RAPID CITY, S.D. – The Rapid City Rush impressed Friday night, with a resounding 5-1 win over the Quad City Mallards sending a game one message that they are ready to challenge for the Ray Miron Presidents’ Cup.
Just 5:02 into the first period, Rush captain Scott Wray scored the game’s first goal. Wray and rookie Kyle Stroh finished the night with three points, while Scott Brannon tallied four as the Rush cruised to a 5-1 game one win over visiting Quad City.
The game quickly became physical with a number of incidents early on that led to two four-on-four’s and 15 other minor penalties, ultimately producing no power play goals. The Rush scored their fourth goal just 31-seconds into the third period signaling the end of the Mallards’ chances of a comeback. Tim Boron stopped 26-shots, which speaks to the defensive scheme devised to hold down the Mallards’ potent offense.
After a number of skirmishes and roughing penalties, as well as some bone-jarring checks, all indications are that the longer this series continues, the more physical it is likely to get as tempers get shorter than they already are. 14 minor penalties were called for roughing, slashing, or cross checking, with numerous other incidents that drew no calls. Included was a 10-man skirmish in the Rapid City defensive zone which could have easily drawn several more minor penalties after Rush captain Scott Wray and Mallards alternate captain Jim McKenzie took their battle for position in front of the net too far.
With 1:19 left in the game, Matt Boyd centered a pass to a charging Jeff Lee to provide the only goal of the night for the Mallards. The Oakley Three Stars of the Game were Wray (Star 1), Brannon (Star 2), and Boron (Star 3).
The Rush and Mallards meet again tonight at 7:05pm at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center before the series moves to the Quad Cities.