Peter Quenneville extended his goal-scoring streak to six games, and Giovanni Fiore elongated his assist streak to four with a 3 assist game, but it wasn’t enough as the Rapid City Rush fell to the Idaho Steelheads by a 4-3 score in overtime on Wednesday night. The point gained in the overtime loss sticks the Rush in the middle of a three-way tie for second place in the entire ECHL.
For a thirteenth time in twenty games, the Rush provided the game’s first goal, and it proved to be the only one through the first 20 minutes. Stephane Legault notched his first goal of the season at 6:53 of the opening frame, squeaking the rebound off a Trey Phillips blue line shot past Idaho goalie Tomas Sholl to put the Rush up 1-0 (Phillips and Giovanni Fiore assisted).
Idaho drew the game level with Max Coatta’s first goal as a professional in the second period, and the deadlock carried over into the final 20 minutes of play. With 3:28 played in the second, the Rush had trouble getting the puck out of their zone, leading to Marc-Olivier Roy keeping the puck within the blue line. Roy fired a shot on net that was deflected by Coatta past Rush net-minder Tyler Parks, squaring the game at 1-1 (Roy had the lone assist).
The third period turned into a back-and-forth track meet, featuring four goals exchanged between the rivals in 2:46. Tyler Coulter started off the scoring frenzy at 10:55 of the final period with the only Rush power play goal of the game. Peter Quenneville, in his first game as the Rush Captain, fired a shot on net that was stopped by Sholl, concluding with Coulter slipping the rebound in to give the Rush a 2-1 lead (Quenneville and Fiore assisted). Exactly 1:43 later, Idaho counterpunched on their final power play of the game. At 12:28, Steelheads Captain A.J White deflected a Colton Saucerman shot past Parks to square the game back up at 2-2 (Saucerman and Conner Bleackley assisted). Not to be outdone, Quenneville lived up to his captaincy and reciprocated 17 seconds later. On an odd-man break into the Steelheads zone, Stephane Legault found Giovanni Fiore, who deferred to the Captain streaking towards the net. Quenneville tucked the puck under the glove of Sholl to push the Rush back in the driver’s seat with a 3-2 lead (Fiore and Legault assisted). The final exchange in the sequence came from the Steelheads 56 seconds later, leveling the game again and forcing the eventual overtime. With 6:19 left in regulation, Marc-Olivier Roy deflected an Ondrej Vala shot that squeaked by Parks again, tying the game back up at 3-3 (Vala and Matt Lippa assisted).
It only took 38 seconds into overtime to determine the winner, and it was Anthony Nellis who stuck the dagger in for Idaho. Nellis came up the ice on a two-on-one, and instead of deferring cross-ice, he fired the shot himself. Parks caught a piece of it, but it rolled past him and in the net, giving Idaho the second point and a 4-3 overtime victory.
Tyler Parks stopped 30 of 33 shots on net in his third overtime defeat of the season (5-1-3-0).
The Rush continue their three-game series against the Idaho Steelheads on Friday, November 29th. Puck drop at CenturyLink Arena is slated for 7:10 p.m. MDT.
From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving Rush Nation!