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ECHL HOCKEY

Rush tally season-low shots and suffer 1st shutout loss of season

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Rapid City Rush goalie David Tendeck (35) absorbs a shot from Idaho forward Zack Walker, who dislodged the goal from its moorings. Tendeck took the loss in net, collecting 35 saves.

Scott Burt said he’ll address his team’s shortcomings Monday the same way he did last week.

Five pushups for every missed shot.

The Rush had opportunities to get on the board Saturday night, but shots sailed wide, over and pretty much everywhere but on the net. They finished with just 14 on target, by far a season-low, in a 3-0 loss to the Idaho Steelheads at The Monument Ice Arena that served as their inaugural blanking of the season.

“You want to hit the net, you give yourself an opportunity to score goals,” said Burt, Rapid City’s head coach. “And if you miss the net, you continuously miss the net or you don’t take those shots, and you try to be cute and you try to make those complicated plays, you don’t give an opportunity to score, and that’s what we’re doing right now.”

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Rapid City forward Brett Gravelle (23) hits the ice but still gets a shot on goal in the first period of the Rush's 3-0 loss to Idaho.

Dave Tendeck was back between the pipes after Lukas Parik made the start Friday. He recorded 35 saves among a 66% capacity crowd to move to 1-4-0 in his second year as a professional. 

The Steelheads (6-5-0) scored early again, potting their first goal at 1:31 of the first period when Colton Kehler fired a cross-ice one-timer over the left shoulder of Tendeck.

Tensions that resulted in a dual-fight in Friday’s affair continued in the opening frame of Saturday’s contest as a hard but legal hit on Kehler into the boards at 11:09 resulted in the 5-foot-9, 183-yard pound forward dropping the mitts with Kenton Helgesen, who outsized Kehler at 6-foot-3, 200-pounds. Both were sent to the box following the fight and not other fisticuffs broke out.

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Rapid City's Kenton Helgesen and Idaho's Colton Kehler square off in the first period of the Steelhead's 3-0 win Saturday.

The Rush (3-5-1) picked up their only power play of the evening on a cross-checking minor that started in the final 19.5 seconds of the first period and spilled over into the second period. Nothing came of it, however.

Later in the middle frame, Chase Zieky stuffed in a rebound past Tendeck’s left-handed glove side to give Idaho a 2-0 advantage at 17:41. 

After 40 minutes, Rapid City was outshot 28-9.

“We had opportunities to let pucks go, but we missed the net and we missed the net a lot,” Burt said. “And when you miss the net you don’t give yourself an opportunity to at least get a garbage goal, (or) to get a nice goal.”

With less than 10 minutes to play in regulation, the Rush put the pressure on with a shift that resulted in three furious shots. The best chance came from Logan Nelson, who unleashed a one-timer from the high slot that clanked off the post at 12:55.

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Rapid City forward Logan Nelson (28) fires a shot Saturday night in the Rush's 3-0 loss to Idaho.

Tendeck was pulled with 2:41 remaining in regulation. The extra attacker yielded zero shots, and in turn Clint Filbrandt glided an empty-netter from the Steelheads’ defensive zone at 18:03.

Idaho finished with a 38-14 shot advantage.

“I don’t know if we didn’t have it today, but it seems like it’s starting to get consistent of us missing the net,” Burt said. “Not giving ourselves an opportunity to battle in front of the net with our shots.”

Rapid City returns to The Monument Ice Arena on Wednesday to begin a three-games series with the Allen Americans.

Contact Matt Case at matt.case@rapidcityjournal.com

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