Charles-David Beaudoin scored his first goal for the Rapid City Rush in his debut to cut his team’s deficit prior to the final period, but the Utah Grizzlies struck for four unanswered goals in a penalty-filled third period to defeat the Rush by a 6-1 score on Friday night.
Both teams skated to a scoreless deadlock after 20 minutes of play, but then surged for three total tallies with Utah carrying a 2-1 advantage into the break. Utah started scoring after three penalties in a row put the Rush into an extended five-on-three penalty kill. Utah Captain Taylor Richart took advantage of his team’s power play, and from the slot area rifled a shot over the glove of Rush net-minder Tyler Parks to put the Grizzlies up 1-0 at 3:02 of the second (Griffen Molino and Tim McGauley assisted). Moments later, Eric Williams doubled the Grizzlies lead with a shot from the near wall of the Rush zone that appeared to deflect off of traffic and behind Parks, boosting the Grizzlies advantage to 2-0 at 7:21 (Molino and McGauley assisted). Charles-David Beaudoin, making his debut for the Rush, cut the deficit in half prior to the end of the period with his first goal in a Rush uniform. With 5:59 left in the second, Beaudoin came off the blue line into a rolling puck, spun, and backhanded it along the ice behind Grizzlies goalie Martin Ouellette, putting the Rush on the board to slash the lead to 2-1 (Peter Quenneville and Matteo Gennaro assisted).
That is as close as the Rush would get to the Grizzlies, as within the first 93 seconds of the final period, Utah struck twice in 30 seconds to pull away. Ty Lewis started the quick exchange when he pocketed a rebound off of a Taylor Richart blast from the blue line just 1:03 into the period to give Utah a 3-1 lead (Richart and Molino assisted). Half a minute later, Travis Barron took a pass up the far wall trailing into the Rush zone, and rifled a shot over Parks’ shoulder to pull the Grizzlies away to a 4-1 advantage (Yuri Terao and Mitch Maxwell assisted). While on the power play late, Griffen Molino took a Ryker Killins turnover and went on a breakaway, only to be hauled down by Killins on his way to the net. In the delayed penalty, which most likely would have led to a penalty shot, Tim McGauley pocketed the rebound over an outstretched Parks, extending Utah’s lead to 5-1 with 4:37 left (Molino had the lone assist). Following a sequence that put the Rush down on a major penalty-kill for the rest of the game, Mitch Maxwell snuck a sharp angle shot under Parks’ glove hand to bring the game to its eventual final score of 6-1.
Tyler Parks stopped 41 of 47 shots in the defeat (10-5-3-0).
The Rush continue their “three-in-three” series against the Utah Grizzlies tomorrow, January 4th. Puck drop is slated for 7:10 p.m. MDT at the Maverik Center. After tomorrow’s rematch, the series will conclude with a 1:10 p.m. MDT puck drop on Sunday, January 5th.