After falling to the Brampton Beast Wednesday night on a goal scored with only 19 seconds left in the game, the Rapid City Rush needed to regroup.
Rapid City did just that, outlasting Brampton in an eight-round shootout to pick up two more points, 3-2.
"It feels real good," Rush coach Daniel Tetrault said. "The guys played well, the guys played hard. We played hard in the last game, we just took a period off, in the second period. I addressed that in the meeting. Tonight it was a full 60 (minutes)."
The Rush found themselves in the exact same situation as Wednesday. The score was tied at two with under a minute remaining in regulation, but this time Brampton wouldn’t get the deciding goal and the game went to overtime.
Overtime didn't produce many chances for either team, so after five minutes the game went to a shootout. Seven Rush and Beast players couldn't find the back of the net, until Matt Caito finally was able to put the puck in the net.
Rapid City goalie Steve Michalek was spectacular in goal, and Tetrault said he was the number one star of the night. He was called on one more time, to stop Brampton's Luc-Oliver Blain, and he did just that.
"You're looking down at the other end and you're seeing the other guy make all the saves, it's just a matter of staying even-keeled," Michalek said. "Just focus on the next shooter. It puts the pressure on a little bit, but that's fun for the goalie."
It was a night where Rapid City won the special teams battle, as Brampton’s penalty kill struggled in the first five minutes. Two power plays resulted in two goals for Rapid City.
The first came less than three minutes into the game when Gustav Bouramman scored and was assisted by Jimmy DeVito and Dante Sallturo, followed by a goal from Kenton Miller on an assist from Evan Janssen with 15:34 remaining in the period.
The Beast would respond later in the period with a goal of their own, Matt Petgrave scored with 5:34 left in the period on assists from Brandon Marino and Mike Folkes.
The first period would end with the score 2-1, with both teams tallying 10 shots on goal during the first 20 minutes.
The Rush’s penalty kill unit would be tested for most of the second period, but Rapid City answered the call.
Brampton was on a power play four times during the second period, including a five on three for about 30 seconds. The Beast were unable to find the goal once.
After constantly playing defense, the Rush were also unable to score in the second and after the first 40 minutes the score was still 2-1.
Brampton outshot Rapid City 9-6 in the period.
"You can't take the pedal off. You have to keep pushing and can't take shifts off," Tetrault said. "We have a tendency to get complacent, even when we score the first few goals we tend to back off. We took some bad penalties tonight. When you're up "
The Rush’s luck would run out early in the third, as Corey Durocher was able to push a puck from the left side by Michalek to tie the game. Cody Donaghey had the assist and the goal came less than two minutes into the period.
It didn’t get easier for the Rush after that, as they struggled to create offense and the puck stayed in Brampton’s control for the first 13 minutes of the period.
Both teams were able to generate some good chances in the final five minutes of regulation, Brampton had a power play with four minutes left, but Rapid City was able to kill the power play.
Rapid City’s penalty kill was 7-of-7 on the night.
"Our penalty kill was great tonight, Steve (Michalek) made some great saves," Tetrault said. "We went to the video to see what they were doing with their power play, that really helped out. We played tight, didn't give them much, and obviously your goal-tender is your number one penalty kill and Steve came up big."
Neither team could score in the overtime period and both goalies were dominant in the shootout until Caito's goal and Michalek's stop sealed the deal for Rapid City.
Rapid City is now 2-6-0-0 with four points, while Brampton is 2-5-1-1 with six points. The two teams will drop the puck from the Civic Center for the series finale tonight at 7 p.m.