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Rush Special Teams Not Enough

December 12, 2017 - ECHL (ECHL) - Rapid City Rush News Release

ALLEN, TX - Dante Salituro and Evan Janssen both struck for the Rapid City Rush on a red-hot power play, but Colby McAuley's Gordie Howe Hat Trick, along with 32 saves from Stephon Williams, helped the Allen Americans to a 5-3 win.

Eric Roy scored the lone goal of the opening period in the opening minutes of the game on the opening power play of the contest. With 1:42 gone by in the game, Roy took a Dave Makowski cross-ice pass and fired a one-timer by Rush net-minder Storm Phaneuf to give the Americans a 1-0 lead (Makowski and Casey Pierro-Zabotel assisted). The Rush finished the period with a flurry of chances, but couldn't square up the score before 20 minutes expired.

Allen struck twice in under a minute and eventually separated with a three-goal advantage. The first tally of the second came when Daniel Leavens took a centering pass and five-holed Phaneuf to give the Americans a 2-0 lead with 6:19 played in second (Colby McAuley and Connor Reilly assisted). Exactly 48 seconds later, Casey Pierro-Zabotel carried the puck in the Rush zone, stickhandled around a diving Phaneuf, and patiently skated with the puck and fired by the exposed goaltender to give Allen a 3-1 with 7:07 gone by in the frame (Mathieu Aubin and Bryan Moore notched the helpers). Eventually, with the help of their second power play of the game, the Rush would get the last word of the middle act. With 29.7 seconds left in the period, Dante Salituro took a centering pass while alone in the low slot, and blasted a one-timer by Allen goaltender Stephon Williams to cut Allen's lead to 3-1 heading into the third (Evan Janssen and Peter Sivak earned the assists).

Darian Dziurzynski brought the Rush within striking distance at the start of the third period, netting his first goal with the Rush in his third game with the team. With 2:25 gone by in the third period, Marcus Ortiz took the puck from the near faceoff circle of the Allen zone and flung it towards Willams' net. Dziurzynski was wide open in front and tapped the puck by Williams on the back door to bring the Rush within one at a 3-2 deficit (Ortiz and Gustav Bouramman assisted). Over two minutes later, Allen re-established their two-goal lead when Colby McAuley played the puck in front of Phaneuf's crease, edged out Phanuef for the puck, and slid it behind the Rush net-minder, taking advantage of the risky play to bring Allen's lead to 4-2 with 15:01 left in the game (Connor Reilly and Alex Schoenborn assisted). Despite the setback, Evan Janssen scored on the next Rush power play at the midpoint of the frame to once again bring the Rush back within striking distance. With 8:57 left in the game, Janssen took a Peter Sivak pass, powered towards the Allen net, and slammed the puck by Williams to bring the Rush to a 4-3 deficit for the team's second power play strike of the contest (Sivak and Salituro assisted). Late in the game, Bryan Moore was called for interfering with Dante Salituro behind the play in neutral ice, giving the Rush their fourth and final power play with 2:36 left in the game. The Rush tried pulling Phaneuf for the extra attacker and generated multiple chances, but Moore came out of the penalty box, and with 21 seconds remaining, potted one in the empty net to seal the win for the Americans at 5-3.

Storm Phaneuf stopped all but three of 38 shots towards his net in the loss (1-2-0).

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