Rush have now swept the Oilers in all three games this season, all of them in the BOK Center. An added caveat is that Morrison was also the netminder in all three of those contests.
Rapid City now travels to Allen to complete their road trip with a pair of games starting tonight. Puck drop for tonight’s contest is scheduled for 6:05pm MT.
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