Rush Drop Final Game of the Regular Season 4-2
(Odessa, TX) - The Rapid City Rush concluded the regular season with a 4-2 loss to the Odessa Jackalopes on Saturday night. Special teams were the difference as the Jackalopes scored three powerplay goals on only eleven chances while the Rush were stifled on all three of their opportunities. The Rush head into the post-season with a final record of 43-14-7 and hold claim to the number one spot in the Northern Conference.
The Jacks were the first to get on the board at the 4:21 mark, off of the 22nd goal of the season by Dominic Leveille. Leveille had a quick stick-check in the slot area and quickly slid a puck five-hole on Miguel Beaudry for the 1-0 lead. Rapid City answered back on a goal that resulted from good puckwork and sustained pressure in the offensive end. After a cycle in the corner, Colt King stepped to the side of the net and his turnaround pass found Rich Hansen all alone on the far post for the tap in. Just over four minutes later, the Jackalopes scored on their second powerplay of the game, regaining the lead. Jeff Pierce cut across the slot area and dropped a pass to Mike Lesperance, and the forward buried his 9th of the season to end the 1st period with a 2-1 lead.
The two teams exchanged goals in the second period, the first coming at 8:41 from Les Reaney. Reaney charged out of his end and battled through a number of stick checks before getting the puck to Scott Wray in the slot, and after Wray's attempt rattled off the post, Reaney snuck home the rebound for the 2-2 tie. Less than two minutes later, the Jackalopes would score another powerplay, this time it was Leveille assisted by Plante and Thinel at 10:28.
In the third period, the lone goal was scored by Odessa at the 6:24 mark, the third powerplay goal of the game. Collecting his 37th goal on the play was Colin Circelli from Thinel and Leveille for the 4-2 final.
The Rush now await the winner of the series between the Mississippi RiverKings and Missouri Mavericks. The first home playoff games will be March 31st and April 2nd, games 3 and 4 of the Conference Semifinals.
Tickets are available for those playoff contests. Contact the Rush office at 605-716-PUCK (7825).
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Central Hockey League Stories from March 20, 2010
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