Rush End 2020 with New Year's Eve Loss to Utah
(WEST VALLEY CITY, UT) - Joe Wegwerth and Ian Scheid both notched a pair of goals, and Trey Bradley assisted all three first period goals for the Utah Grizzlies, who defeated the Rapid City Rush by a 6-3 score on New Year's Eve. The loss is the fourth consecutive for the Rush, who end the turn of the year with a 1-4-0-0 record.
Utah took control in the first period, in part to Trey Bradley's three assists to lead the Grizzlies to a 3-1 lead. Joe Wegwerth opened up the scoring entries by burying an east-west pass from behind the net from Bradley past Rush net-minder Adam Carlson, providing Utah with an early 1-0 lead at 9:25 of the first (Bradley and Jack Jenkins assisted). However, 37 seconds later, the Rush countered with Kevin Spinozzi's first goal in a Rush uniform. At 10:02 of the first, Peter Quenneville wrapped around on Utah goalie Peyton Jones, and the rebound caromed to Tyler Coulter in the slot. Coulter found Spinozzi off the blue line, the latter of which rifled a shot past Jones to square the game at 1-1 (Coulter and Quenneville assisted). Utah struck back moments later on a recreation of the first goal, with Bradley finding Jack Jenkins this time for a sharp angle shot on an east-west pass. Jenkins fired it by Carlson to re-establish the Utah lead at 2-1 with 5:52 left in the first (Bradley and Kris Myllari assisted). Ian Scheid capped off the period with his first professional goal on Utah's first power play of the game, sending a blue line shot past a screened Carlson to give Utah a 3-1 lead heading into the locker room with 2:14 left (Bradley and Diego Cuglietta assisted).
The Rush stormed out in the second period and brought the deficit tighter, but Utah reciprocated again and extended their lead after two. Jack Suter brought the Rush within one 3:08 into the second period when he slammed a Brennan Saulnier close range rebound past Jones, bringing the score to 3-2 (Saulnier and Mason Baptista assisted). Once again in a quick exchange, Utah counterpunched 37 seconds later with a Joe Wegwerth net-front deflection past Carlson, re-establishing the two-goal lead at 4-2 with 3:45 played in the second (Jack Jenkins and Matt Abt assisted). Ian Scheid added a second professional goal to his tally with Carlson screened again, firing a shot in the top corner to extend Utah's lead to 5-2 (Mitch Maxwell had the lone assist). Following the goal, Adam Carlson was relieved of his goaltending duties and replaced by rookie net-minder Dave Tendeck. Tendeck stopped all 11 shots he saw in relief to finish the game.
Peter Quenneville brought the Rush within two in the third period, but that was as close as the Rush would get in the later stages of the game. With 5:25 played in the final period, Jack Suter and Tyson Empey connected with the Captain in a tic-tac-toe sequence, finishing with Quenneville point blank to bring the deficit to 5-3 (Empey and Suter assisted). Matt Abt finished off scoring with an empty-net goal while shorthanded as well in the final minute, bringing the game to it's 6-3 finish.
Adam Carlson stopped 23 of 28 shots in 31:56 of his start, and is the goaltender of record (1-3-0-0). Dave Tendeck stopped all 11 shots he saw in 26:31 of relief.
The Rush continue their "three-in-three" series against the Grizzlies tomorrow on New Year's Day. Friday's puck drop, as well as Saturday's finale on January 2nd are slated for 7:10 p.m. MDT puck drops at the Maverik Center.
From all of us to all of you, Rush Nation, we wish you a happy, healthy, and successful New Year! Thank you for all your support throughout 2020!
Season Tickets for the 2020-21 season are available! To place a deposit, call 716-7825.
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