Rush Win in Thrilling Comeback to Sweep Grizzlies
(RAPID CITY, SD) - Cedric Montminy scored with 13.6 seconds left to force extra-curricular activity, and Alex Rauter buried his first professional shootout attempt in the top of the first round to lead the Rapid City Rush to a dramatic 3-2 shootout win on Saturday night in front of a near-capacity crowd. The win gives the Rush a sweep of all three games against the Grizzlies this week, with the series now shifting to Utah next Thursday. Also, with Kansas City idle tonight, it puts the Rush 8 points out of the final playoff spot in the Mountain Division with 10 games remaining in the season.
For a third time this week, both adversaries would leave the first 20 minutes deadlocked, but not by a scoreless means. For the first time in 136:10 of hockey dating back to Wednesday night, the Utah Grizzlies broke the goal line of Adam Carlson. With 3:10 left in the first period, in the midst of 4-on-4 hockey, Cole Ully entered the Rush zone on the far wall and rifled a shot by Carlson that put the Grizzlies on top with a 1-0 lead (Caleb Herbert and Turner Ottenbreit assisted). Exactly 55 seconds later, on their second power play following 4-on-4 hockey, new Rush Captain Justin Faryna batted a loose puck in front of Grizzlies goalie Kevin Carr, squaring the game at 1-1 (Cedric Montminy and Dexter Dancs assisted).
After a scoreless second period, Utah took the lead on a major power play with under half of the period remaining. Garrett Klotz was assessed a match penalty for an illegal check to the head, putting the Grizzlies on the power play for five minutes. With 8::35 left in the game, and four of the five minutes killed off by the Rush, Taylor Richart fired a blue line shot through a screen that was deflected by Jake Marchment past Carlson, giving Utah a 2-1 lead (Richart and Ryan Walters). Despite the lead, the Rush battled back, and with just seconds left, re-established the deadlock to force post-regulation play. With 13.6 seconds left, Cedric Montminy took a Zach Todd pass on the near wall and rifled a shot by Carr to square the game at 2-2, forcing overtime (Todd and Alex Rauter assisted).
Utah had a chance to win in overtime on a power play, but the Rush killed it off and forced the shootout, deciding the game in three rounds. Alex Rauter, in just his second game with the Rush, buried his first shootout attempt by Carr in the top of the first to put the Rush on top, and was followed by a Carlson save on Ully. After Rush Captain Justin Faryna was denied by Carr, Taylor Richart missed the net for Utah to close out round two. Jack Riley was denied in the top of the third by Carr, putting the game on the stick of Jake Marchment, who was stoned by Carlson to seal a 3-2 win over Utah, securing the three-game sweep.
Adam Carlson won every start of the week, anchoring the series with a win on 32 saves out of 34 shots tonight (17-13-3-2).
The Rush continue their six consecutive matchups against the Utah Grizzlies,with the series now shifting to West Valley City, Utah next week. Puck drop for game four on Thursday, March 14th is slated for 7:05 p.m. MST at the Maverik Center.
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