The Rapid City Rush kicked off a weekend doubleheader with a road matchup against rival Colorado on Friday night.
In a game that saw a high scoring, fast paced offensive show in the first period, followed by a lapse of goals the rest of the way, the Eagles picked up the 5-4 win at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colo.
The high scoring first period saw seven goals, starting with a Teigan Zahn score 34 seconds into regulation on a pair of assists from Jake Marchment and Drayson Bowman to give the Eagles the early lead.
A little over two minutes later, the Rush offense answered when Dante Salituro beat Colorado’s Sam Brittain on an assist from Riley Weselowski.
Colorado would use a pair of power play opportunities to add to its first period lead a short time later, including goals from Michael Joly in the sixth minute, followed by a Matt Register three minutes later.
With the possibility of the game slipping away early, Marcus Ortiz lit the lamp on an assist from Alex Guptill to cut the deficit to 3-2 with eight minutes remaining.
The Eagles had another answer in the 18th minute, as Joey Ratelle scored on an unassisted shot to give Colorado the three goal advantage.
On Rapid City’s next possession, Anthony Collins got in on the action and cut into the Eagles’ deficit again, assisted by Matt Caito and Michael Young.
The second period was more of a defensive struggle for both teams, even though Colorado’s Shawn St-Amant was able to score the only goal of the period to take a 5-3 lead.
The Rush became the aggressor in the latter part of the third, cutting the deficit to just one goal as Kenton Miller scored on an assist from Ian Brady with 9:46 remaining in regulation.
For the remainder of regulation, Rapid City fought to tie the game but shots from Guptill and Gustav Bouramman wouldn’t find their marks as the Rush dropped their fifth straight to open the season.
After giving up four goals in the first period, Rush goalie Steve Michalek only allowed one goal the rest of the way as he stopped 23 of Colorado’s 28 total shots.
On the other side, Brittain turned Rapid City away on 28 of its 32 shots.
Offensively, Salituro and Guptill paced the Rush with four shots apiece.
Rapid City (0-5-0) will head back home looking for its first win when it hosts the Eagles tonight at 7:05 p.m.