The Rapid City Rush tried to salvage a disappointing week in West Valley City, Utah, by taking a 2-0 lead in the first period of Saturday's series finale with the Utah Grizzlies.
It was short-lived, as the Grizzlies potted power-play goals in the middle frame to even the contest and scored the game-winner with 1:55 remaining in regulation to earn the four-game sweep and build their slim lead over the Rush in the fourth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Rapid City (29-27-4) suffered its fifth straight loss, its second longest slide since dropping six straight in the first month of the season. It now trails Utah by 0.034 percentage points, or three games, with 12 remaining.
Dave Tendeck got the start in net and made 29 saves in the loss.
The Rush got on the board at 1:59 of the first period when Peter Quenneville rifled in a one-timer of a cross-ice pass from brother David Quenneville on a power play. Stephen Baylis followed with a goal off a rebound from the low slot at 7:48 to make it 2-0.
Rapid City couldn't find the back of the net again, as they finished the series failing to score a goal in in eight of 12 periods. Instead, Matthew Boucher, who missed the first three games of the set due to a suspension, gave Utah its first goal on a power play at 7:51 of the middle frame, and tallied his second of the night 29 seconds later, also on a power play.
Hayden Hodgson's go-ahead goal at 18:05 of the third helped secure the sweep and a 12-2-2 season record against the Rush.
The Rush travel to Kansas for a three-game series against the Wichita Thunder Friday through Sunday. They'll return home the following week for a four-game set against the Indy Fuel beginning May 19.