RAPID CITY, S.D. – The Rapid City Rush exploded for six goals in the first period and cruised to a 7-4 win over the Tulsa Oilers on Wednesday night at The Monument Ice Arena. Rapid City snapped a seven-game losing streak with the win.
The Rush started their first period outburst just over five minutes in while on a power play. Off a won faceoff, Matt Marcinew found Calder Brooks who hit Rory Kerins for a tap-in on the back door and the score was 1-0.
Shortly thereafter, Alex Aleardi sent a backhanded pass to the front of the net from below the goal line. Logan Nelson didn’t connect on his shot attempt but Ilya Nikolaev did, and he beat Colton Ellis five hole to make it 2-0.
Rapid City struck again when Nelson sprung Nikolaev into the attacking zone. He then snapped a pass from the left wing to the front of the net for the cutting Aleardi who guided it home and the lead grew to three. Later, Ellis left his net to play the puck and turned it over to the forechecking Marcinew at the left wing boards. Marcinew quickly shot the puck into the vacated net and the Rush led, 4-0.
Later, Kerins dug the puck out of the corner in the attacking zone and found Colton Leiter in the high slot. He fired a wrist shot through traffic that bested Ellis and it was 5-0. After Tulsa got on the board with a Dante Ellis goal, the Rush capped off their opening period performance when Aleardi threaded the needle and found Ryan Zuhlsdorf at the right circle. Zuhlsdorf snapped a wrist shot top shelf and in and the score was 6-1.
Six goals in the first period set a new franchise record for goals in a single period, surpassing the five that the team had matched twice thus far this season.
Tulsa got on the board again in the second with a Ryley Lindgren goal. The Rush answered on a power play tally from Brett Gravelle on the short side late in the second period. Tulsa then scored twice in the third, first Cameron Supryka on a power play then Eddie Matsushima with a one-timer that pushed the score to 7-4.
Nelson had four assists, the first four-assist game for the Rush since Ryan Walters did it on March 4, 2016. Aleardi and Marcinew each had a goal and two assists and Nikolaev extended his point streak to seven games with a goal and an assist.
Since the Rush scored at least six goals, all fans in attendance will receive free admission to Watiki Indoor Waterpark Resort. Simply show your game ticket any day from December 29 to January 5 for free admission.
The Rush snapped a seven-game losing streak with the win and improved to 14-15-0-0. Tulsa fell to 8-12-5-0 in the loss. Rapid City and Tulsa will return to the ice on Friday night at The Monument Ice Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.