The Rapid City Rush closed their regular-season road schedule with a tough 4-3 shootout victory over the Denver Cutthroats on Sunday afternoon in Denver.
The win puts the Rush four points ahead of the fifth-place Missouri Mavericks. Rapid City will close out the regular season with five home games, including Friday night when they host the Tulsa Oilers.
After a scoreless first period, Rapid City came storming out of the gates in the second period with Rusty Masters’ 10th goal of the season, assisted by Jesse Schultz and Kyle Peto, and Scott Wray's 20th goal of the season. Jordan Behler and Jared Brown assisted on the goal.
With the Rush leading 2-0 after the second frame, the Cutthroats came back with a pair of goals in under three minutes from Gabe Gauthier at the 1:01 minute mark and from AJ Gale, his 39th of the season, just 3:45 into the period.
Five minutes later, the Rush took a 3-2 lead on a goal from Justin Faryna, assisted by Masters and Jeff Lee, only to see the Cutthroats answer with a power-play goal from Brad Smyth, as he slipped the puck past goaltender Danny Battochio at the 10:21 mark.
Battochio, however, stood strong with a scoreless overtime, and in the shootout, allowing one goal on the first shot from Denver’s Jamie MacQueen. The Rush earned the victory with goals from Schultz and Wray.
Thunder varsity boys finish fourth at state
The Rushmore Thunder varsity boys’ hockey team dropped a 5-2 decision to the Oahe Capitals in the third-place contest at the state tournament on Sunday in Brookings.
Brookings took a 2-0 lead with a pair of goals in the first period, but the Thunder bounced back with two in the second on a goal by Tyler Nolan at the 5:10 mark (assisted by Jack Olson) and a goal by Michael Petrotto, assisted by Nolan, at 12:53.
Oahe, however, dominated the third period with three goals to get the win.
Jason Walter stopped 29 of 34 shots on goal for the Thunder. Oahe out-shot Rushmore 34-15 in the game, including 13-3 in the third period.