Rapid City’s winning streak at 11, Battochio’s at eight
RAPID CITY, S.D. – The Rapid City Rush remained in first place atop the Turner Conference with a 3-0 shutout of the Colorado Eagles, who could have leapfrogged the defending champs with a win in regulation. Danny Battochio handed the Eagles their first shutout of the season, stopping 30 shots in all. The last time Colorado was shutout, ironically, was nearly one year ago to the day (Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2010) when Battochio stopped 36 shots in an overtime win.
The teams played a scoreless first period with Andrew Penner stopping 10 shots and Battochio stopping seven. Rapid City went 0-for-3 on the man-advantage, while Colorado went 0-for-1.
Each team recorded 14 shots in the second period, with the Rush getting three of them past Penner, while Battochio made some stellar stops to keep the Eagles off the scoreboard. Ryan Menei — the CHL’s leading goal-scorer — got the only goal Rapid City would need just 26 seconds into the period with a shot from the right circle.
A couple minutes later, Andrej Hebar’s shot beat Battochio, but it stopped dead in its tracks in the crease, inches short of crossing the goal line. And a couple of shifts after that, Adam Chorneyko had a promising wraparound attempt denied by the Rush’s netminder with a diving save across the goal line.
Then, at 7:29, Josh Beaulieu made it 2-0 with a shot from low in the left circle. And at 16:08, Menei set up Scott Wray for a goal from high in the left circle. That score chased Penner from the Eagles’ net after he stopped 18 of 21 shots in just over 36 minutes of play.
Colorado out-shot Rapid City 9-6 in the final frame, but couldn’t get a puck past Battochio, despite getting all three of the period’s power plays. The shutout was the Rush netminder’s third of the season.
The Eagles’ next games will be Friday and Saturday at the Budweiser Events Center against the Arizona Sundogs and Mississippi RiverKings.