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Fox 100.3 Rapid City : Rush Article

MERCIER’S HAT TRICK NOT ENOUGH IN 2018 FINALE

MERCIER’S HAT TRICK NOT ENOUGH IN 2018 FINALE

                                                                                                                           

(RAPID CITY, SD) – Pierre-Luc Mercier notched his first career hat trick in a back-and-forth game that ultimately saw his effort, along with a 3/6 power play performance come short, as the Idaho Steelheads defeated the Rush by a 6-5 score on New Year’s Eve.  With the loss, the Rush suffered a three-game sweep to the Steelheads dating back to December 28th.

 

For the first time in the series, and first time since December 14th in Utah, the Rush provided the game’s first goal and left the first period with a lead on the strength of their power play.  With 8:11 gone by in the contest, on the first Rush power play of the night, Pierre-Luc Mercier got the Rush on the board when he slammed an Andrew Radjenovic rebound past Idaho goalie Colton Point to give the Rush a 1-0 lead (Radjenovic and Josh Elmes assisted).  On the team’s second power play of the game, Chris Lebinger doubled the lead, banging a one-time pass from Dylan Quaile in the slot area to put the Rush up 2-0 with 35.9 seconds left in the period (Quaile and Brayden Sherbinin assisted).

 

Idaho stormed right back in the second period, yet, despite the surge, the Rush battled back with three of their own to maintain their lead heading into the third.  At 5:41 of the second, Alexander Dahl put the Steelheads on the board when he slammed an A.J. White wrap around attempt that went past the crease behind Rush net-minder Adam Carlson to cut the Rush lead to 2-1 (White and Clint Lewis assisted).  Under two minutes later, while on a delayed penalty, Brady Norrish deflected a Keegan Kanzig shot by Carlson to square the game at 2-2 with 7:07 played in the second (Kanzig and Reid Petryk assisted).  Idaho overtook the Rush on Kanzig’s first of the season following a penalty kill, with Kanzig taking a “Hail Mary” from Nolan Gluchowski as he came out of the penalty box and finishing his breakaway over Carlson’s shoulder to give Idaho a 3-2 lead with 9:02 left in the second (Gluchowski got the lone assist).  Moments later, the Rush re-drew the game level when Darby Llewellyn, in his return from the IR, found Alec Baer streak towards Point’s net, with the latter deflecting his pass in to square the game at 3-3 with 6:31 left in the period (Llewellyn had the only assist).  Exactly 39 seconds later, Pierre-Luc Mercier notched his second of the game, batting a loose puck in the slot area off the cross bar and in, giving the Rush a 4-3 lead with 5:52 left (Radjenovic and Tyler Poulsen got the assists).  Mercier completed his first career hat-trick with 4:17 left in the period on the team’s fourth power play of the contest with a one-timer from Quaile from just inside the blue line to make it a 5-3 Rush lead (Quaile had the lone assist).  Following the goal, Colton Point was removed from the Steelheads net for Ryan Faragher, who did not see a shot until the third period.  Additionally, Kale Kessy was ejected from the game with less than two minutes remaining in the second, after he disputed a non-penalty call with a blatant trip in front of the referee, resulting in his dismissal from the contest.

 

Idaho overtook the Rush again in the third, and this time they held on for the win.  Reid Petryk had a hand in each goal in the frame, starting off by scoring a five-on-three power play goal to bring the Steelheads within striking distance at 5-4 with 4:31 played in the third (Brad McClure and Nolan Gluchowski assisted).  Petryk then assisted on a scramble in front of the Rush net, which led to McClure squeaking the puck by Carlson to square the game at 5-5 with 7:02 played in the final period (Dahl and Petryk assisted).  He then finished with the game-winning power play goal, tapping a McClure rebound by Carlson to give the Steelheads the lead for the final time with 9:34 left in regulation (McClure and Gluchowski assisted). Despite their best efforts, the Rush couldn’t solve Faragher, who stopped all 11 shots in relief to seal the 6-5 win for Idaho.

 

Adam Carlson suffered the loss, stopping 18 of 24 in the effort (10-7-2-2).

 

The Rush begin 2019 on the road against the Kansas City Mavericks on January 4th and 5th.  Puck drop for the Friday contest at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena is slated for 6:05 p.m. MST.

 


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