Giovanni Fiore had a goal and two assists, and Erik Källgren stopped all but one of 38 shots on net to lead the Rapid City Rush to a 4-1 win over the Tulsa Oilers on Sunday in Tulsa.
The Rush are now 3-0 against the Oilers this season and puts them a 3-1-1 in their five-game road trip to start the year. Rapid City opens it's home slate this weekend when it hosts the Utah Grizzlies Friday and Saturday night.
After a scoreless first period, the Rush jumped on Fiore's goal in the opening minutes of the second period. With 2:42 gone by in the frame, the Oilers turned the puck over in the slot to Fiore, who fired a laser past goalie Devin Williams to put the Rush up 1-0 (the goal was unassisted).
Peter Quenneville doubled the Rush lead with his third power-play goal of the season off a Chris Izmirlian pass to make it a 2-0 advantage with 11:24 left in the period (Izmirlian and Fiore assisted).
In the final minutes of the second, Tulsa cut the Rush lead in half on their first power play goal of the season. With 2:46 left in the frame, Miles Liberati slung a shot from the point that slipped past a screened Erik Källgren in the Rush net, putting Tulsa within striking distance heading into the third down 2-1 (Josh Wesley and Ryan Tesink assisted).
Early in the third period, Alex Rauter re-established the two-goal Rush lead, and the team never looked back. Just 3:22 into the final frame, Fiore won a faceoff back to Rauter in the high slot and Rauter fired a shot over Williams’ shoulder to give the Rush a 3-1 lead (Fiore had the lone assist).
Tulsa pulled Williams from the net for an extra attacker with over two minutes to play, but Chris Izmirlian countered the maneuver with his first goal in a Rush uniform into the empty net for the final goal.
Källgren earned his first win in the ECHL, stopping 37 of 38 shots in the complete 60-minute effort (1-1-0-0). For a fourth consecutive game, the Rush power play scored a goal, going 8-of-22 in that timeframe (36.4%).
The Rush now turn their sights on their home opener, hosting the Mountain Division rival Utah Grizzlies. Puck drop for both nights is 7:05 p.m. at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Ice Arena.
Throughout the weekend, the Rush will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the team’s 2010 CHL Championship, with 17 alumni players from the team attending the weekend series. The team will wear specialty red jerseys both nights, modeled after the ones the 2010 team wore the night they clinched the title. The jerseys will be auctioned live following the Saturday night game. Additionally, Friday’s game features a tailgate party from 4:30-6:30 p.m.