Idaho Steelheads vs Rapid City Rush
Date(s) - Sat Dec 23, 2017
6:05 pm - 10:00 pm
The Steelheads and Rapid City Rush play the final game of this week’s three-game set, and their final contests before the Christmas break, on Saturday night at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. The Steelheads are in search of a sweep of Rapid City and their seventh win in seven meetings with the Rush this season. Head Coach Neil Graham will also be seeking his 100th professional regular-season coaching win. Rapid City will attempt to snap a ten-game losing streak prior to the break.
Idaho scored three unanswered goals on Friday to erase a 2-0 deficit and earn their eighth consecutive road win in a 3-2 decision. Cole Ully netted the game-winner with a power play tally with 5:10 left in the game, and Corey Durocher tied the score earlier in the period with his first goal as a Steelhead. Philippe Desrosiers made 20 saves for his 13th win, surrendering two goals or fewer for the eighth time in his last nine outings. The Steelheads moved to within four points of first place Colorado.
Cole for Christmas…
Forward Cole Ully was a welcome addition to the Steelheads lineup on Friday, scoring in his first appearance with the team after being assigned from AHL Texas earlier in the day. It was Ully’s first game with the Steelheads since December 13, 2015, when he finished a six-game stint with the Steelheads with an overtime winner against the Allen Americans. Ully had six points in six career ECHL games prior to Friday’s winner, which came on a five-minute major power play late in the third period.
Over the Hills…
The Steelheads have enjoyed their visits to the Black Hills in 2017. In addition to seeking their ninth consecutive road win on Saturday, the Steelheads will also be in search of their eleventh consecutive win at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, not having lost in Rapid City since December 28, 2016. Idaho has outscored the Rush 35-15 over that streak. This season, the Steelheads have twice overcome two-goal deficits to win 3-2 decisions in Rapid City. The Steelheads have also won seven straight overall against the Rush.
Henrik Samuelsson notched two more points on Friday with a power play goal and an assist on the Cole Ully winner, now giving him four goals and 11 points during his current five-game points streak. Samuelsson has produced multi-point outings in three straight games and in four of his last five. He now leads the Steelheads in points (27) and power play goals (6), and power play points (14). His six power play goals are also tied for the league lead, and he ranks tied for second in power play points.
Goals: Samuelsson/McParland (12)
Assists: Corbett (17)
Points: Samuelsson (27)
Plus/Minus: McParland/Faust (+9)
Power Play Goals: Samuelsson (6)
Goals-Against Average: Desrosiers (2.19)
Goals: Salituro (11)
Assists: Sivak (14)
Points: Salituro (23)
Plus/Minus: Deresky/Foulk (0)
Power Play Goals: Salituro (4)
Goals-Against Average: Frey (4.54)
Road winning streak snapped in loss to Rush
Play of the gameJack Walker scored the eventual game-winning goal midway through the first period, exploiting a turnover at the Rush blue line and finishing a backhander at the front of the net for a 2-0 lead and the third shorthanded goal given up by Idaho this season. Daniel Leavens made the play, feathering a pass to the back post from the left wing while Walker won the race to the area and lifted the puck over an outstretched Ryan Faragher for his third goal in three games.
Rapid City, SD (12/23/17)— Jack Walker scored for the third straight game and Shane Owen made 28 saves, as the Rapid City Rush (8-20-0) defeated the Idaho Steelheads (18-9-4) 3-1 on Saturday night at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. The Rush snapped a ten-game losing skid, while the Steelheads saw their eight-game road winning streak come to an end.
Joe Faust scored the lone Steelhead goal, his fourth of the season and fourth in six games, to extend his personal points streak to six games. Henrik Samuelsson and Jefferson Dahl saw their points streaks stop at five games.
Daniel Leavens contributed on each of Rapid City’s first two goals in the first period. Leavens set up Pavel Jenys at 8:06 of the first period, drifting to the right-wing boards before feathering a pass above the left circle. Just off the bench, Jenys collected the pass and fired a wrister over the shoulder of Ryan Faragher for his ninth goal of the season and a 1-0 Rapid City lead.
It was 3:17 later that the Rush would extend their lead in the closing seconds of an Idaho power play. After a turnover at the Rush blue line, Leavens skated into the Idaho zone on the left wing and flicked a feed to the back post where Walker lifted a backhander over Faragher for a 2-0 Rush lead.
Walker scored a goal in every game of the series for the Rush, his tally on Saturday the third shorthanded goal given up by Idaho this season.
Faust brought the Steelheads within one at 16:25 of the first. After an end-to-end rush by Eric Sweetman got Idaho into the zone, Cole Ully sent a pass from behind the net to Faust in the high slot for a slap shot past Owen to make it 2-1.
The Steelheads would not score again. Will Merchant hit a post in the third period during the power play, but the man-advantage would finish the night 0-for-3.
Geoff Fortman extended the Rush lead at 11:46 of the second period. A blocked point shot from Walker at the left point bounced to Fortman between the circles, settling for his second goal of the season to make it 3-1.
The Steelheads will not see game action again until December 29th, when they visit the Utah Grizzlies at Maverik Center following the Christmas break. Puck-drop in Utah is scheduled for 7:05pm MT with the game available on 1350AM KTIK and on ECHLTV.
Goals: Faust (4)
Ryan Faragher: 25 saves on 28 shots
Power Play: 0-for-3
Penalty Kill: 4-for-4
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS OF THE GAME
- Jack Walker RCR
- Daniel Leavens RCR
- Shane Owen RCR
COORS LIGHT OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Jack Walker: Goal, assist, 2 shots, plus-2 rating