Rush Best Steelheads, 3-1, in Series Finale
(RAPID CITY, S.D.) - Dillon Kelley made 31 saves on 32 shots, Kenton Helgesen, Alec Butcher and Stephen Baylis each scored and the Rapid City Rush beat the Idaho Steelheads, 3-1, Sunday afternoon at The Monument Ice Arena.
The Rush started the scoring late in the first period when Logan Nelson carried the puck through center and gained the attacking zone. He drew the defense to him and flipped a pass to Butcher on his right wing. Butcher loaded up a snap shot that darted past Jake Kupsky top shelf and the Rush grabbed a 1-0 lead.
Idaho answered in the opening minutes of the second after the Rush turned the puck over in the attacking zone. Zach Walker hit Matt Tugnutt with a stretch pass and he gained the zone with a two-on-one break. Tugnutt snapped a shot on net that beat Kelley high on the glove side and the game was tied at one.
But the Rush took the lead back five minutes later when Brett Van Os dug the puck from below the goal line and fed it to the top of the offensive zone. Helgesen stepped into a slap shot that got through Kupsky on the blocker side and Rapid City went ahead, 2-1.
That lead held throughout the third as the Steelheads were unable to get anything else past Kelley. Rapid City's goaltender stopped all 11 shots Idaho put on net in the final frame, allowing the Rush to hold on to the one-goal advantage until the final seconds, when Baylis grabbed a loose puck at center ice and skated in with an empty net waiting on the other end. He slid the puck into the net for the punctuation mark on Rapid City's 3-1 win.
Baylis had a goal and an assist, Kelley made 31 saves and Butcher and Helgesen each scored in the win for the Rush. Rapid City's record improved to 19-15-3-2 while Idaho dropped to 20-16-0-1.
The Rush will now hit the road for three games in the upcoming week, starting on Wednesday in Allen against the Americans. Puck drop at the Credit Union of Texas Events Center is scheduled for 7:05 PM CST.
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Rapid City Rush celebrate a goal against the Idaho Steelheads
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