ALLEN, TX – The offense kicked into high gear and the netminder kept the home team in check as the Rapid City Rush took down the defending Kelly Cup Champion, Allen Americans, 6-3 to sweep their three-game road trip and extend their winning streak to four games.
Another quick goal by the opposition kicked off the night as the the Americans got on the board just 42 seconds into the opening period. Derek Mathers knocked in a rebound shot past Rush netminder, Marek Langhamer, to try and set the tone early.
Rapid City responded just over five minutes later.
One their first penalty kill opportunity of the night, Ryan Walters was able to secure the loose puck on a turnover caused by Lindsay Sparks and took the breakaway as he jammed the puck home for the shorthanded goal at 5:47 of the 1st period. Rapid City would take the lead at 11:46 when Josh MacDonald got a breakaway of his own and fired a hard wrister that went top-shelf by Americans netminder, Jamie Murray.
Rapid City would double their lead at 4:24 of the middle frame with a goal from Sparks. The Americans fought back and cut into that lead with 11:29 left in the period. Aaron Gens sliced a wrist shot through traffic and the puck found its way behind Langhamer. The Rush would regain their two goal cushion with just under 43 seconds left in the period when Michael Young fired the puck top shelf to send Rapid City into the locker room with a 4-2 lead.
That would be the end of the night for Jamie Murray who would get benched for Riley Gill to start the 3rd period.
Rapid City would look to put the home team on ice in the final frame by scoring 7:43 into the period to put the visitors up 5-2. The Americans weren’t going to go quietly, though, as Jake Marchment tipped the puck over Langhamer’s shoulder at 11:56 and cut the Rush lead to 5-3.
The Americans looked to keep the pressure on by pulling Gill late for the extra attacker. The tactic wasn’t successful as Sparks took the wind out of the Americans’ sails by easily putting the puck in the empty net for the eventual final of 6-3.
Rapid City extended their penalty kill streak to 11 games and 28 penalty kill opportunities after killing off both penalties served tonight.
Langhamer gets credit for the win, his first back with the Rush, as he stopped 33-of-36 shots on the night. Jamie Murray takes the loss as he stopped 10-of-14 shots he faced on the evening.
The Rush will return home for a pre-Thanksgiving tilt against the Colorado Eagles on Wednesday, November 23rd. Make sure to come out the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Ice Arena to support your boys from the Black Hills.