Idaho Steelheads vs. Rapid City Rush
Date(s) - Wed Feb 21, 2018
6:00 pm - 10:00 pm
The Steelheads’ road trip continues with their final visit of the season to Rapid City for a three-game series against the Rush, starting Wednesday night at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. Idaho looks to bounce back from a 4-3 defeat on Wednesday afternoon in Utah, while the Rush are coming off a losing three-game sweep at the hands of the Wichita Thunder. Wednesday night will mark the eighth meeting of the season between the Steelheads and Rush, with Idaho claiming six of the first seven.
The Steelheads trailed 4-1 midway through the second period on Monday in Utah, but they battled back to make it a one-goal game in the final minutes of regulation. Max French scored twice for the Steelheads and Jefferson Dahl netted his 20th goal of the season, and the 200th point of his professional career. The Steelheads fell short, with Joel Rumpel making 46 saves in goal to earn the win for the Grizzlies.
Max French posted his first career multi-goal game on Monday, scoring twice in the second period with both goals coming on rebounds at the side of the net. French also recorded nine shots on goal, matching his season-high. The rookie forward has three goals and five points in Idaho’s last five games, as well as the only shootout goal in Idaho’s 5-4 shootout victory over the Eagles on Saturday.
The Steelheads have had success at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center over the last two seasons, losing their last visit on December 23rd but still winners in ten of their last eleven trips to the Black Hills. Since the December 23rd victory the Rush have been a much stronger home team, going 6-2-1 at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center and outscoring their opponents by seven goals. By comparison, the Rush have gone 5-7-3 on the road, a stat dampened by three losses in Wichita this weekend. Idaho has won five of six games in Rapid City this season, twice overcoming two-goal deficits to win.
For Leavens Sake…
Daniel Leavens carries an eight-game points streak into Wednesday night’s games, the rookie forward netting three goals and ten points in that span to move into a tie for eleventh on the ECHL rookie scoring list. Leavens has turned his season around since joining the Rush in a trade on December 16th. He started the season with three goals and nine points in his first 19 games split between Wheeling and Allen, but he has recorded 27 points in 26 games since coming to Rapid City. He has three assists in three games this season against Idaho as a member of the Rush.
Goals: McParland (23)
Assists: J. Dahl (31)
Points: J. Dahl (51)
Plus/Minus: McParland (+19)
Power Play Goals: J. Dahl/McParland (8)
Goals-Against Average: Desrosiers (2.62)
Goals: Salituro/Miller (18)
Assists: Sivak (27)
Points: Sivak (43)
Plus/Minus: Caito (5)
Power Play Goals: Salituro (6)
Goals-Against Average: Vay (3.48)
French connects for win in Rapid City
Play of the gameMax French’s first goal of the game 48 seconds into the third period gave the Steelheads breathing room after the Rush had managed to stay close through 40 minutes. After the puck bounced out to the neutral zone, French brought it right back in and released a wrister from the slot that hit the back bar under the top shelf and flew back out. The red light did not immediately turn on, but the referee signaled for French’s fifth goal of the season.
Rapid City, SD (2/21/18)— Max French scored twice in the third period on Wednesday night at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, his second consecutive multi-goal game powering the Idaho Steelheads (31-17-6) to a 4-2 victory over the Rapid City Rush (18-31-3). The Steelheads earned their sixth win in seven visits to Rapid City this season.
French added an assist for his first career three-point game, and his third multi-point game in the last four contests. French has five goals and eight points in his last six games.
With the Steelheads protecting a 2-1 lead, French gave them insurance with his fifth goal of the season just 48 seconds into the third period. Carrying the puck down the middle of the ice, French let a wrist shot go just a few strides over the Rush blue line that beat goaltender Adam Vey over the shoulder to make it 3-1.
The Rush pulled back to within 3-2 at 4:11 of the third period when Pavel Jenys found a rebound in the Idaho crease for his 16th of the season. French would restore Idaho’s two-goal lead at 10:47, finishing a Jefferson Dahl feed from below the goal line for his sixth of the year.
The Steelheads opened a 2-0 lead in the first 4:18 of the first period. Cole Ully netted a power play goal at 3:32 with a one-timer off a feed from Dahl in the left-wing corner, Ully’s ninth goal of the season. Will Merchant followed 46 seconds later with his 13th goal of the year, taking an AJ White feed off the rush and drifting to the slot before beating Vey between the pads to make it 2-0.
Kenton Miller got the Rush on the board at 8:16 with a power play redirect, his 19th goal of the year to make it 2-1.
Philippe Desrosiers made 23 saves to earn his 21st win of the season.
With the win, the Steelheads have won eight of their last eleven games. They are six points back of the Colorado Eagles for first place in the Mountain Division.
The Steelheads and Rush meet again on Friday night at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. Puck-drop is scheduled for 7:05pm MT, with the game available on 1350AM KTIK and on ECHLTV.
Goals: Ully (9), Merchant (13), French (5,6)
Philippe Desrosiers: 23 saves on 25 shots
Power Play: 1-for-6
Penalty Kill: 3-for-4
CENTURYLINK THREE STARS OF THE GAME
- Max French IDH
- Cole Ully IDH
- Kenton Miller RCR
COORS LIGHT OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Max French: 2 goals, assist, 3 shots, plus-1 rating