After losing the first of a three game road series with the Colorado Eagles on Wednesday, the Rapid City Rush were looking for an opportunity to knot it up at one game apiece heading into Saturday’s finale.
The Rush jumped ahead early, but were unable to hold on as Colorado scored three third period goals to take a 4-2 victory at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colo., on Friday night.
The opening 20 minutes of the game were a defensive struggle for both teams, even though the Eagles came out and peppered Rapid City’s Adam Vay with six shots in the first seven minutes of regulation.
The Rush outshot Colorado the rest of the way, even though the Eagles outshot Rapid City 11-7 in the first.
The second period was a different story, especially for the Rush as they kicked off the game’s scoring in the fifth minute on a goal from Peter Sivak on assists from Josh Elmes and Ian Brady.
In the 18th minute, Sivak scored his second goal of the game to give the Rush a 2-0 advantage when he scored on another assist from Elmes.
The Eagles would close out the period on a positive note, as Jake Marto took a pass from Matt Garbowsky and flipped the puck past Vay at the 19:10 mark to make it 2-1 heading into the third.
The third period belonged to Colorado from the outset, as the Eagles found the back of the net three times in a span of four minutes.
The first goal came in the third minute as Michael Joly lit the lamp on assists from Jesse Mychan and Matt Register to tie the game at 2-all.
A little under two minutes later, Joly added his second goal of the game on assists from Marto and Register.
In the seventh minute, the Eagles took a 4-2 lead as J.C. Beaudin took advantage of a power play opportunity and scored on a pair of assists from Brady Shaw and Collin Bowman.
Despite taking a trio of shots in the final two minutes of the game, the Rush couldn’t get any closer as Colorado held on for the win.
The Eagles outshot Rapid City 32-25, even though they each had seven shots in the third.
The Rush (10-23-2-0) will close out the weekend series tonight in Colorado starting at play Colorado tonight 7:05 p.m.