Cedric Montminy provided the only goal of the contest, and Gordon Defiel and Merrick Madsen combined for a 29-save shutout as the Rapid City Rush defeated the Allen Americans by a 1-0 score on Wednesday morning. The game served as the team’s third annual “School Day Game”, and second home game ever played in the morning in team history.
Both teams skated to a scoreless deadlock after 20 minutes. Andrew Shortridge, in net for Allen, stopped all 12 shots he saw, while Gordon Defiel, starting for the Rush, turned all 8 he faced aside.
At the start of the second, Defiel received medical treatment and did not return to the game, prompting Merrick Madsen to take his place in the Rush net. Madsen stopped all 11 shots he saw to begin his relief appearance, and was helped by the only goal scored in the game, courtesy of Cedric Montminy. With 1:21 remaining in the second, Brandon Fehd fired a shot wide of the net that rimmed to Montminy. Montminy fired the loose puck off of Shortridge and in, giving the Rush a 1-0 lead (Fehd and Josh Elmes assisted).
Madsen stopped everything he saw in third period, including nearly seven minutes of penalty kills. Despite an extra-attacker with the empty net, Allen couldn’t muster a game-tying goal and fell by a 1-0 score.
Gordon Defiel received no decision, starting the first 20 minutes of the game and stopping all 8 shots he saw. Merrick Madsen played the remaining 40 minutes in relief and earned the win, turning aside all 21 shots he faced (2-3-0-0). It’s the second split shutout in Rush history, with the first one coming on December 19, 2014 at Tulsa in a 4-0 win, split by Danny Battochio and Etienne Marcoux.
The Rush continue their three-game series against the ECHL’s 1st Place Allen Americans with their Valentine’s Day game rematch on Friday, February 14th. Puck drop is slated for 7:05 p.m. MDT at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Ice Arena.