Rush Fall at Home to Steelheads, 4-1
(RAPID CITY, S.D.) - Ryan Valentini scored for the second straight game but the Rapid City Rush were beaten by the Idaho Steelheads, 4-1, Saturday night at The Monument Ice Arena in front of a season-high crowd of 4,437.
Idaho struck first in the opening period when Shawn McBride gained the zone with an odd-man break. He found a trailing Yauheni Aksiantsiuk for a snap shot that he fired top shelf past Bailey Brkin and the Steelheads took a 1-0 lead.
They added to that lead a minute and a half later after winning an attacking zone draw. Luc Brown carried the puck to the right-wing boards and snapped a pass to the back door where McBride had position. He tapped the puck past Brkin and the Steelheads extended their lead to 2-0.
The Rush got on the board late in the first period. AJ White started to carry the puck out of the defensive zone for Idaho but he was stripped by Valentini. Valentini quickly slung a shot on net that beat Colton Point and the score was 2-1.
Idaho pushed its lead back to two in the second after a puck was dumped in and stopped by Brkin in his crease. Brkin popped up and attempted to start a breakout the other way with a stretch pass that was intercepted by Zach Walker inside the blue line. Walker quickly fired a shot that got through Brkin and the Steelheads led, 3-1.
Late in the third, Rapid City pulled Brkin for an extra attacker and quickly Chase Zieky found a loose puck in the neutral zone. From the red line he fired a shot into the empty net, pushing the score to its 4-1 final.
Valentini scored for the second straight game and Brkin made 30 saves on 33 shots faced in the losing effort. Rapid City had its four-game winning streak snapped and fell to 18-15-3-2 in the win while Idaho improved to 20-15-0-1. The Rush and Steelheads will meet one more time on Sunday afternoon to conclude their season series. Puck drop at The Monument Ice Arena is scheduled for 4:05 PM.
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