Brad Barone stopped all 24 shots he saw to lead the Utah Grizzlies to a 3-0 win over the Rapid City Rush on Saturday night. The loss ends the Rush’s home winning streak at 9 consecutive games, and also marks their first defeat in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Ice Arena this season.
For a second consecutive night, both teams skated to a scoreless deadlock after 20 minutes of play, but it was the Grizzlies this time that got on the board first in the middle frame. Just 93 seconds into the second period, the Rush tried to clear the puck out of their zone from behind the goal line, but fired it into a Grizzlies skater right in front of the Rush net. The puck bounced off of Tim McGauley and rolled by Rush net-minder Tyler Parks, giving Utah a 1-0 lead (the goal was unassisted).
Utah pulled away in the third with help from their power play. At 6:58 of the final period, Joe Wegwerth backhanded the puck in close range of the Rush net off of an active bounce from the kickplate, and lifted it over Parks’ shoulder to extend the Grizzlies lead to 2-0 (Brandon Saigeon and Griffen Molino assisted). With exactly 2:00 remaining, the Rush tried to counter with an extra attacker situation, but Saigeon buried the final nail with an empty net goal to give the Grizzlies a 3-0 win, their first against the Rush this season.
Tyler Parks stopped 23 of 25 shots on net, suffering only his second regulation loss of the season (8-2-3-0).
The Rush continue their five-game homestand next Wednesday, December 11th, with their first-ever matchup in team history against the Wheeling Nailers. Puck drop for the first of the three-game set is slated for 7:05 p.m. MDT at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Ice Arena.