Rush Fall In Finale
RUSH FALL IN EMOTIONAL FINAL GAME
(RAPID CITY, SD) – Geoff Fortman tied the game late in the second period, but Matt Register responded within the final minute of the second to help the Colorado Eagles to an eventual 3-1 win over the Rapid City Rush in the latter’s final game of the regular season.
The game started off with the presentation of the “Blaine Jarvis Heart and Soul Award” to Rush defenseman, Riley Weselowski. Weselowski played college hockey with Jarvis, who passed away last season in an accident, at Bemidji State University, and also won the 2010 Ray Miron Presidents’ Cup Championship with the Rush after their college careers concluded.
For a second consecutive night, the Eagles jumped on the board first and once again skated away with the 1-0 lead. Just 68 seconds into the contest, Luke Salazar and Jackson Houck went down the ice on a two-on-one break. Salazar deferred to Houck, who buried a back-door shot by Rush net-minder, Adam Morrison, to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead (Salazar had the lone assist).
Just like the night before, the Rush fired back in the second period, and it was once again Geoff Fortman that led the charge. With 2:28 left in the second period, Anthony Mastrodicasa worked the puck from behind the net to Marcus Ortiz, and Fortman finished the latter’s pass in close range by Eagles goaltender, Kent Simpson, to square the game at 1-1 (Ortiz earned his first career assist on the goal, while Mastrodicasa notched the other). The tie would be short-lived, as Colorado would take the lead and wouldn’t look back. With 46.9 seconds left in the second Matt Brown played the puck on the near side of the Rush zone and dropped it back to an oncoming Matt Register. Register fired a shot by a screened Morrison over his shoulder and put the Eagles on top 2-1 (Brown and Johnny Lazo assisted).
There was an emotional start to the third period, as making his return in between the pipes for the Rush was legendary net-minder, Danny Battochio. Battochio, playing in his first game since he retired last season, took over the final 20 minutes of the game, and simply did not skip a beat. Battochio stopped all 7 shots he saw in relief, but the Eagles would eventual pot an empty-net goal with 1:34 left in the game, courtesy of Luke Salazar, to end the game with a 3-1 score.
Adam Morrison suffered the loss, stopping 20 of 22 shots in 40 minutes of play (16-17-4). Danny Battochio staved off all 7 shots he saw in 19:38 of relief.
From the bottom of our hearts in the Rapid City Rush office, THANK YOU Rush Nation for all the love and support! We’ll see you next year for our 10th Anniversary!