Rush Win Back-To-Back against Wichita
(WICHITA, KS) - Hunter Garlent and Tyler Coulter paced the Rapid City Rush with a goal and assist each, leading the team to a 3-2 regulation win over the Wichita Thunder on Saturday night. With the win, the Rush have won back-to-back games against the Thunder, with two more to come in their four-game-in-five-day series, one of which being the third game tomorrow afternoon.
For a second game in a row, Wichita struck first, but both teams left the first period deadlocked. Stefan Fournier got things started for the home side at the end of a four-on-two break into the Rush zone. With 10:22 gone by in the game, Fournier, the trailer in the sequence, buried a Dean Stewart pass through Rush net-minder Gordy Defiel, giving Wichita an early 1-0 lead (Stewart and Jay Dickman assisted). However, Hunter Garlent, scoring for a third game in a row, countered for the Rush 1:20 later to tie the game up. With 8:18 left in the first, Garlent took a pass from Andrew Sturtz, navigated the Thunder zone, set up in the slot area, and rifled a shot by Wichita goalie Alex Sakellaropoulos to square the game at 1-1 (Sturtz and the lone assist).
The Rush, similar to last night, overtook the Rush in the second period, but didn't give up the lead this time. Just 1:49 into the second period while on the power play, Tyler Coulter, from the far wall of the Rush attacking zone, threw the puck perfectly off the blade of Avery Peterson in the slot area, vaulting the Rush to a 2-1 lead on the textbook deflection (Coulter and Ian Edmondson assisted). Not to be outdone, Coulter re-established a deadlock at the top of the goal-scoring list for the Rush just moments later, doubling his team's lead. At 6:01 of the second, Coulter, fresh off the bench, jumped in on a rush with Hunter Garlent. He took Garlent's pass, was briefly stripped of the puck, recollected it, and rifled it by Sakellaropoulos to push the Rush to a 3-1 advantage (Garlent and Tam assisted). Eventually, Wichita halted the Rush scoring streak and cut the deficit to one prior to the end of the second period. With 6:37 left in the frame, Peter Crinella singlehandedly buzzed around the Rush zone, generating countless chances as his team's power play expired. Ultimately, Jay Dickman found him right in front of the Rush net, and Crinella roofed his pass to bring the Thunder back in striking distance, trailing 3-2 (Dickman and Stewart assisted). That tally proved to be the last goal scored for the remainder of the game, and despite a rally with Sakellaropoulos pulled for the extra-attacker, Wichita couldn't tie the game and the Rush held on for a 3-2 win.
Gordy Defiel stopped 24 of 26 shots in the victory, his first since January 23rd in overtime against Utah (3-3-0-0).
The Rush continue their seven-game road trip and four game-in five-day series against the Wichita Thunder. The third game of the series is slated for a 3:05 p.m. MDT puck drop on February 28th from Wichita at INTRUST Bank Arena.
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ECHL Stories from February 27, 2021
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