The Rapid City Rush missed out on a golden opportunity for a big Mountain Division road win, as the Utah Grizzlies picked up a 2-1 overtime win Wednesday night at the Maverik Center in West Valley City, Utah.
Rapid City led 1-0 through the first 53 minutes of the game, only to see Utah tie the contest with 6:15 remaining and then win the contest barely two minutes into the first overtime period.
The Rush still picked up one point and have 59 points on the season, standing in fourth place in the division, three ahead of Tulsa. The Rush's magic number in clinching a playoffs' spot is 30 with 19 games remaining.
The loss was the second straight to Utah (3-1 Monday night), which stands in second-place in the division with 71 points.
After a scoreless first period, the Rush took the 1-0 lead when Tyler Coulter scored on a power-play goal, assisted by Dane Birks at the 10:46 mark.
In the third, Utah broke through for its first goal against Rush net-minder Gordon Defiel, when Griffen Molino scored, assisted by Taylor Richart, 13:35 into the period.
Unfortunately, Rapid City didn't get one shot off on goal in the overtime period before the Grizzlies came away with the win. Peter Tischke scored the game-winner, assisted by Tim McGauley and Ty Lewis, 2:12 into the first 3X3 extra session.
Utah held a commanding 49-24 shots on goal edge.
Defiel was the hard-luck loser (3-2-2-0 with the Rush, 3-4-2-0 overall) on goal, although he stopped 47 of 49 shots. For Utah, Martin Ouellette stopped all by one of 24 shots for the win.
The Rush, 27-21-5-0, will look to bounce back this weekend as they continue their western road swing, facing Idaho Friday and Saturday night in Boise. First puck drop is set for 7:10 p.m. both nights.
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