Hunter Garlent struck twice, Avery Peterson, Cedric Montminy, and Andrew Sturtz had two assists, and Adam Carlson stopped all 30 shots he saw as the Rapid City Rush throttled the Utah Grizzlies by a 7-0 score on Saturday night. The win pushes the Rush point streak to seven games, and ends an eight game home stand in which the Rush went 6-1-0-1 dating back to March 5th.
The Rush roared out to a 4-0 lead, but suffered a scary moment in the middle of the first period. Hunter Garlent started off the onslaught with his first of two on the night at 3:36 of the first. Stephen Baylis quarterbacked a rush into the Grizzlies zone and handed off to Andrew Sturtz, who fired a shot from the near wall on the Utah net. Utah starter Kevin Carr kicked away the shot, but Garlent knocked the rebound in to put the Rush up 1-0 (Sturtz and Baylis assisted). At 11:29, Gabriel Chabot, from behind the goal line, found Mike Hedden in front of the Utah net. Hedden’s initial shot was denied by Carr, but he potted his rebound to double the Rush lead to 2-0 (Chabot and Cedric Montminy assisted). Exactly 56 seconds later, just four seconds into their first power play of the game, Avery Peterson won a draw to Peter Quenneville, who found Tyler Coulter down the near wall. Coulter unleashed a laser of a shot past Carr’s glove, tripling the Rush lead to 3-0 and prompting the removal of Carr from the Grizzlies net for Trevor Gorsuch.
Moments after the goalie change, the Rush were prepared to kill off their first penalty of the game, but they suffered a scary moment. Right before the puck was dropped, Rush back-up net-minder Gordy Defiel suffered a medical emergency, promptly tended to by emergency medical staff in the arena at the behest of trainers from both team’s benches. Defiel was stretchered off the ice, and taken for further examination. Thankfully, Defiel was alert and stable, and after a 35 minute delay, the game resumed.
Playing for their fallen net-minder, the Rush struck moments after the game continued. Kevin Spinozzi stripped a Utah defender in front of the net and rifled a shot by Gorsuch to expand the lead to 4-0 (the goal was unassisted). Rush net-minder Adam Carlson stopped all 11 shots he saw in the first.
The Rush continued their onslaught in the second frame, with two goals again less than a minute apart. Gabriel Chabot struck first from a near impossible angle from behind the goal line and sniped a shot over Gorsuch to expand the Rush lead to 5-0 with 3:52 left in the second (Eric Israel and Cedric Montminy assisted). Exactly 42 seconds later, Avery Peterson found Peter Quenneville from behind the net in the slot area on the doorstep, with Quenneville tapping the puck past Gorsuch to make it a 6-0 Rush advantage (Peterson and Charlie Curti assisted). Carlson stopped another 9 shots, bringing his save total to 20.
Garlent started the scoring entries, and ended the entries with his second of the game in the final minutes. With 4:26 left in the game, an Ian Edmondson blue line shot got kicked away by Gorsuch, but Garlent potted the rebound to bring the game to its 7-0 final score (Edmondson and Sturtz assisted). Carlson closed out with another 10 saves to earn the 30 save shutout.
Adam Carlson, now without a regulation loss in six consecutive starts, earned his second shutout win of the year on 30 saves (10-5-1-1). Since March 6th, Carlson is 5-0-1-1 with a shutout, a 1.46 GAA, and a .955 SV%.
The Rush now embark on a week-long road trip to Texas to take on the Allen Americans in a three-game series. Puck drop for the series opener on Wednesday, March 24th, is slated for 6:05 p.m. MDT at the Allen Event Center.