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 Rapid City Rush

Steelheads Edge Rush in Tight Game

April 5, 2024 - ECHL (ECHL)
Rapid City Rush News Release

(BOISE, Idaho) - The Rapid City Rush, proud affiliate of the NHL's Calgary Flames, fell to the Idaho Steelheads 7-5 at Idaho Central Arena on Friday night.

Alex Aleardi opened the scoring less five minutes in off a feed from Ilya Nikolaev and Tyson Helgesen. Aleardi would go on to score twice in the game.

However, Idaho found a way to respond with two goals in the opening period. Keaton Mastrodonato and Connor Mylymok tallied goals in the first to draw ahead at the end of the first period.

Despite a reviewed play, Keanu Yamamoto scored his 17th of the season, deflecting a puck with his skate, from a Tyson Helgesen shot. Yamamoto's goal tied the game at two but the lead was short-lived.

Idaho rattled off back-to-back goals again with Mark Rassell and Will Merchant potting goals for the Steelheads. Merchant's goal came on the powerplay, making in back-to-back games with a powerplay goal for Idaho.

Still not going away, Aleardi's second goal of the night came on a Rush powerplay from a near-impossible angle. Aleardi is now two points away from tying Jesse Schultz's single-season Rush ECHL points record.

Less than 30 seconds after Aleardi's goal, Nick Canade bounced a puck off Jordan Kawaguchi to stretch the Idaho lead to two at the second period intermission.

Jade Miller tapped home a one-timer in the early third to make 6-3, but the Rush clawed back. Matt Registered flubbed a clearing pass to the far wing that Tyson Helgesen stepped-in to, blasting a practical one-timer by Brian Thomson to make it 6-4.

The Rush out-hustled Idaho in the third period, but could not draw penalties. In Wednesday's game, Idaho racked up eight powerplay chances while the Rush had six. Both teams went 1-for-3 on the powerplay tonight.

With 43 seconds left, Nikolaev scored on a direct shot to make it 6-5, and the Rush had a good chance with 20 seconds to go, but Thomson made a save. Rassell added an empty netter for the Steelheads to ice the game.

The Rush are still alive in the playoff hunt, but have to take at least one point tomorrow to stay alive. A regulation win for Utah coupled with a win or overtime/shootout for Tulsa would end the playoff hopes for Rapid City.

The Rush close the season series against the Steelheads at 7:10 p.m. from Idaho Central Arena tomorrow night.

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