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Fox 100.3 Rapid City : Rush Article




(WEST VALLEY CITY, UT) – Steven Tarasuk and Andrew Radjenovic both scored their first goals of the season on the power play and shorthanded, respectively, to bring the game within two goals twice, but the Utah Grizzlies scored 3 times on 10 power plays to sweep the Rush with a 6-2 win on Saturday night.


Two nights in a row, the Grizzlies jumped on the board first, and, for a second straight night, that goal came from Josh Winquist.  With 4:44 gone by in the game, Caleb Herbert, on the first Utah power play of the game, cut into the Rush zone on the right wing side.  As he came to the goal line, he fired the puck on a sharp angle towards the slot area and the puck bounced off of the pads of Rush net-minder Michael Bitzer.  Bitzer couldn’t locate the rebound in his crease, but Winquist did, and poked it home to give the Grizzlies a 1-0 lead (Herbert and Kevin Davis assisted).  The Rush fired back well offensively, but couldn’t muster a tying goal after 20 minutes.


Things broke down early for the Rush in the second period, as Utah struck twice 1:07 apart within the first two minutes of the period.  Starting off the entries was Kevin Davis, who notched his first goal as a pro after the puck was turned over inside the blue line in the Rush zone.  It was worked around to the point, and Davis rifled a shot off of the bar and in 42 seconds into the period to make it a 2-0 Utah lead (Gage Ausmus and Josh Winquist assisted).  Exactly 67 seconds later, Ryan Walters took advantage of commotion in front of the Rush net and fired a rebound by Bitzer to extend the lead to 3-0 with 1:49 played in the period (Matt Puhfal and Brendan Harms assisted).  The Rush power play brought the game back within a few minutes later, when Steven Tarasuk earned his first goal in a Rush uniform.  With 5:02 played in the frame, Tarasuk jumped off the blue line on the Rush’s third power play of the game and slammed a rebound from the slot behind Grizzlies goalie Joe Cannata to cut the deficit to 3-1 (Pierre-Luc Mercier and Chris Leibinger assisted).  Utah struck once more in the last minute of the period in four-on-four hockey.  With 41.5 seconds left, Matt Berry was denied of a scoring opportunity in the Rush zone on a great back-check by Chris Leibinger, but the Rush couldn’t get the puck out of their zone.  Kevin Davis got the puck and fired a blue line shot that was deflected by Berry to give Utah a 4-1 lead into the third (Davis and Gage Ausmus assisted).


Special teams was the theme of the third period, as 14 penalties were called between both teams.  The Rush were guilty of nine of the penalties, including six minors, and Utah rode the momentum and struck two more times on the power play to run away with the win.  Andrew Radjenovic struck while shorthanded before the Rush penalties started to rack up to bring the Rush back within two.  With 11:58 left in the game, the Rush won an offensive zone draw on the PK, and Radjenovic blasted a loose puck by a confused Cannata to cut the deficit to 4-2 (Adam Marsh got the lone assist).  After that, back-to-back penalties were called against the Rush, putting Utah on a five-on-three power play.  Caleb Herbert gave the Grizzlies a 5-2 lead when he blasted a one-timer by Bitzer on a Taylor Richart cross-ice pass with 9:54 left in the game, followed by a Matt Berry power play tally 45 seconds later to bring the game to its final score of 6-2.


Michael Bitzer suffered the loss, stopping 30 of 36 shots in his Rush debut (0-1-0).


The Rush now head back home for home-opening weekend against the Kansas City Mavericks on October 20th and 21st.  Puck drop for the 11th season opener in team history on Saturday the 20th is slated for 7:05.
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