With the Rapid City Rush out of playoff contention, Friday's opener of a two-game series with the Kansas City Mavericks to end the season was to be used as a way to evaluate players for next season.
According to Rapid City coach Daniel Tetrault, Friday night wasn't a good start.
The Rush were outshot 30-21 and gave up two goals in the third period in a 5-1 loss to the Mavericks.
"I didn't feel we were ready to play," Tetrault said. "We got the first goal, but then we got into penalty trouble and it killed the flow of the game. But we didn't play very well. We were just not involved."
The Rush were charged with 20 penalties while Kansas City had 13.
"You have to keep playing hard, it's tough," Tetrault said. "We're still evaluating for next season and some guys didn't show up tonight. It was a rough game."
It was the Rush that got off to a rolling start, as a Justin Faryna poked the puck by Kansas City goalie Mason McDonald with assists from Dexter Dancs and Cedric Montminy with 16 minutes, 58 seconds remaining in the first.
It didn’t take long for the Mavericks to respond, as with 14:49 to go they scored when Jared VanWormer found the back of the net with the help of Greg Betzold and Loren Ulett.
Kansas City went up 2-1 when Rapid City turned the puck over in its own zone, and C.J. Eick was ready and waiting to take the puck by Rush goalie Adam Carlson.
The goal was unassisted, shorthanded and came with 10:09 to go in the period.
With 3:20 to go in the period, a scary moment happened when Rapid City's Richard Coyne went into the boards and did not get up. He was taken off the ice on a stretcher, and after a lengthy delay the referees decided to take the 18-minute intermission break with 3:20 to go.
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When the players came out they played the final 3:20 of the first period, took a minute break and then played the second period.
A back-breaking goal came for the Mavericks with only 19.7 seconds remaining when Eick scored again, this time on an assist from Rocco Carzo and Brayden Sherbinin. The second ended with Kansas City leading 3-1.
In the third period the Mavs put their stamp on the win. With 12:07 left Cedric Montminy was sent to the penalty box and Kansas City made the Rush pay.
Crazo scored with 11:46 to go and was assisted by Darian Dziurzynski and Mike Panowyk.
"He (game official) decided to call everything tonight," Tetrault said.
Carlson was called for delay of game and a player took his place in the penalty box, but right off the face-off Rapid City was shorthanded again. It didn't take long for the Mavericks to get their second power play goal of the night.
Only 16 seconds after the goal, Willie Raskob scored on assists from Dziurzynski and Eick.
Carlson then flipped the net and started to hit his stick against the boards, and he was given a 10-minute misconduct for abuse of officials. He was replaced by Tyler Parks, who Tetrault said will start Saturday.
"You want to end the season with a win," Tetrault said. "We have to stay out of the box. I don't have much to say, we weren't really ready but we have to come out hard tomorrow and finish strong. Get our 30th win
The loss drops Rapid City to 29-33-5-4 with 67 points and Kansas City moved to 36-30-3-2 with 77 points. The two teams face each other in the final game of the season at 7 p.m.