Rush Gain Point in Overtime Loss
(WICHITA, KS) - Peter Quenneville, Stephen Baylis, Hunter Garlent, and Garrett Klotz built a 4-0 lead for the Rapid City Rush, but the Wichita Thunder, led by Dean Stewart and Patrik Parkkonen erased the deficit and won in overtime by a 5-4 score on Tuesday night. The overtime loss concludes a four-game series against Wichita, and a seven-game road trip in which the Rush went 2-1-1-0 and 3-2-2-0, respectively.
For the first time all series, the Rush struck first in the contest. Just 2:03 in the game, Peter Quenneville received an Eric Israel pass and went on a partial break into the Wichita zone. Quenneville rifled a shot over the shoulder of Thunder goalie Evan Weninger to give the Rush a 1-0 lead (Israel had the lone assist). Moments later, Hunter Garlent and Andrew Sturtz forced a turnover behind the Thunder net and found Stephen Baylis streaking down the middle of the zone. They hit Baylis on the tape, and he fired it past Weninger to double the Rush lead at 2-0 with 6:41 left in the first (Sturtz and Garlent assisted).
Just 86 seconds gone by in the second period, Garlent and Sturtz were back at it again. Spinozzi rimmed the puck behind the net to Sturtz, who dished a no-look behind the back pass to Garlent in front. Garlent tucked his shot past Weninger to triple the lead to 3-0 (Sturtz and Spinozzi assisted). Following the first Rush power play of the game, Peter Quenneville, from just outside of his goal line, flung a "Hail Mary" pass up the ice and hit Klotz on the tape. Klotz broke in from the blue line and slipped the puck through Weninger to quadruple the Rush lead to 4-0 with 4:33 gone by in the second (Quenneville and Ian Edmondson assisted). Following the goal, Weninger was removed from the Thunder net and replaced by Alex Sakellaropoulos.
Wichita hit pay dirt before the end of the period to begin mounting their comeback. With 10:52 left in the second, Spencer Dorowicz fired a shot that Rush net-minder Gordy Defiel stopped. However, the rebound kicked off of a Rush defender and past the goal line, cutting the deficit to 4-1 (Matteo Gennaro and Stephen Johnson assisted).
Wichita started to slowly surge in the third period, beginning with Anthony Beauregard. With 6:51 left in the game, a Jay Dickman shot was blockered away by Defiel, but Beauregard batted the puck out of mid-air and in, cutting the deficit to 4-2 (Dickman and Stefan Fournier assisted). With Sakellaropoulos pulled for the extra-attacker, Wichita struck twice to force overtime on identical plays. With 1:21 left in the game, Dean Stewart rifled a point shot through traffic to bring the Thunder within striking distance at 4-3 (Patrik Parkkonen and Anthony Beauregard assisted). Exactly 47 seconds later, Stewart, from the exact same spot, rifled another shot through traffic past Defiel, squaring the game at 4-4 (Gennaro and Beauregard assisted). Neither team could squeak in a game-winner, so to overtime the combatants went.
Right before overtime expired, a pinch into the Wichita zone eventually gave the Thunder a two-on-one down the ice with Dean Stewart and Patrik Parkkonen. Stewart deferred to Parkkonen, who maneuvered one-on-one against Defiel and beat him with a backhander to give the Thunder a 5-4 overtime win in improbable comeback fashion.
Gordy Defiel suffered the overtime loss, stopping 43 of 48 shots in the defeat (3-3-1-0).
The Rush now return home to begin an eight-game homestand this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, marking the first time ever in team history that both teams will meet. Puck drop on Friday, March 5th, is slated for 7:05 p.m. MDT at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Ice Arena.
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