RAPID CITY, SD — The Rapid City Rush bounced back from a close loss that closed out 2015 to split the weekend series with the Tulsa Oilers in a 4-3 victory to open 2016 Saturday night.
Tulsa wasted no time in lighting the lamp when Adam Pleskach found the back of the net just 19 seconds after the puck drop.
Less than a minute later, Rapid City would knot the game 1-1 when Garrett Clarke scored at 1:18 of the opening frame. Winston Day Chief would give the Rush a 2-1 lead at 9:55 with a powerplay goal.
The Rush would hold that lead through most of the middle frame until Phil Brewer tied the contest 2-2 at 16:29.
Rapid City regained the lead at 7:42 of the 3rd period on a powerplay goal from Kale Kerbashian. It wouldn’t be long before they doubled the lead when Taylor Doherty scored at 8:10 giving the Rush a 4-2 advantage.
Tulsa pull within a single goal when Adam Pleskach scored his second of the night, a powerplay goal, at 10:17.
Then, chaos ensued. From the last 30 seconds of the game to past the final horn, both teams’ hostility reached a boiling point and fights broke out all over the ice.
The first fight happened with 27 seconds left, between James Melindy and Emerson Clark. Rush forward Garrett Clarke jumped in to help his teammate Melindy, and was assessed a game misconduct for being the third man into the altercation.
The second, much larger altercation, happened with no time left on the game clock. It started with Pleskach and Doherty exchanging punches, then Mathieu Gagnon and Scott Brannon squared off. As the group was being broke up, Gagnon shoved Day Chief, which brought in the goaltenders from each side. Christophe Lalancette and Danny Battochio peeled off and fought in a corner, while Jonathan Narbonne fought with Kevin Carr. Eventually, Carr and Battochio would exchange shoves, but the linesmen were able to keep them separated without further incident.
Finally, as the Oilers were leaving the ice, it would appear that Brady Ramsay jabs his stick toward the crowd amassed near the Oilers exit. It does not appear the stick hit anybody, but it riled up the crowd. No penalties were handed out for that incident, but it was the source of further consternation between the clubs on Twitter:
@tulsa_oilers well when your players try to hit our fans with their sticks, that’ll do it
— Rapid City Rush (@RapidCityRush) January 3, 2016
Here is full video of the brawl, courtesy of Brandon Boit:
So here is the Brawl that broke out after the game between the Tulsa Oilers!
Posted by Brandon Boit on Saturday, January 2, 2016
When all was said and done, 142 of the game’s 226 PIM assessed between both clubs were handed out, 82 of which belonged to the Oilers with the remaining 60 handed to the Rush.
Rapid City would hold on to secure the 4-3 win to ring in the New Year on a high note. Battochio nets the win, stopping 25-of-28 shots while Carr suffers the loss, stopping 26-of-30 shots.
The Rush win gives them the win in the season series over the Oilers, by a margin of 2 games to 1.
Rapid City will hit the road for mid-week contest against the Utah Grizzlies on Wednesday, before returning home for a 2-game weekend set against the Missouri Mavericks.
The puck drop for all three games is 7:05pm MT and can be heard streaming over the Rush mobile app.