The Rapid City Rush exploded for six unanswered goals and cruised to a 7-1 win over the Utah Grizzlies on Friday night at The Monument Ice Arena.
Rapid City stuck first in the first period while working with a power play. Matt Marcinew found Keanu Yamamoto at the left circle. He loaded up a snap shot that snuck through the short side of Trent Miner and the Rush took a 1-0 lead.
Utah answered two minutes later with a power play strike of its own. Andrew Nielsen sent a pass to the back door where Johnny Walker had inside position. He redirected the pass into the net and the score was tied at one.
The Rush took the lead for good in the second period when Jimmy Soper took the puck in the right wing corner and carried it toward the net. He dragged it from his backhand to his forehand and slid a shot under Miner’s pads, making the score 2-1.
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They extended that lead later in the middle frame after Yamamoto forced a turnover and chased the puck down in the attacking zone. He fed the trailing Marcinew at the top of the crease for a shot that he chipped past Miner to push the lead to 3-1.
Rapid City kept pouring it on in the third period when Weiland Parrish found Brett Gravelle for a chance in front that Miner stopped. But Parrish banked the rebound off Miner’s pads from below the goal line and in to make it 4-1.
Later, Ryan Zuhlsdorf teed up Zach Court for a one-timer that he blasted home from the top of the right circle. Soper picked up his second goal of the game with a breakaway that he buried. And Court struck one more time with another slap shot from the right circle that extended the lead to its 7-1 final.
Soper scored twice in his Rapid City debut, Court recorded a career-high three points and the Rush outshot the Grizzlies 21-2 in the third period. Rapid City snapped a five-game losing streak with the win and improved to 21-23-1-0 while Utah lost for the fourth consecutive game and fell to 19-24-1-0.
Because the Rush won and scored at least six goals, all fans in attendance will receive free access to Watiki Indoor Waterpark Resort. The offer can be redeemed from February 11-17 by showing the ticket from Friday night’s game.
The Rush and Grizzlies will face off again on Saturday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at The Monument Ice Arena.