Mashinter's "Gordie Howe Hat Trick" Powers Rush to Shootout Win
(RAPID CITY, SD) - Tyler Poulsen scored his first two goals of the year and the shootout winner, Andrew Radjenovic had a three-point night (1g-2ast), and Chris Leibinger struck for a pair of assists against his former team, but Brandon Mashinter's "Gordie Howe Hat Trick" capped with the game-tying goal with 1:29 left in the game helped propel the Rapid City Rush to a 6-5 shootout win on Wednesday night against the Utah Grizzlies. The game was the start of a three-game series this week between the division rivals.
Utah took a two-goal lead after 20 minutes of play, but the Rush broke the shutout streak of Grizzlies goalie Joe Cannata before the period expired. Not even 31 seconds into the action, Kevin Davis rifled a shot from the blue line while containing possession in the Rush zone, and his shot was deflected by Josh Dickinson in close range over Rush net-minder Adam Carlson to give the Grizzlies an early 1-0 lead (Davis had the lone assist). Tyler Poulsen, however, tied the game up at the midway point of the period, and ended the shutout streak of Cannata at 202:23 dating back to November 16th at Indy. With 9:05 gone by, Andrew Radjenovic took a pass from Brandon Mashinter towards the slot, but it rolled off of his blade and off of a Grizzlies defender. The puck bounced right to Poulsen, who fired it by Cannata to square the game at 1-1 (Radjenovic and Mashinter assisted). Ryan Walters stirred up some controversy in giving the Grizzlies the lead with 5:14 left in the first period. Walters batted at the pick in close range of the Rush net, and despite the goal lamp not going off, a goal was awarded to give Utah back the lead at 2-1 (Caleb Herbert assisted). Matt Berry added another tally with 3:42 left in the frame when he took a loose puck off of an offensive zone faceoff, carried it to the slot, and rifled it by Carlson to make it a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes (Jake Marchment had the only assist).
The Rush started the second period off with their second power play of the game, and Josh Elmes added his team-leading fourth power play goal to bring his squad within striking distance. Just 1:25 into the second, Cedric Montminy screened Cannata, and Elmes shot whizzed by him to make it a 3-2 deficit (Shaquille Merasty and Pierre-Luc Mercier assisted). Matt Berry, however, re-established the multi-goal lead with his second of the game, taking a lucky bounce on his tape from the other side of the slot and firing it by Carlson's blocker to make it a 4-2 score with 7:20 gone by in the second (Cole Ully and Caleb Herbert assisted). The Rush came within one again two power plays later when Brandon Mashinter found Andrew Radjenovic wide open down "Main Street" in the slot, and Radjenovic finished with a laser past Cannata to bring the gap to 4-3 with 3:07 left in the second (Mashinter and Chris Leibinger assisted). Despite the bite-back from the Rush, Utah once again edged their lead to two when Cole Ully flew over all three lines, and zipped a shot over Carlson's shoulder to make it 5-3 with 15.7 seconds left in the period (Berry assisted).
Down a pair of goals three times in the contest, the Rush battled back in their typical fashion to eventually force free hockey. With 12:42 left in the game, Tyler Poulsen pocketed his second goal of the night after Andrew Radjenovic was denied by a post. Poulsen buried a centering pass to make it 5-4 (Radjenovic and Leibinger assisted). Adam Carlson was pulled for the extra-attacker with less than two minutes to go, and Brandon Mashinter provided the unique heroics to tie the game. With 1:29 remaining, a loose puck off of a Riley Weselowski rebound bounced to Mashinter who, while falling, got enough of the puck to slide it by Cannata, completing his "Gordie Howe Hat Trick" and tying the game at 5-5 (Weselowski and Merasty assisted).
Both teams were held scoreless in overtime, and to the shootout the rivals went. In the bottom of the third round, with no goals prior from Utah's Cole Ully (fanned on attempt), Matt Berry (missed), and Caleb Herbert (kick save from Carlson), and Rapid City's Pierre-Luc Mercier (gloved by Cannata) and Brandon Mashinter (blockered by Cannata), the game was on the stick of Tyler Poulsen. Poulsen buried a shot by Cannata's blocker to get the Rush the second point, and win, 6-5 after 65+ minutes of play.
Adam Carlson stopped 21 of 26 shots, and all three shooters in the shootout for his sixth win of the season (6-3-2-0).
The Rush and Grizzlies will rematch for game two of their three game series on Friday, November 30th, with puck drop slated for 7:05 p.m. MST at Premier Home Mortgage Ice in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
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