Rapid City Rush coach Daniel Tetrault was noticeably upset with his team's effort in the first period of Wednesday's loss to the Idaho Steelheads.
Friday night, the Rush responded as Rapid City put together 60 minutes of good hockey and knocked off the Steelheads 4-2 at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center,
The win snapped a four-game losing streak.
"They came out flying. We had 15 shots in the first, had great pace and killed a lot of penalties tonight," Tetrault said. "A lot of character blocking shots, doing whatever it takes. Plus getting Peter (Sivak) back, he scored the game winner."
Sivak had missed time to be with his family after the death of his father.
"It was an inspiration for the team tonight," Tetrault said. "We sure missed him."
It was Idaho that got off to a good start in the first five minutes. It took Rapid City almost four minutes to register its first shot, and in that time Idaho scored.
Max French was the first to light the lamp, when he score with 17:05 to play off assists from Cole Ully and Charlie Dodero.
Rapid City responded with a goal with 6:34 remaining, when Andrew Miller deflected a rebound by Idaho goalie Philippe Desrosiers to tie the game up. Pavel Jenys and Matt Caito assisted.
The first period ended with the score tied at one and Rapid City started on the power play. It only took Dante Salituro 57 seconds to find the back of the net and give the Rush the lead. He was assisted by Jenys and Gustav Bouramman.
Idaho would get its own power play goal, with 5:52 left in the second Steve McParland scored off assists from Brady Bassart and Will Merchant. The period ended with the teams tied at two.
Sivak would come up big with 13:10 remaining, scoring what would be the game-winning goal off assists from Kenton Miller and Riley Weselowski.
Caito would add an empty net goal with 1:26 remaining the seal the win.
Caito and Dylan Labbe, as well as Weselowski, were in the middle of plenty of scrums. As the game got later both teams got more testy with each other, which is something Tetrault said he liked seeing.
"They battled for 60 minutes," he said. "They were giving out hits, taking hits to make plays and blocking shots. They played for one another and they played hard. It was a good way to respond against a good team."
Rapid City outshot Idaho 35-25 and went 6-of-7 on penalty kills.
Tetrault said it was good to see his team bounce back from a rough loss Wednesday, and a series in Wichita where it didn't win a game.
"We stayed an extra night in Wichita and bused here. It took us 17 or 18 hours," he said. "I think there was some fatigue, and you don't want to make excuses, but it certainly was a factor. We had a great practice (Thursday) and were ready to play."
The win improves Rapid City to 19-31-2-1, while Idaho falls to 31-18-4-2. The Rush have 41 points and are still 15 points behind the Allen Americans for the fourth spot in the Mountain Division and 11 behind the Utah Grizzlies for second to last in the division.
Tetrault wasn't talking about playoff chances, however, after the win. With 19 games remaining, he said he just wants the team to finish out the season on a good note.
"Finish strong, we want to get on a winning streak and win as many games as possible," he said. "The guys have a lot of pride, (assistant coach) Nello (Ferrerra) and I have a lot of pride. We're not going to quit, and we're going to play like this every night from here to the end of the season, one game at a time, and just play hard."
Idaho and Rapid City play tonight at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center at 7 p.m.