Rapid City, South Dakota – The Utah Grizzlies (34-28-5-2) defeated the Rapid City Rush 4-2 Saturday night at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
With the win, the Grizzlies finish their road trip 5-0, complete a three-game series sweep of Rapid City and move into a playoff spot for the first time since November 23.
“It was the road trip we needed,” said Head Coach/General Manager Tim Branham. “We came together as a group and now we return home in control of our playoff destiny.”
The Grizzlies now return home in the driver’s seat to clinch their tenth-straight playoff appearance when they will host Missouri in the final three games of the regular season Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at Maverik Center. Face-off all three nights is scheduled for 7 p.m. Utah currently leads Alaska by one point and Missouri by three points. The Mavericks will play their game in hand Sunday.
Colin Martin (22) took a pass from Zac Larraza and scored into an open net with 52 seconds left in the third period to seal the win. Erik Bradford added an assist as well to finish his three-point night with one goal and two assists.
Utah held a 3-2 lead in the third period by outshooting Rapid City 9-4. Utah killed two penalties in the second half of the frame by not allowing a shot.
Anaheim Ducks prospect Kevin Boyle stopped 17 of 19 shots and earned victories in goal in all three games in Rapid City.
The Grizzlies took a 1-0 lead 3:31 into the first period as C.J. Eick (8) knocked in a rebound from a Garrett Haar shot. The first period featured four fights as Travis Howe and Gabriel Verpaelst both dropped the gloves twice for Utah. After Rapid City tied the contest, Erik Bradford gave Utah a 2-1 lead going to the first intermission on his 16th goal of the year seven seconds after a power-play expired.
The Grizzlies made it 3-1 4:31 into the third period on a power-play goal by Zac Larraza as he scored from the left circle from Bradford and Martin. The Rush made it 3-2 with 5:51 left in the second period.
The final Valpak Wild Wednesday of the regular season will be Wednesday, April 5 and will feature $5 Lower Bowl Student Tickets and $2 Hot Dogs, $2 Soft Drinks, $2 Churros and $4 Grizzlies Goal-Den Ale.
O’Reilly Auto Parts Night April 7
Visit O’Reilly Auto Parts for coupons good for two-for-one tickets to the game on Friday, April 7. Offer valid while supplies last, see stores for details.
Fan Appreciation Weekend
The Grizzlies host Fan Appreciation Weekend, presented by the Utah Building and Construction Trades Council, Friday, April 7 and Saturday, April 8. The weekend will feature any ticket in the lower bowl for $13, excluding rinksides at the Maverik Center Box Office. Fans can also add on a gyro and a soft drink for $10. In addition, fans can add a ticket to see Brit Floyd at Maverik Center on July 6 for only $13 (Regular $29.) Saturday’s game will also feature a team poster giveaway to the first 5,000 fans. Fans can get them autographed by the entire team after the game.