RAPID CITY, SD — After a draining series against the Steelheads last weekend the Rush were looking for something to lift their spirits.
Along come the Oilers.
Rapid City responded with a decisive 5-2 victory over the visiting Tulsa Oilers to kick off their three-game weekend series.
The Rush got the night’s first tally with a goal from Pavel Jenys at 7:51 of the opening period who buried the shot at the end of a 2-on-1 rush. Tulsa responded less than two minutes later when Kale Kessy pocketed the tying goal at 9:40, squaring the game up at 1-1. The Rush regain the lead at 18:12 when Alex Kromm took a pass from Alex Guptill and fed the puck by Oilers netminder Devin Williams for the 2-1 edge heading into the 1st intermission.
Rapid City wasted no time in extending their lead in the middle frame. Just 0:54 into the 2nd period Evan Janssen, who was in his first game back after a stint with the AHL’s Iowa Wild, took a backhand pass from Dylan Labbe and fired a pointblank shot into the back of the net. Just over the midway point Rapid City would tack on to their lead. Gustav Bouramman fired an impressive one-timer with 6:15 left in the frame to give the Rush a 4-1 strangle hold heading into the 2nd intermission.
Tulsa was looking to get some fresh blood between the pipes for remainder of regulation as they brought in Jake Hildebrand to replace Williams. But the quick strikes and lucky bounces continued for the home team in the final frame. Rapid City would secure a turnover deep in the Oilers zone and Jenys’ shot rang off the crossbar and Dante Salituro scored off the rebound just 1:18 into the period for the 5-1 edge. With the goal Salituro tied a Rush rookie record with four consecutive games with a goal. The Oilers wouldn’t go quietly into the night. Charlie Sampair was able to get a shot off Rush netminder Storm Phaneuf and trickle in to pull Tulsa within 5-2 with 16:36 remaining in regulation. But they would get no closer as both netminders kept the puck out of their respective nets.
Phaneuf gets credit for the winning stopping 29-of-31 shots on the night while Williams takes the loss for the Oilers.
The series continues on Friday at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center with puck drop scheduled for 7:05pm MT.
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It’s the Sights of the Game, presented by Black Hills Regional Eye Institute.