BOISE, ID – The Rapid City Rush, proud affiliate of the NHL’s Calgary Flames, clobbered the Idaho Steelheads 7-4 at Idaho Central Arena on Saturday night.
For the first time in three games, Rapid City opened the scoring when Alex Aleardi walloped a powerplay slap-shot by Jared Moe, 8:31 into the first period. Keeping the scoring train rolling, Keanu Yamamoto scored on his own rebound after a set-up from Logan Nelson as the Rush carried a two-goal lead into the first period intermission.
While the Steelheads scored less than a minute into the second period, Tyson Helgesen threaded a perfect pass to Brett Gravelle for his first of three goals in a hat-trick effort. However, the celebration was short-lived as Jack Becker and Ben Zloty scored within five minutes of each other to even the scoring at three.
With 1:01 remaining in the second period, Helgesen fired a slapper off Moe that Yamamoto buried to give the Rush the lead for good. Rapid City is now 7-1-2 when entering the third period with the lead after finishing the victory off in style.
After a late second-period penalty, Charles Martin made the Steelheads pay with a bullet from the point off Gravelle and in for Gravelle’s second of the night. The goal stood as the game winner.
Mark Rassell scored his second of the game to put Idaho within a goal, but James Hardie’s empty-netter ended all hope for the Fish. Gravelle capitalized on a feed from Nelson with 90 seconds left to sink the Steelheads.
Prior to the Saturday win, the Rush had not won at Idaho Central Arena since Dec. 15, 2021. The Rush were 0-6 vs. the Steelheads last season in Boise and had lost their last seven overall to the Steelheads prior to tonight’s statement victory.
Jason Pawloski logged a season-high 33 saves in his second victory of the year to improve to 2-0-0 on the season.
The Rush victory ties them with the Idaho Steelheads for fourth place in the Mountain Division, collapsing a seven-point gap between the Rush and the Wichita Thunder after a Thunder win two weeks ago.
Rapid City remains on the road and will play the Allen Americans on Wednesday night just north of Dallas. The game will be the first of six meetings between the two teams this season. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. MT.