(TULSA, OK) – The Rapid City Rush scored three goals in the third period, two of which went in the empty net, and sealed a 4-2 win over their former CHL rivals, the Tulsa Oilers, on Wednesday night. The win marks the fifth Rush victory in their last 6 games.
Two goals were scored exactly 10 minutes apart in this contest, starting off with the home side Oilers. With 7:13 gone by in the game, Christophe Lalancette re-directed a shot from former Rush defenseman, Mathieu Brisebois, that trickled by Rush net-minder Marek Langhamer to put the Oilers up 1-0 (Brisebois and Tom Kroshus recorded the assists). Ten minutes later, Kale Kerbashian tied the affair up with his first goal of the season, burying a pass from Mikhail Stefanovich by Tulsa goaltender Kevin Carr on a two-on-one rush to even the score at 1-1 with 2:47 left in the first (Stefanovich and Destry Straight received the assists).
Both teams remained scoreless until the 14:00 mark of the third period. The Rush started to take control and grabbed their first lead of the game on their final power play of the game as Taylor Doherty fired a shot from the blueline through traffic in front of Carr to put the Rush up 2-1 with 4 minutes left (Spencer Pommells received the lone assist). Shortly after the Rush go-ahead goal, the Oilers pulled Carr from the net for an extra-attacker, but the gamble backfired. Right off of a faceoff in front of the Rush bench in the neutral zone, Destry Straight fired the puck into the empty net, providing the Rush with some insurance at a 3-1 lead with 2:03 left in the game (the goal was unassisted). Cody Ferriero added another empty-netter with 39 seconds remaining in the game after he dealt a thunderous hit in his own zone and managed to gain enough leverage from ice-level to send the puck in, affording the Rush a 4-1 lead (the goal was unassisted). Brandon Wong added a second Oilers tally with 13 seconds left in the game (assisted by Nathan Lutz and Joe Sova), but it came too late and brought the game to its final score of 4-2.
Marek Langhamer, the ECHL’s reigning Goaltender of the Week, stopped 26 shots on 28 faced for his third straight win (4-1-1). With the win, the Rush now trail their division rivals, the Utah Grizzlies, by 2 points for first in the West Division.
The Rush continue their brief road trip and will head to Texas to take on the defending Kelly Cup Champion Allen Americans on Friday, December 4th, with puck drop slated for 6:05 p.m. MST.