Rush Fall in Overtime to End Weekend Series
(RAPID CITY, SD) - Avery Peterson and Peter Quenneville scored 100 seconds apart in the third period to give the Rapid City Rush their first lead of the weekend, but Stephen Johnson forced overtime, won 54 seconds in by Brayden Watts to give the Wichita Thunder a 3-2 victory on Saturday night. The loss marks the first time since February 28th to March 5th that the Rush have lost back-to-back games, and gives Wichita all four points up for grabs in the pair of matchups.
Wichita notched the first goal of the contest for a second night in a row, and carried their narrow lead all the way into the third period. Beau Starrett got things started for the Thunder when he threw a wrist shot from the far wall of the Rush zone that squeaked by Rush net-minder Adam Carlson, giving Wichita a 1-0 lead (Cam Clarke and Peter Crinella assisted).
The Thunder lead lasted all the way until the third period, after countless chances and a penalty shot for Jack Suter in the middle of the second frame. However, it evaporated when Stefan Fournier was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to put the Rush on their last power play of the game. At 9:16 of the final period, a net-front rebound came to Avery Peterson, who finally found a way to blast the puck past Thunder goalie Evan Buitenhuis, squaring the game at 1-1 (Tyler Coulter and Ian Edmondson earned the assists). Moments later, the game transitioned to four-on-four hockey. Exactly 100 seconds after Peterson's tying goal, Peter Quenneville slammed a rebound on a close range sequence started by Tyler Coulter and perpetuated by Kevin Spinozzi to give the Rush their first lead of the weekend at 2-1 with 9:04 left in regulation (Coulter and Spinozzi assisted). However, Wichita got the last word of regulation and tied things back up at 2-2 when Stephen Johnson rifled a one-timer past Carlson from the high slot with 4:38 left in the game (Brayden Watts and Spencer Dorowicz assisted). The Thunder thought they won the game with 57 seconds left, but the goal was waived off for goaltender interference, leading into overtime to decide a winner.
It took 54 seconds to find a victor, and it came from Wichita's Brayden Watts. After Buitenhuis stopped a Hunter Garlent chance, Dean Stewart found Anthony Beauregard up the ice for a two-on-one. Beauregard deferred to Watts, who fired home the winner to give Wichita the second point in the 3-2 victory.
Adam Carlson stopped 24 of 27 shots in the overtime loss (11-7-2-1).
The Rush now embark on a weekend-long road trip to Oklahoma to take on the Tulsa Oilers in a "three-in-three". Puck drop for game one on Friday, April 9th is slated for 6:05 p.m. at the BOK Center.
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