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Rush roll over Idaho

Rush roll over Idaho

Rapid City Rush roll over Idaho Wednesday night


Rush Release - November 7, 2019

RAPID CITY, S.D. - Brennan Saulnier registered a four-point night, including his first career ECHL hat trick as the Rapid City Rush defeated the ECHL-best Idaho Steelheads by a 5-1 score on Wednesday night. The win stops the Rush losing streak at three games, and keeps them undefeated on home ice to start the season.

Both teams came into the matchup ranked in the top five in the ECHL, with the Steelheads at the top of the league and the Rush only four points back in a share for fifth. Scoring came quickly for the Rush, who struck twice over a minute apart to take a 2-0 lead into the break. Alex Rauter got the ball rolling from the home side at 10:10 of the opening frame on the first Rush power play of the night. Tyler Poulsen took the puck to the far side of the Steelheads zone and found Brennan Saulnier in the high slot for a shot. His initial shot went off the cross bar, but Rauter pounced on the rebound and buried it behind Steelheads goal Tomas Sholl, giving the Rush an early 1-0 lead (Saulnier and Poulsen assisted). Exactly 66 seconds later, while shorthanded, Saulnier struck for his first goal in the contest, taking a blocked shot all alone up the ice and finishing with a shot off of Sholl and in, doubling the Rush lead to 2-0 (the goal was unassisted).

Tyler Coulter continued his hot start to the 2019-20 season with the second Rush power play goal of the game to triple his team’s lead. With 5:32 played in the second, just six seconds into the man-advantage, Ryker Killins threw a shot wide of the net, but it took an active bounce off of the kick plate and sprung to Coulter. He buried his attempt point-blank to give the Rush a 3-0 lead (Killins and Peter Quenneville assisted). Brennan Saulnier hit paydirt for a second time in the game with the help of Trey Phillips, who navigated traffic and skated into the Idaho zone. With 5:23 left in the second, Saulnier fired a shot that deflected off of the Steelheads defender in front of him and it trickled past Sholl, bringing the Rush lead to 4-0 (Phillips and Quenneville assisted). The rookie completed his hat trick following a barrage in the final minute of the frame, and triggered a shower of hats from the Rush faithful. The moment came with 22.6 seconds left in the second, when, off the bench following Killins and Quenneville hammering the Idaho net, Saulnier skated into a rebound in front of the crease, propelling the Rush to a 5-0 advantage through 40 minutes (Killins and Quenneville assisted).

Tomas Sholl was removed from the game in net for Idaho and replaced by Colton Point, who stopped the only two shots he saw in relief in the final period. Across the way, Rush net-minder Merrick Madsen was working on a shutout, only to lose the bid 2:09 into the final stanza. Will Merchant erased the zero for Idaho when, following a turnover on the near wall of the Rush zone, he buried a Marc-Olivier Roy pass by Madsen’s shoulder, cutting the Rush lead to 5-1 (Roy and Diego Cuglietta assisted). Idaho followed the goal with an 18-2 shot differential in the third frame, but Madsen and the Rush stood tall, cruising to a 5-1 victory.

Merrick Madsen stopped all but one of 37 shots on net, earning his first win in a Rush uniform (1-1-0-0). Brennan Saulnier became the second player this season for the Rush to record a hat-trick and a four-point night in a game this season, joining Kelly Klima, who scored four-goals on home-opening night against Utah on October 25th.  Additionally, the win gives the Rush a tie for second overall in the ECHL with the Allen Americans at 14 points in the standings.

The Rush continue their three-game series against the division rival Idaho Steelheads on Friday, November 8th. Puck drop at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Ice Arena is slated for 7:05 p.m. MDT.  On Saturday, November 9th, the Rush will proudly salute our nation’s military on Veteran’s Appreciation Night! The honor guard that evening will feature the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. Veterans from all major conflicts will be present and recognized throughout the evening. Additionally, the first auction for the first-ever Rush "5th Line Club" will take place postgame.



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