The Rapid City Rush had an opportunity Saturday to avenge a pair of losses they suffered at the hands of rival Colorado in the first two games of their three-game weekend series.
Unfortunately, Rapid City wouldn’t get much of a chance right from the outset as the Eagles took a 5-0 lead at the end of the first period and cruised to an 8-1 victory over the Rush on Saturday at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colo.
Colorado got out to a fast start as Jake Marchment found the back of the net in the sixth minute on a pair of assists from Ben Storm and Brady Shaw.
After eight minutes of scoreless hockey, the Eagles added to their lead twice in the 14th minute on goals from Emil Romig and Matt Garbowsky.
Jesse Mychan added another goal to make it 4-0 a few minutes later and Ryan Harrison scored on an assist from Shawn St-Amant 24 seconds later to give Colorado a five goal lead heading into the second.
The first period was tense to say the least, with five players receiving extended time in the penalty box for fighting and Rapid City’s Dante Salituro got a 10 minute misconduct penalty for continuing an altercation in the 19th minute.
The Rush had an answer to start second period, though, as Chase Lang took a pair of passes from Ian Brady and Josh Elmes and lit the lamp to cut the deficit to four at 5-1.
Collin Bowman of Colorado brought his team’s lead back up to five in the 13th minute and Gabriel Verpaelst added to it with another goal in the 18th minute.
The final 20 minutes of regulation were fairly quiet in terms of scoring, even though Garbowsky added an insurance goal in the sixth minute to put the game away.
Despite being outshot 19-6 in the first period, the Rush offense had more opportunities in the final two period and finished with an overall shooting deficit of 30-26.
Kenton Miller finished the game with five total shots, while Daniel Leavens had four.
Lang’s lone goal came on three total shot attempts.
Rapid City (10-24-2-0) will start a four game series with the Utah Grizzlies in Utah on Monday at 1:30 p.m.