RAPID CITY, S.D. – Brett Gravelle scored for the second consecutive game but that was all the Rapid City Rush could manage as they were beaten by the Wichita Thunder 4-1 on Saturday night at The Monument Ice Arena. Rapid City’s winning streak was snapped at six games.
The Rush opened the scoring late in the first period. Max Coatta brought the puck into the attacking zone and fed Gravelle streaking on the back side. He snapped off a shot from the left circle that beat Evan Buitenhuis and the score was 1-0.
On Teddy Bear Toss night, Gravelle’s goal made it rain stuffed animals as fans were encouraged to bring a new stuffed animal to the game to throw on the ice after Rapid City’s first goal. The bears were collected and will donated back into the community via Ellsworth Air Force Base families, Rural America Initiatives, Seventh Circuit CASA Program, Monument Health Foundation and more.
Wichita tied the game in the second period while on a power play. Timur Ibragimov was set up for a one-timer from the left circle that he snuck through Adam Carlson’s short side. The Thunder then took the lead on a shorthanded, breakaway goal by Ibragimov that made the score 2-1.
In the third, Quinn Preston took a stretch pass and charged down the right wing. He buried a snap shot top shelf on Carlson’s glove side to extend the advantage to 3-1. Then, with the Rush net empty and an extra attacker on, Preston cashed in with an empty-net goal to push the score to its 4-1 final.
Rapid City outshot Wichita 45-27 but Buitenhuis made 44 saves in the Thunder net to help them to the victory. The Rush had their winning streak ended at six games and moved to 13-9-0-0 while Wichita improved to 12-8-2-0.
The Rush will now hit the road for three games next week in Boise against the Idaho Steelheads. It begins on Wednesday night and puck drop is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. at Idaho Central Arena.