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Rush Celebrate The New Year, Complete Perfect Road Trip

December 31, 2009 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Rapid City Rush News Release

(Amarillo, TX) - On New Year's Eve, the Rapid City Rush and Amarillo Gorillas were in a back and forth battle in a game that went into extra time, with the Rush winning 6-5 in a shootout. For the second straight game, Jon Pelle scored two goals and posted three points while former Gorilla, Scott Wray led all players with a four-point effort and netted the game winner. The Rush picked up their 20th win of the season and 14th victory in the last 16 games.

Just three minutes into the game, Jon Pelle took advantage of a defensive zone miscue by the Gorillas to open the scoring. Gorilla's goaltender Mike Brown looked to play the puck out of his own end, but Pelle intercepted the puck and scored from a tough angle on an open net for his 10th of the season. In just 29 games, Pelle became the 5th Rush player to reach double digits in goals tying the total from all of last season. Then at the 8:16 mark, Amarillo would battle back and even the score, 1-1. Stuart McRae won a faceoff back to the point where James Jernberg fired a slapshot that redirected multiple times and trickled through the five-hole of Battochio. Amarillo outshot Rapid City 15-11 in the first period.

Despite facing the #1 penalty kill in the CHL, the Gorillas picked up a powerplay goal on just their second chance of the game. After a turnover in the neutral zone, Jake Morissette received a pass at the top of the left faceoff circle and his shot found the back of the net to give the Amarillo its first lead of the game. About five minutes later, the Rush would answer back with a powerplay goal of their own. After a scramble at the goal mouth, Scott Wray eventually poked the puck home to tie the game, 2-2. Pelle would put the Rush on top for the second time, this time while on the powerplay with some strong puck movement. Rich Hansen found Scott Wray in the right corner who fired a backdoor pass to Pelle who slammed it home for a 3-2 lead. Not to be outdone, the Gorillas tied the game for the fourth time. Stuart MacRae came streaking in and sent a backhander that bounced off of Battochio and into the net to make it 3-3 after two.

The Rush had a carry-over penalty to start the third, and the Gorillas were sure to take full advantage as David Nimmo scored his first of two to make it 4-3. It took until the midway point, but the Rush would tie it again as Hansen came in on a breakaway and beat Brown blocker side. The Gorillas would take their third lead of the game when Nimmo poked home a rebound, making it 5-4. It looked as though that's the way the game would finish as Battochio was pulled for the extra attacker. However, a shot from the point would find its way to Brendon Hodge who sent home the equalizer from the bottom of the left circle with just 29 seconds left. After 60 minutes, the game stood at 5-5.

Neither team found the game-winner in the five minute overtime, so the game was headed to a shootout.

The two teams were tied after the first four rounds with Pelle and Morissette converting. In the fifth round, former Gorilla Scott Wray scored to set up a final save by Battochio to seal the 6-5 win.

Wray finalized the first Rush win at the Amarillo Civic Center as the player/assistant now leads the Rush in scoring. The shootout victory was also the first of the season for Rapid City. The Rush have now won four straight on the road and remain just two points out of first.

Rapid City uncharacteristically struggled on the special teams side of things, going 2-for-10 on the powerplay while allowing three powerplay goals on five chances. One game after Miguel Beaudry picked up his 10th win of the year, All-Star Danny Battochio is now 10-3-1 on the season, making 31 saves on the evening.

The Rush now head home to take on the Wichita Thunder on Saturday, January 2nd at 7:05pm.

Other Rush News:

Flex Packs are available for as little as $160, call the Rush office to learn more. Quarter and Half Season Ticket passes are available starting at just $100.

Group tickets are available and start at $11. Groups of 15 or more receive two complimentary tickets to the same game. Contact the Rush office at 605.716.7825 for more information.

Stay informed on Rush happenings through the official Rapid City Rush team website,

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Central Hockey League Stories from December 31, 2009

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