During their five-game winning streak, the Rapid City Rush had power-play goals in all fives games and went 9 of 15 during that stretch.
On Tuesday, the Rush's man-advantage unit was as opposite as one could be, giving up four shorthanded goals to the host Utah Grizzlies in a 5-3 loss in the first of four major games against their Western Conference foe.
Rapid City (29-24-4) played their fourth game in five days, and faced a Utah (24-21-11) squad that was without its leading goal-scorer, enforcer and head coach. The Rush remain 0.017 percentage points, ahead of the Grizzlies in the fourth and final playoff position, meaning a regulation loss in Wednesday's meeting would knock them down to fifth.
Peter Quenneville extended his points streak to seven games and put Rapid City on the board when he potted a rebound at 10:55 of the first period. Ty Lewis tied the contest with Utah's first shorthanded goal at 13:34 of the middle frame before Avery Peterson tallied his league-leading 25th goal only 26 seconds later on a power play.
Travis Barron's shorty came at 16:18 of the second to level the game 2-2, but defenseman Charlie Curti scored with 14 seconds left in the period to keep to keep the lead with the Rush at the second intermission.
Barron then proceeded to tally a hat trick in the third period alone, all shorthanded goals. He scored the equalizer at 8:08, the go-ahead goal at 13:07 and the insurance mark at 19:01 on an empty-netter to finish with four total goals.
Barron's three shorthanded goals tied an ECHL single-game record, and the Grizzlies' four shorthanded goals also tied a single-game record.
Wednesday's matchup begins at 7:10 p.m.
Contact Matt Case at email@example.com