RAPID CITY, SD – Tyson Empey started a rally of three unanswered goals 91 seconds into the second period, but goaltender Dave Tendeck stole the show with 37 saves on 38 shots, earning his first professional win for the Rapid City Rush by a 3-1 score over the Tulsa Oilers on Saturday night. The win gives the Rush a split of the first two games in this weekend’s “three-in-three” and forces a rubber match in the finale tomorrow afternoon.
For a second straight night, Tulsa got on the board first, and for a second straight night, Danny Moynihan was responsible for the advantage. At 12:06 of the first period, Moynihan took a neutral zone turnover and came in one-on-one against his defender. He fired a shot that beat Rush net-minder Dave Tendeck glove side that gave the Oilers an early 1-0 lead (the goal was unassisted).
From that moment, Tendeck stopped the next 26 shots he would see over the remainder of the game. He was bolstered in part by an offense that came alive in the second period, starting with Tyson Empey. Exactly 91 seconds into the second period, Empey took a pass from Avery Peterson and rifled a one-timer from between the hashmarks that beat Oilers goalie Olle Eriksson Ek, squaring the game at 1-1 (Peterson and Peter Quenneville assisted). Moments later, Peterson buried a Butrus Ghafari rebound in close range of Eriksson Ek, lifting the Rush to a 2-1 advantage, their first of the series, at 4:13 of the middle frame (Ghafari earned his first professional point with an assist, while Tyler Coulter picked up the other helper).
Jack Suter continued the hot streak for the Rush, and potted the final goal of the game in the early moments of the third. With 3:14 gone by, Cedric Montminy found Tyson Empey in front for a chance, but was denied by Eriksson Ek. The shot produced a rebound, picked up by Suter to extend the Rush lead to 3-1 (Empey and Montminy assisted). The Oilers came close a few times to breaking Tendeck’s goal line, but he and his defense stood tall to ward off 14 Oilers third period shots. With Eriksson Ek pulled late, Tulsa couldn’t rally for a comeback, and the Rush held on for a 3-1 win, forcing a rubber match tomorrow afternoon.
Dave Tendeck stopped all but one of 38 shots on his net for his first win as a professional (1-4-0-0).
The Rush conclude their “three-in-three” against the Tulsa Oilers in the series finale tomorrow afternoon with the series on the line. Puck drop is slated for 4:05 p.m. MDT.
With Rapid City Rush release