RAPID CITY, SD — A three-point night by Peter Sivak looked to power the Rapid City Rush to a win but Matt Register forces overtime giving the Colorado Eagles the chance to come away with the 4-3 shootout win Friday night.
Rapid City came out of the gate with a high level of intensity and were able to get the night’s first tally. Peter Sivak lit the lamp at 5:43 when he secured the loose puck in the attacking zone and rifled it by Eagles netminder Sam Brittain for the early 1-0 advantage. A flood of three goals between both teams would come in the final five minutes of this back-and-forth period. The Eagles would tie the game up at 15:27 when Ryan Olsen took the feed and fired the puck from the right wing side that made its way by Rush netminder Adam Vay to square the game at 1-aside. Special teams came through for the Rush and helped them regain the lead. On their second powerplay of the night when Gustav Bouramman fired a blast on the net and the puck was deflected by Shaquille Merasty to give Rapid City a 2-1 edge with 2:05 remaining in the period. Not to be outdone the Eagles squared the game up once more before the final horn of the opening frame. Drayson Bowman was able to setup a breakaway chance against Vay and sent the puck over his shoulder with 32 seconds left, tying the game up at 2-2. Colorado held a slight edge in shots-on-goal, leading Rapid City 13-to-12, however the Rush went 1-for-2 on their powerplay opportunities.
Rapid City got the sole tally in the middle frame on Sivak’s second goal of the night. With 13:22 left in the 2nd period Sivak secured another loose puck and rifled it by Brittain to regain the lead 3-2 with his unassisted goal. The Rush outshot the Eagles 9-to-7 in the frame and 21-to-20 over the first 40 minutes of action. Neither team was able to capitalize on their powerplay chances in the period, though.
Heading into the final frame it looked as though the Rush would capture the win in regulation against their longtime rivals. Matt Register took the feed from Ryan Olsen and sent the puck by a screened Vay to square the game up 3-3 with 2:41 left in regulation, eventually forcing overtime.
Rapid City had their chances to secure the overtime win, especially with a late powerplay opportunity on a holding minor to Brady Shaw, but neither team was able to solve the opposing netminder which forced a 3-round shootout.
Bowman tallied the only goal in the shootout, scoring the 2nd round, while Brittain turned away all three attempts from the Rush shooters to secure the 2pts in the standings.
Riding a 21-to-1 edge in shots-on-goal in the 3rd period the Eagles were able to outshoot the Rush 44-26 in the 65 minutes of hockey. The Rush went 1-for-4 on the powerplay while the Eagles went 0-for-3 with their chances.
Sam Brittain is credited with the win stopping 23-of-26 shots on the night while Adam Vay takes the shootout loss stopping 40-of-43 shots.
Both teams will square off for the final time in the Black Hills for Game Two of this three-game weekend series. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05pm at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Ice Arena on Saturday night.