Edmondson Sends Rush to Victory with OT Game-Winner, 5-4
The Wichita Thunder have been living by the dramatic late goal of late, but Friday night it was time for them to get a little dose of their own medicine as Ian Edmondson delivered the game-winning goal in overtime to give the Rapid City Rush a 5-4 victory. Wichita had battled back from a two-goal third period deficit to force the extra session but could not get the go ahead tally. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Thunder, however the team has recorded at least one point in five straight games (3-0-2).
Wichita took the early lead, scoring a pair of goals 31 seconds apart. The first came at 6:40. Brayden Watts gained control of the puck in the neutral zone, then led a 2-on-1 break into the Rush end. He fed the puck across the slot to Peter Crinella who fired a wrist shot over the shoulder of Rapid City netminder Adam Carlson for his fourth tally of the year.
Moments later the Thunder were back on the scoreboard. Matteo Gennaro carried the puck into the Rapid City end, dishing it Dean Stewart near the boards. He fired a perfect pass through the slot and onto the stick of Beau Starrett who simply tipped puck past Carlson for his third goal of the year.
Rapid City had dominated play overall, outshooting Wichita 14-10 in the first period, but they were trailing 2-0. That changed at 16:13 when the Rush finally got on the board.
The Thunder won the draw back just inside their own blueline. The Wichita defenseman attempted to clear the puck out of the zone but fanned on the shot. Stephen Baylis swept in and scooped up the loose puck, then swept across the slot, firing a wrist shot. Evan Weninger got a piece of it, but it rolled off his glove and in to cut the deficit to one.
The Rush kept the pressure up, taking the lead in the second. At 11:41, Tyson Empey fired a shot from the boards that hit off the glove of Weninger and in to tie the score at two.
With a little less than two minutes left in the period, Hunter Garlent gave Rapid City their first lead of the game. Andrew Sturtz passed the puck to Garlent along the boards. He weaved his way around two Thunder defenders, stickhandling through the crease before firing a shot through a completely screened Evan Weninger to put the Rush on top, 3-2. The highlight reel goal was the fourth of the season for Garlent.
The Rush held a one-goal lead coming out of the second intermission, but extended the lead to two less than a minute into the third period. It would be Baylis again taking advantage of a bad turnover that gave him his second unassisted goal of the game. The Thunder defender attempted to clear the puck away from in front of the Wichita net, but gave it right to Baylis, who fired a quick wrist shot that beat Weninger over the right shoulder. That was the fourth unanswered goal for Rapid City.
Things were going terribly wrong for Wichita, but they turned the tide when Crinella scored his second goal of the game six minutes later. With the Thunder on a power play, Cam Clarke passed the puck to John Albert in front of the net. He tried to simply redirect the puck past Carlson, but the Rush goaltender made the save, kicking it into the corner. Crinella dug out the loose puck, skating in front and buried a wrist shot as he was tripped to the ice for his second tally of the contest.
At 11:31, Wichita tied the score. Stefan Fournier had the puck behind the net. He waited for Anthony Beauregard to come streaking down the slot before firing a pass in front. Beauregard blasted the one-timer by Carlson for his seventh goal of the year making it a 4-4 game. The goal extended the point streak for Beauregard to 13 straight games.
That sent the game to overtime where Rapid City would win it 2:38 into the extra frame. A collision just inside the Rush end put the puck right onto the stick of Peter Quenneville. He sped down the boards on a 2-on-1, that quickly turned into a 3-on-1. He dished the puck back to Garlent who had been trailing the play. Garlent made a one touch pass back to Quenneville who tapped it across the slot and onto the stick of Edmondson. He simply redirected the puck past Weninger with the skate-off goal to give the Rapid City Rush a 5-4 victory.
Eleven different players had at least one point for the Thunder, led by Crinella with two goals. Garlent had a goal and an assist for Rapid City. Baylis had two goals.
The Thunder remain at home tomorrow night as they will host Rapid City once again. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m.
By Robert Pannier