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Fox 100.3 Rapid City : Rush Article




(RAPID CITY, SD) – Cedric Montminy gave the Rapid City Rush an early lead in the first period, and Pierre-Luc Mercier tied the game in the second, but the Kansas City Mavericks used some late Rush penalties to kill their opposition’s momentum to hand the Rush a 3-2 loss on Saturday night, the 11th home opener in the history of Rush hockey.


For the first time in the early stages of the season, the Rush struck first in the contest.  With 3:53 gone by in the game, Cedric Montminy forced a turnover on the Mavericks blue line and played the puck to Pierre-Luc Mercier on the far wall of the offensive zone.  Mercier saw Montminy crash the net and threaded the puck to his stick, which deflected the puck behind Mavericks goaltender Nick Schneider to give the Rush an early 1-0 lead (Mercier had the lone assist).  Just after the midway point of the period, the Rush were on their first power play of the game when Kansas City tied things up, taking advantage of a defensive zone turnover.  With 9:03 left in the frame, the puck was lost in the slot area of the Rush zone, and Jared VanWormer rifled a shot by Rush net-minder Tyler Parks to knot the game at 1-1 (the goal was unassisted).


The Rush started off the period on the penalty kill and successfully killed the two minutes, but a fraction of a second following the conclusion of the man-advantage, Joey Sides barely caught a piece of a fluttering puck on the side of the net and poked it by Parks to give the Mavericks a 2-1 lead (Riley Sweeney and Jordan Ernst assisted).  The lead only lasted around five minutes, and it was the connection of Mercier and Montminy again that leveled the score.  With 7:59 played in the second, Montminy dropped the puck back to Rush newcomer Darby Llewelly, who tipped the puck to Mercier on the near half wall.  Mercier immediately fired a snap shot that went off the shoulder of Schneider and in, tying the game at 2 aside (Montminy and Llewellyn assisted).  In similar fashion, the share on the scoreboard was short-lived, and the next goal proved to be the game-winner.  With 9:30 left in the second, Parks misplayed a puck in close range and opened up the Mavericks for a scoring chance.  Matt Robertson slammed a Rocco Carzo rebound in the net to give the Mavericks a 3-2 lead (Carzo had the only assist).


At the start of the third period, Parks was removed from the game and Michael Bitzer took over goaltending duties for the remainder of regulation.  Bitzer stopped all four shots he saw, including an insane blocker save on a wide-open net, robbing Darian Dziurzynski and the Mavericks of a potential two-goal lead.  The Rush outshot the Mavericks 11-4 in the third, but late penalties killed their momentum, and the Mavericks held on for the win despite allowing numerous scoring chances.


Tyler Parks suffered the loss, stopping 18 of 21 shots in 40 minutes of game time (0-2-0).  Michael Bitzer played 19:30 of relief and stopped all 4 shots in the effort.


The Rush and Mavericks will rematch tomorrow afternoon at Premier Home Mortgage Ice in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, with puck drop slated for 3:05 p.m. MST.
Phone number: 605-394-4487
Address: 660 Florman STE 100
Rapid City, SD 57701