Rush End Skid in OT
(RAPID CITY, SD) - The Rapid City Rush saw a 3-1 third period lead evaporate within minutes, but Peter Sivak notched his second OT-winner of the season to give the Rush a 4-3 win over the Wichita Thunder on St. Patrick's Day past in 63:52 of hockey. The win ends a winless skid for the Rush at 8 games, and gives them their first win in the month of March.
Ian Brady kicked off the scoring entries with the lone power play goal of the game for the Rush in the second fastest exchange of goals between the Rush and their opponent. With 1:09 left in the first, Garrett Klotz kicked the puck to Jack Walker in the near corner of the Thunder zone, with Walker dishing to Brady coming off the blue line. Brady rifled a shot down "Main Street" by Thunder goalie Nick Riopel to give the Rush a 1-0 lead (Walker and Klotz assisted). Exactly 15 seconds later, Kevin Dufour skated right by the Rush defense and in close range on the Rush net. Dufour's initial try was stopped by Rush net-minder Adam Vay, but the rebound was potted by Dufour to square the game at 1-1 with 54.4 seconds left in the period (Chad Butcher and Kevin Patterson assisted).
Both teams nearly left the second period deadlocked at 1-1, but the Rush took the lead within the final minute of the frame. With 49 seconds remaining, and in the midst of four-on-four hockey, Brayden Sherbinin notched his first career goal as a professional when he came off the blue line to the right wing side of the Thunder zone, and launched a shot over Riopel's shoulder off the back bar to give the Rush a 2-1 lead heading into the third (Andrew Radjenovic and Jack Walker assisted).
Just minutes into the third period, the Andrew Radjenovic struck for a third consecutive game to give the Rush a two-goal lead. With 1:51 gone by in the third, Walker threaded a pass to Radjenovic, who got behind his defender and one-on-one with Riopel, stuffing the puck under the outstretched goalie after he faked him out to push the Rush lead to 3-1 (Walker and Peter Sivak assisted). The lead was short-lived, as Wichita mounted a two-goal comeback to force overtime. Ralph Cuddemi led the charge when he originally deflected a Kevin Patterson blue line shot that was stopped by Vay, but he knocked the rebound into the Rush net to bring the Thunder within striking distance at 3-2 with 15:01 left in the game (Patterson and Travis Brown assisted). Immediately following the goal, Vay was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that put the Thunder on the power play, and Brayden Low capitalized on the advantage when he squeaked the puck by Vay in close range to tie the game at 3-3 with 13:20 left in the game (Brown and Nick Latta assisted). The goal forced an eventual overtime between the teams for the second time in the season series.
With 1:08 left in the free hockey period, Brayden Sherbinin found Daniel Leavens, who wheeled around the Wichita zone. He found Peter Sivak, who broke free of his defender, went one-on-one with Riopel, and fired it by him to give the Rush a 4-3 overtime win, their first and only of the season series against Wichita, and the end of their eight-game winless streak.
Adam Vay stopped 25 of 38 shots, earning the win (13-16-1-1).
The Rush now travel to Boise to take on the Idaho Steelheads in a three-game series next week. The series starts Wednesday, March 21st, with puck drop at CenturyLink Arena slated for 7:10 p.m. MST.
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