Cedric Montminy’s pair of power play goals and Peter Quenneville’s snipe in the third period led a furious comeback for the Rapid City Rush. However, despite blowing a 3-0 lead, the Tulsa Oilers, led by their top line of Adam Pleskach, Charlie Sampair, and Danny Moynihan eventually survived the Rush rally with a 5-3 win on Wednesday night. The game begins a three-game set head-to-head this week.
Tulsa roared out to an early 2-0 lead in the first two minutes of the game. Danny Moynihan started off the scoring spree 18 seconds in when he collected a defensive zone turnover in close range of the Rush net, and rifled a shot off the bar over Rush net-minder Dave Tendeck, providing Tulsa with a 1-0 lead (the goal was unassisted). Exactly 100 seconds later, too many Rush skaters were caught deep in the Oilers zone, and a quick pass up the ice gave Tulsa a three-on-one break. The original shot from Moynihan was stopped by Tendeck, but Charlie Sampair collected the loose change and slipped it in, giving Tulsa a quick 2-0 lead 1:58 into the contest (Moynihan and Adam Pleskach assisted). Rounding out the scoring entries was Conlan Keenan, who won an offensive zone draw and collected a rebound in close range, stuffing it in as he fell to the ground for his first professional goal with 20.2 seconds left in the first, bringing the Oilers vast lead to 3-0 (Garrett Cockerill and Ian McNulty assisted).
Undeterred, the Rush came right back in the second period with a pair of goals to cut the deficit to 3-2. Scoring on back-to-back power plays for the Rush was Cedric Montminy, whose first came of a point-blank deflection on an Avery Peterson pass past Oilers goalie Roman Durny to cut Tulsa’s lead to 3-1 at 2:46 of the second (Peterson and Kevin Spinozzi assisted). With 5:21 left in the second, Montminy was at it again with a net-front deflection, this time completing a tic-tac-toe sequence from Tyler Coulter and Peter Quenneville, bringing the Rush within striking distance at 3-2 (Quenneville and Coulter assisted).
The comeback was completed in the early in the third period, but the Oilers eventually overtook the Rush and survived for the win. Peter Quenneville deadlocked the game 98 seconds into the third period when he rifled his own rebound off the back bar from the right wing faceoff circle, squaring the game at 3-3 (Charlie Curti and Tyler Coulter assisted). The Oilers originally thought they broke the deadlock on the power play with roughly nine minutes remaining, but the goal for Adam Pleskach was waved off due to a kicking motion. However, he did eventually break the tie, slipping a Charlie Sampair rebound off of a rush up the ice by Tendeck to give the Oilers a 4-3 lead with 5:32 left in the game (Sampair and Moynihan assisted). With Tendeck pulled and a late power play in the final seconds, the Rush couldn’t win the draw and Sampair sealed it with an empty netter, giving the surviving Oilers a 5-3 win.
Dave Tendeck stopped 32 of 36 shots in the defeat in net (4-8-0-0).
The Rush rematch the Tulsa Oilers on Friday February 12th, with puck drop slated for 7:05 p.m. MDT at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Ice Arena. Saturday’s finale on February 13th is “Decades Night”, presented by Vast Broadband. The only promotional night in February, decades from the 1960’s all the way to present day will be represented through fun games, great music, and other interactive activities throughout the night. We encourage all fans to dress appropriately for the occasion.