The Rapid City Rush closed out the weekend in Utah, looking for an opportunity to snap their current seven-game losing skid.
Although the Rush played a tough game that came right down to the end, a couple of late goals from the Grizzlies were just enough as Utah picked up the 5-3 win at the Maverik Center on Saturday night.
Similar to Friday night’s matchup with the Grizzlies, the scoring started on the wrong end of the ice for the Rush as Ryan Misiak took a pair of passes from Kyle Thomas and Angus Redmond and lit the lamp to give Utah the early lead.
The Grizzlies remained aggressive in the first period and it would eventually pay off again as Erik Higby found the back of the net on assists from Taylor Richart and Ryan Olsen in the 17th minute.
At the end of the first period, Utah had a 20-13 advantage in shots taken, as well a 2-0 lead on the scoreboard.
Although the second period was quiet most of the way, the Rush made a little noise at the 13:35 mark as Tommy Maxwell scored an unassisted goal to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Neither team was able to find the net the rest of the second period, but Rapid City kept the momentum and tied the game six minutes into the third.
Pavel Jenys knotted the game up for the Rush, as he scored on a pair of assists from Kenton Miller and Peter Sivak.
A little over a minute later, Utah’s Greger Hanson regained the lead for his team on assists from Chris Leibinger and Michael Pelech.
The Grizzlies would add to that lead less than two minutes later, as Thomas lit the lamp on assists from Hanson and Olsen to take a 4-2 advantage.
With seven minutes remaining in regulation, the Rush cut the deficit again as Evan Janssen scored on assists from Jack Walker and Dante Salituro.
Three minutes later, Utah’s Pelech extended the lead back to two at 5-3 on assists from Mitch Jones and Hanson.
Miller gave the Rush glimmer of hope with 23 seconds remaining in regulation when he scored on an assist from Sivak.
Rapid City wasn’t able to get many more opportunities the rest of the way and Utah held on for the win.
Rush get goaltender Owen from Wichita
The Rapid City Rush announced Saturday that it acquired veteran goaltender Shane Owen from the Wichita Thunder for future considerations. Owen made his Rush debut Saturday night in the series finale with the Utah Grizzlies.
Owen comes to the Rush after skating this season with BIK Karlskoga in the Allsvenskan and the Wichita Thunder in the ECHL. In the Allsvenskan, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound net-minder posted a 3-10-0 record in 13 games with a 2.88 GAA and .909 SV%. He added an additional two games in Wichita, going 0-2-0 with a 4.16 GAA and .887 SV%.