RAPID CITY, SD — A tight contest between the Allen Americans and Rapid City Rush broke open with a flurry of goals by the visitors, along with a heated brawl, that led to a 9-3 Americans rout on Friday night.
Continuing the trend from Wednesday’s contest the Americans lit the goal lamp first. With the opening period winding down Allen was able to break the scoreless affair at 17:28 on the man-advantage when Gregor Hanson took the feed from Chad Costello and buried a backdoor shot by Rush netminder Austin Lotz for the 1-0 lead.
Rapid City was able to square the game early in the middle frame when Triston Grant buried a rebound attempt by Americans netminder Riley Gill at 2:47 for his fourth goal of the season. Allen regained the lead at 13:29 when Hanson fired a slapshot beating Lotz for the 2-1 advantage.
After 40 minutes of play the Americans held a one goal lead but the Rush had a slight advantage in shots on goal, outshooting the visitors 22-to-20.
Then the 3rd period came around and the game quickly got out of hand with Allen lighting the lamp seven times, including six straight, and a fracus, involving both goaltenders, breaking out.
Gregor Hanson notched a hat-trick at 2:32 of the final period on a powerplay from Mark Cooper‘s high sticking penalty . Bryan Moore got in on the scoring barrage at 3:18 with an unassisted goal. Jon Martin followed suit shortly after with a goal at 3:35. Just over a minute later Dyson Stevenson lit the lamp at 4:38 and you could tell this one finally got under the skin of Lotz who broke his stick in frustration.
Frustrations were felt across the team, though, seeing how quickly this game got out of hand in what was otherwise a tight contest. What came next was most likely those frustrations reaching their boiling point.
Alex Mikulovich from Rapid City dished out a clean hit on Allen’s Bryan Moore and Moore retaliated. Multiple players from each team joined in on the fray and the refs had an obvious issue with maintaining control. When the dust settled a total of 49 penalty minutes were handed out and four players were ejected from the game: Dyson Stevenson and Bryan Moore from Allen and Triston Grant and Alex Mikulovich from Rapid City. Grant was given a match penalty for slashing after wildly swinging his stick at a pair of Allen players and instigating the fracas. With the match penalty, he will miss tonight’s tilt.
The brawl allowed Allen to go on a 5-on-3 advantage and their special teams unit took full advantage getting powerplay goals from Costello at 7:01 and Derek Mathers at 9:01, respectively, that pushed Allen’s lead to a commanding 8-1 advantage.
Rapid City refused to fold and continued to fight until the final horn.
Austin McKay was able to make a dent on the seven goal deficit at 13:37 on Rapid City’s fourth powerplay of the night. McKay blasted a shot at Gil that was initially stopped but he was able to secure his own rebound attempt to make it an 8-2 contest. A mere twenty seconds later Ryan Walters scored his 22nd goal of the season when he took the feed from Terrence Wallin and zipped the puck by Gill closing the score to 8-3.
The Rush wouldn’t get any closer than that, however, and Allen tacked a final score on the stat sheet with Hanson getting his fourth goal of the night on a short-handed opportunity with 2:44 remaining in the game for the 9-3 final.
Riley Gill gets the win stopping 27-of-30 shots faced while Austin Lotz takes the loss stopping 21-of-30 shots faced.
Both teams will square off again tonight for the final game in the weekend series. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05pm MT at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Ice Arena.