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Fox 100.3 Rapid City : Rush Article

Rush Gain Point, Fall in Shootout



(WICHITA, KS) – Nick Latta scored in the bottom of the second shootout round to give the Wichita Thunder a sweep of the Rapid City Rush with a 3-2 shootout win on Sunday afternoon.  The shootout loss is the first one for the Rush since March 24, 2016 when they fell 6-5 to the Alaska Aces.


For a second game in a row, the Rush provided the first goal of the contest.  With exactly 5 minutes gone by, Ian Brady crept off of the blue line and fired a shot into a traffic jam in front of the Wichita net.  The puck appeared to deflect off of a defenseman of the Thunder and by their goalie Nick Riopel to give the Rush a 1-0 lead (Caito and Dylan Labbe assisted).  Wichita countered with a game-tying tally in the final three minutes of the period to deadlock the teams after one period.  With2:57 remaining in the first, Nick Latta, in the midst of a delayed penalty against the Rush, skated into the slot area of the Rush zone and rifled a shot by Rush net-minder Christian Frey to square the game at 1-1 after 20 minutes (Guillaume Lepine and Jon Puskar assisted).


Both teams squared off in a highly contested middle frame, but the Rush eventually hit paydirt to take back the lead into the third period.  With 75 seconds left in the second, Dante Salituro won a faceoff to Daniel Leavens on the right-wing side of the offensive zone, and Leavens positioned himself at the top of the faceoff circle for a shot.  Dragging a defender on his backside, Leavens managed to send the puck to the slot area where it was directed by Labbe and by Riopel to give the Rush a 2-1 lead heading into the last period of regulation (Salituro and Leavens assisted).


The lead was short-lived, as Wichita tied things up again to force the eventual sessions of free hockey.  With 16:16 left in the game, Lepine ripped a shot from the near side that was initially stopped by Frey, but Johnny Daniels pocketed the rebound to square the game back at 2-2 (Lepine and Mark MacMillan assisted).  Both teams couldn’t muster a go-ahead strike for a regulation win, so overtime was upon the Mountain Division rivals.


Kenton Miller was centimeters away from giving the Rush the second point with seconds remaining in overtime, but was denied by Riopel point-blank with the rim of his glove to eventually force a shootout.


Anthony Collins shot in the top of the first round and clanked the post, with his shot followed by a Ralph Cuddemi denial by Christian Frey.  Nick Riopel denied Kenton Miller again in the top of the second round, and was then followed by the game-winning tally of Nick Latta, who five-holed Frey to give the Thunder a 1-0 lead in the shootout heading into the last round.  Dylan Labbe missed the net, giving the Thunder the second point, the sweep, and the 3-2 win after 65+ minutes of play.


Christian Frey stopped 32 of 34 shots in net, suffering the shootout defeat (2-9-1-1).


The Rush now head back home for a three-game series against the Idaho Steelheads on Wednesday night, February 21st.  Puck drop is slated for 7:05 p.m. MST at Premier Home Mortgage Ice in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
Phone number: 605-394-4487
Address: 660 Florman STE 100
Rapid City, SD 57701