RAPID CITY, S.D. – The Idaho Steelheads (17-10-3) post their highest goal total of the year for the second-straight game, taking down the Rapid City Rush (14-14-5) with a 9-1 win on Friday night from Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
The Steelheads came out early off of a penalty kill to push in the opening goal. At 4:13 of the first period, Steelheads forward Brad McClure set up a rebound for forward A.J. White to push in off the right post to take an early 1-0 lead. Steelheads forward Tony Calderone was opened up by forward Kale Kessy in the left circle for a one-time shot at 12:05 on the power play, doubling the advantage to 2-0.
In the second period, the Steelheads stretched their lead with four more goals starting with a breakaway tally by defenseman Jeff King at 5:07 to triple the lead, 3-0. Calderone returned the favor for Kessy, who was opened up off the right post for his own tally and a 4-0 lead at 8:38. The Rush did find an answer from forward Garrett Klotz on the power play at 12:27, but Calderone earned his second goal of the night seven seconds later at 12:34, spreading the lead back to five, 5-1. Steelheads forward Mitch Moroz bolstered the lead to 6-1 with a deflection on the power play at 19:03 to lead toward the third period.
In the third period, the Steelheads continued to pound in goals. At 8:12, Steelheads forward Brad McClure stashed in a loose puck out of a scrum to stretch the lead to 7-1. Kessy earned his second goal of the night on a 5-on-3 power play from the right circle, and Steelheads forward Reid Petryk finalized the scoreline at 9-1 on a 2-on-1 shorthanded break along with forward Elgin Pearce.
Steelheads goaltender Tomas Sholl (10-4-0) turned aside 28 of 29 shots in the win. Rush netminder Adam Carlson (10-6-4) stopped 10 of 15 shots in 32:34 minutes, and Tyler Parks halted nine of 12 shots in 27:26 minutes of relief.
The Steelheads and Rush continue their three-game weekend on Saturday, Dec. 29 at 7:05 p.m. from Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. on 1350AM KTIK and ECHL TV.
The Steelheads return to CenturyLink Arena on Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 7:10 p.m. to open a three-game series against the Toledo Walleye. The Holiday Hat Trick is here! Get tickets and a Steelheads cap as your perfect stocking stuffer for the holiday season! Single-game tickets and season ticket packages are on sale, with full-season packages starting as low as $300 per seat. Contact the Idaho Steelheads at 208-383-0080 for more information or log on to idahosteelheads.com.