(RAPID CITY, SD) – Danick Gauthier tied the game in the middle of the second with his first goal in a Rapid City Rush uniform, but the Colorado Eagles fired off three goals in the span of 44 seconds to fly on to a 5-1 win over the Rush on Friday night.
Colorado threw an offensive onslaught on the Rush, outshooting them 17-6, but to the credit of the Rush, they held their rivals off the board until the final three minutes. With 2:51 left in the frame, Johnny Lazo sent a shot from between the faceoff circles by Rush net-minder Danny Battochio, putting the Eagles up 1-0 (Kyle Ostrow and Darryl Bootland earned the assists).
Danick Gauthier evened things up halfway through the middle frame with his first goal as a member of the Rush. With 9:27 left in the period, Cody Ferriero, in his return from the IR, banked the puck from behind the net and off of Tyler Scofield, poking the loose puck by Colorado goaltender Eric Levine to tie the game at 1-1 (Scofield and Ferriero notched the assists). Moments later, the Eagles would rip off three goals in less than a minute, and power themselves to a large lead. Everett Sheen was first, firing a wrist shot from the far wall of the Rush zone by Battochio’s glove to re-establish the Eagles lead at 2-1 with 6:10 left in the second (Giffen Nyren recorded the lone assist). Exactly 23 seconds later, Johnny Lazo put his second goal of the night in, sending a rebound off of a Battochio save to double the Eagles lead to two at 3-1 (Adrian Veideman earned his first assist of the game, while Bootland earned his second on the goal). Just 21 seconds following the second goal, Kyle Kraemer sent a shot from the near wall of the Rush zone off of Battochio’s glove and in, bringing the rally to an end with the establishment of a 4-1 Eagles lead with 5:26 left in the second period (Trent Daavettila and Collin Bowman received the assists). Following the third goal in the burst, Sam Marotta played in Battochio’s stead for the remainder of the game in goal.
Darryl Bootland added more insurance with his third point of the game in the third period, tapping in a power play goal on assists from Johnny Lazo (his third point of the game), and Jake Marto to seal the Eagles win at 5-1. The win gives the Eagles an 8 Pts-5 Pts advantage through 6 games of the Crystal Cup Series, with 6 games remaining.
Danny Battochio stopped 21 of 25 shots in 34:34 of game time (12-11-2), while Sam Marotta stopped 6 of 7 shots in 25:26 of relief.
Both teams square off for a rematch tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. at Premier Home Mortgage Ice in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.