RAPID CITY, S.D. — The Rush and Steelheads concluded their six-game stretch this past weekend, but it wasn’t the home team coming away with a series victory.
The series shifted back to the Black Hills with the Steelheads picking up five points in the first three games (2-0-0-1) while the Rush picked up three (1-1-1-0).
Idaho came out firing on all cylinders and took the fight to the Rush early and often, starting with the first game in the Black Hills on Wednesday night.
Brad McClure pocketed a pair of goals for Idaho and Tomas Sholl picked up the shutout win, stopping all 23 shots he faced leading to a 3-0 win for Idaho and giving them a 3-0-0-1 edge in the series.
Rapid City responded with a resurgent victory Friday night, led by Andrew Radjenovic‘s three-point night (2 goals, 1 assist) and Adam Carlson stopping all but one of the 33 shots he faced between the pipes for the 4-1 victory. With the win, the series in Rapid City was split 1-1 but Idaho still held a 3-1-0-1 advantage with one game remaining.
Saturday night’s series finale ended up being decided by an impressive special teams effort from the visiting Steelheads. Idaho’s powerplay unit was perfect on the night, going 4-for-4 and Sholl was once again perfect between the pipes stopping all 41 shots he faced as the Steelheads blasted the Rush 6-0.
With the win, the Steelheads take the series 4-1-0-1 (9 pts) while the Rush went 2-3-1-0 (7 pts) for that stretch.
Getting Chippy With It
While Saturday’s series finale saw far fewer penalties compared to Friday night’s contest (11 total infractions for 36 minutes on Saturday night versus 22 total infractions for 92 minutes Friday night,) Idaho took full advantage of the miscues from Rapid City with five different Steelheads players finding the back of the net.
Friday night’s contest was riddled with penalty minutes, mainly in part to these two teams facing off against each other for such a long stretch. Rush head coach Daniel Tetrault had this to say about the number of fights in the contest.
“When you play a team five times in a row, and now six tonight, it gets a little chippy. Guys get tired of seeing each other and you create a rivalry and that’s what happens when you play so many games in a row.”
With the conclusion of this six-game series, the Rush are now 4-5-1-0 in their last 10 games and have dropped to 5th place in the always competitive Mountain Division with Utah, Tulsa, and Kansas City all on current hot streaks over their last 10-games. Likewise, they are sitting in 15th place overall in the league with a record of 8-8-2-1 (19 pts) on the season.
Rapid City: The Rush continues their home stand as they welcome the division-leading Utah Grizzlies for a three-game series. Puck drop for the first game is Wednesday night at 7:05 pm at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
Idaho: The Steelheads return home for a two-game stand with the Jacksonville Icemen. Puck drop for the first game is Friday night at 7:10 pm at CenturyLink Arena.