RAPID CITY, SD — The Rapid City Rush battled back after a rough middle frame only to have the visiting Brampton Beast light the lamp late to escape with a 5-4 win Wednesday night.
For the second game in a row the Rush were able to get on the board first. In the waning seconds of their first powerplay Dante Salituro was able to fire the puck by Beast netminder Andrew D’Agostini with 9:18 remaining in the frame for the 1-0 lead. Matt Caito doubled the lead for the home team at 15:01 when he jumped on a loose puck and used a nifty backhand to slip it to the back of the net. Brampton was able to steal some of the thunder when Jordan Henry sent the hard-angled shot by Rush netminder Steve Michalek with 1.6 seconds left on the clock and cutting the Rush lead in half.
That momentum exploded in the middle frame as the visiting Beast piled on the goals to double-up on the Boys from the Black Hills. Their first strike came at 3:31 with a shot from Matt Petgrave whose shot from the slot trickled by Michalek for the 2-2 tie. Brampton took the lead at 12:28 when Luc-Olivier Blain took the feed and fired top shelf for the 3-2 edge. Before the Rush could fully collect themselves the visitors jumped on the loose puck in front of the Rush net and Scott Jacklin forced it home at 12:48 to double Brampton’s lead to 4-2 that would carry into the 2nd intermission.
Using their new found intensity and “never say die” attitude, Rapid City put itself in contention to come away with their second win of the season. A mad scramble for the puck ensued in front of the Beast net when Kenton Miller saw the opportunity and sent the three inch piece of rubber over D’Agostini’s shoulder at 6:01 to put Rapid City within striking distance. Then with just over two minutes remaining in regulation Ian Brady fired a wrister from the blue line for his first professional goal and squared the game up 4-4. Brampton wasn’t about to let their 2nd period efforts go to waste, though, with Jordan Murray picking up his first goal of the season on a backhander with 19 seconds remaining. Rapid City pulled Michalek for the extra attacker but couldn’t pull out any more heroics.
Andrew D’Agostini gets the win for the Beast stopping 25-of-29 shots on the night while Steve Michalek takes the loss stopping 25-of-30 shots on the night and falls to 1-2 on the season.
Both teams will square up again for the 2nd-of-3 games in the weekend series on Friday night at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05pm MT.