West Valley City, Utah – The Rapid City Rush scored an empty-net goal to defeat the Utah Grizzlies 7-5 Sunday afternoon at Maverik Center in the conclusion of Friday’s game that was suspended due to ice conditions.
Utah led 3-1 as the game picked up in the second period before Rapid City made it 3-2 7:05 into the second period and then scored two goals in 1:21 late to take a 4-3 lead into the second intermission.
“It's too bad,” said Head Coach/General Manager Tim Branham. “We played that one period, got up 3-1, had some ice troubles and never got back on track. If you want to be successful, you have to be mentally tough, no matter what the adversity is. Obviously it's the best thing that could have happened for Rapid City. That shouldn't have mattered to us. We have plenty of horses to get the job done and unfortunately we failed and now we need to go on the road against some good opponents and get the job done.”
The Rush built their 4-3 lead to 6-3 with two power-play goals 15 seconds apart at 4:49 and 5:04.
Utah scored two power-play goals in 2:27 as they worked on a major power-play situation after James Melindy was speared. Michael Pelech (10) took a backdoor pass from Austin Ortega with Ryan Misiak also picking up an assist as Utah scored six-on-three with an extra attacker with 3:50 remaining.
Ortega scored from Pelech and Ryan Walters on a six-on-four power-play goal with an extra attacker with 1:23 left to make it 6-5.
Utah remained on the power-play but was unable to get the equalizer before Rapid City found the open net.
“We have to refocus here,” said Branham. “We probably needed 10 more seconds there, one more bounce. We need to battle through on this road trip to make sure we aren't saying the same thing. Let's go out on the road here and get a couple wins. I like our chances, we just have to make sure we are on our A game.”
Angus Redmond replaced Kevin Carr after the sixth goal and stopped all four shots that he saw to finish the contest.
Utah hosts Rapid City Monday, January 15 for a Maverik Monday Martin Luther King Day matinee. Kids under 12 will be admitted for $6 and adults will be able to buy one ticket and get one ticket free with their Maverik Adventure Club Card.