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Aaron Boyd and Dante Salituro had big nights as the Rapid City Rush ended the 2017-18 season with an offensive explosion and a 9-6 win on the road over the Tulsa Oilers.

Rapid City ends its 10th season 25-41-3-3 with 56 points.

Salituro scored four goals and Boyd scored two as a big second period lifted the Rush. But a strong third period from Tulsa almost brought the Oilers back from a three goal deficit. 

Salituro scored his first goal seven minutes and 53 seconds into the game off an assist from Daniel Leavens. He struck again six minutes later on assists from Jack Walker and Peter Sivak.

Tulsa got one of the goals back with 46 seconds left in the first when Ryan Tesink found the back of the net with the help of Charlie Sampair and Eric Drapluk, the goal also was short-handed. At the end of the first the Rush led 2-1.

Boyd scored his first goal 3:27 into the second with Andrew Radjenovic providing the assist. Tulsa responded with a power-play goal 9:07 into the period when Roman Ammirato scored on assists from Steven Kaunisto and Tesink.

Less than two minutes later Salituro scored again with assists from Brayden Sherbinin and Sivak. 

Adam Pleskach made it a one-goal game for the Oilers 13:14 into a wild second period. He was assisted by Garrett Ladd and Sampair.

The Rush ended the period strong, with two goals in the final four minutes to take a 6-3 lead. Boyd started with a goal with 3:26 left with assists from Willem Nong-Lambert and Radjenovic.

Radjenovic got a goal of his own with 1:01 left in the second with assists from Riley Weselowski and Nong-Lambert.

Tulsa came out strong in the second and was able to get some good shots on Rapid City goalie Christian Frey.

Kyle Rhodes scored 6:40 into the third with the help of Chris Joyaux and Kaunisto. Evan Richardson followed with a goal less than two minutes later with assists from Ammirato and Sam Wilbur, to make it 6-5.

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Longtime Rush defenseman Weselowski was able to find the back of the net to give Rapid City a brief cushion 11:12 into the third. He was assisted by Leavens and Sherbinin.

Still, Tulsa wouldn't go away. Wilbur scored with 2:41 remaining to make it 7-6 with assists from Ammirato and Richardson.

The Oilers then pulled goalie Jake Hildebrand, and the Rush pounced.

Walker scored an empty-net goal with 1:48 remaining with Boyd and Nong-Lambert assisting. Hildebrand came back in, but the Rush got one more insurance goal from Salituro with an assist coming from Leavens.

Tulsa ends the season 31-29-3-9 with 74 points. The Rush end the season on a three-game winning streak.

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Sports Reporter

Sports reporter for the Rapid City Journal.