Rush Rally Falls Late to K-Wings
(KALAMAZOO, MI) - Daniel Leavens cut his team's deficit in half in the early moments of the second period, but Joel Martin and the Kalamazoo Wings staved off a late rally against the Rapid City Rush, hanging on for a 2-1 win on Thursday night. It was the first-ever meeting between both teams.
Danny Moynihan notched the only goal in the first period, giving the K-Wings the lead after 20 minutes. With 9:48 gone by in the game, following the first penalty kill of the net for the Rush, Moynihan crashed into a scramble in front of the Rush net and batted a loose puck by Rush net-minder Adam Vay to put the Wings up 1-0 after one (Jimmy Mullin had the only assist). At the end of the first, Vay tried to trap a puck in his glove and get a whistle, but was hacked on the wrist by Scott Henegar trying to make a last-ditch play in close range of the net. Vay defended himself against his assailant, but was called for a double-minor roughing penalty that put the Rush shorthanded for the remainder of the first and the start of the second period against the #2 power play in the league.
Sadly, the double-minor cut into the Rush, as the Wings expanded their lead on the back-end of the four-minute power play. With 2:23 played into the second, Eric Kattelus rifled a blue line shot over the shoulder of Vay that double the K-Wings lead to 2-0 (Kyle Bushee had the lone assist). Moments later, the Rush would score for the first time since last Saturday in Kansas City and cut the deficit to one. With 5 minutes gone by in the second, Daniel Leavens fired a shot from the high slot after cutting through the middle over the shoulder of a screened K-Wings goalie Joel Martin to halve Kalamazoo's lead to 2-1 (Ian Brady and Chase Lang notched the assists).
The Rush couldn't muster the game-tying goal late despite a late rally with Vay pulled from his net to create an extra-attacker scenario. Martin and company held on to give the Wings the 2-1 win in the first meeting ever between the two teams.
Adam Vay, making his fifth straight start, stopped 35 of 37 shots on net (9-11-1).
The Rush conclude their annual "Stock Show Road Trip" with their only matchup of the season against the Fort Wayne Komets tomorrow night, February 2nd. Puck drop at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum is slated for 6:00 p.m. MST.
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