Aces Drop Rush Saturday Night
COFFMAN’S HAT TRICK GETS ACES SPLIT
(RAPID CITY, SD) – Riley Weselowski brought the Rapid City Rush within one late in regulation, but Tim Coffman’s hat trick provided enough separation for the Alaska Aces to come out with a 5-3 win over the Rush on Saturday night.
Two nights in a row it was the Alaska Aces that struck first, but this time it didn’t take longer than two periods to see the first goal of the game. The only tally came with 3:31 left in the first when Tommy Olczyk and Tim Coffman went on a two-on-one into the Rush zone. Olczyk deferred to Coffman, who fired under the blocker of Rush net-minder, Adam Morrison, to give the Aces a 1-0 lead heading into the second (Olczyk earned the lone helper).
The Rush tied things up in the second in one of multiple instances of four-on-four hockey that the game saw. With 10:34 gone by in the second, Ryan Walters streaked down the ice with Michael Young on a two-on-two rush. Walters cut into the Aces zone and fired a backhander that was deflected off of an Aces defender and by the goaltender, Kevin Carr, squaring the game at 1-1 heading into the final period (Terrence Wallin notched the lone assist).
For a second straight night, both teams were deadlocked heading into the final frame, and it set the table for a wild period. Both teams scored four goals within the span of 2:11. Stephen Tarasuk started off scoring at 2:02 of the final period when he blasted a Tyler Shattock centering feed from the low slot to put the Aces up 2-1 (Shattock and Daniel Moynihan assisted). Just 59 seconds later, Michael Young countered for the Rush when he busted through his defender and fired a shot by Carr to square things up at 2-2 with 16:59 left in the game (Logan Nelson earned the lone assist). Responding quick, Tim Coffman was sprung all alone on a breakaway up the ice, and earned his second of the night when he beat Morrison to give the Aces a 3-2 advantage (Steven Tarasuk and Tim Wallace assisted). Over a minute later in the Aces final power play of the game, Coffman earned his hat trick with a backdoor one-timer on the near face-off circle to put Alaska up by two at 4-2 with 15:47left in regulation (Steven Tarasuk and Chase Van Allen assisted). Time winding down, Riley Weselowski brought the Rush back within striking distance, finishing a spin-o-rama feed from Rush captain Ryan Walters with a wrister by Carr to bring the Rush down 4-3 with 2:14 left in the game (Ryan Walters and Ryan Misiak earned the assists). The Rush pulled Morrison from his net for the extra-attacker, but couldn’t tie the game late. Instead, Steven Tarasuk was denied of an empty-net goal by Alex Mikulovich, who threw his stick at Tarasuk to dislodge the puck from his person. By rule, the goal counted despite missing the net, and the Aces went on to win 5-3.
Adam Morrison stopped 29 of 33 shots in the loss (13-13-4).
The Rush start a seven-game road trip against the Idaho Steelheads next week. Puck drop for game one at CenturyLink Arena is slated for 7:10 p.m. MST.