Zane Franklin netted a backdoor one-timer with 3:23 remaining in the game to push the Allen Americans ahead with a 3-2 win against the Rapid City Rush on Friday night. The loss eliminates the Rush from the 2021 Kelly Cup Playoffs with four games remaining in the season.
The Americans and Rush traded blows in the first period, leaving deadlocked after 20. Collin Shirley gave the Americans a 1-0 lead when he buried a Dyson Stevenson cross ice pass behind Rush net-minder Dave Tendeck with 2:52 left in the opening frame (Stevenson and Sam Ruopp assisted). Just over 90 seconds later, Tyler Coulter roofed a rebound on a John Albert chance in close range of the net over Allen goalie Jake Paterson, squaring the game at 1-1 with 75 seconds remaining in the frame (Albert and Mikael Tam assisted).
Dyson Stevenson and Collin Shirley connected again in the second to give Allen a lead heading into the last period of play. With 9:40 gone by, Stevenson broke to the slot on Shirley pass and finished with a slick maneuver, ended with a backhand tuck to push Allen ahead at 2-1 (Shirley and Terrance Amorosa assisted).
Carrying power play time into the third period, the Rush deadlocked the game again within the first minute of the final period. With just 24 seconds gone by, Cedric Montminy unleashed a snipe from the right wing side over the glove of Paterson to square the game at 2-2 (Avery Peterson and Peter Quenneville assisted). Allen got the last word in the “call and response” affair when Zane Franklin buried a backdoor pass from Scott Conway right after a Rush penalty-kill expired, vaulting the Americans to a 3-2 lead (Conway and Dominic Cormier assisted). Despite earning a power play late, and pulling Tendeck for the extra-attacker, the Rush couldn’t muster a tying goal, and fell in the season opener by a 3-2 final.
Dave Tendeck, starting for a fifth time in the last six games suffered the loss, stopping 19 of 22 shots on net (11-13-0-0).
The Rush and Americans rematch tomorrow in game two of their “three-in-three” series tomorrow night. Puck drop is slated for 7:05 p.m. MDT at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Ice Arena, while Sunday’s matinee finale is slated for 4:05 p.m. MDT.
This year, the Rush introduces “Black Hills Night” on Saturday, May 29th against the Allen Americans. This game, presented by LIV Hospitality (Hotel Alex Johnson, Cadillac Jack’s Gaming Resort, Tin Lizzie Gaming Resort, and Watiki Indoor Waterpark Resort), spotlights the history and culture of the Black Hills. The game begins with a pregame tailgate party at 4:30 p.m. featuring live music, interactive exhibits, and more.
The final home game of the season on Sunday, May 30th is “Fan Appreciation Night”, sponsored by Rush Mountain, where we say “thank you” to the best fans in the ECHL for their support through the 2020-21 season and beyond.