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RAPID CITY, SD – With the score tied 1-1 in the third period Diego Cugietta scored with 11:42 left in the third period to give the Utah Grizzlies a lead and Mike McNicholas provided an insurance goal 1 minute 12 seconds later as they defeated the Rapid City Rush 3-1 on Saturday night at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.

The Rush scored first as Jack Suter lit the lamp 6:58 into the first. 24 seconds later Utah’s Brayden Gelsinger tied the game for his first professional goal. Gelsinger assisted on Cuglietta’s game winning goal in the third period. They were college teammates at Lake Superior State University for 3 seasons from 2017-2019.

It was the first professional win for Utah goaltender Peyton Jones, who stopped 21 of 22 shots. Utah outshot Rapid City 34-22.

Both teams split the 2 game weekend series. Rush will visit Maverik Center on December 31st, 2020 – January 2nd, 2021 for a 3 game in 3 day series. Grizzlies home opening weekend is December 18th and 19th against the Tulsa Oilers. Face-off both nights is at 7:10 pm. Capacity is limited to 1,800 to start the season.

Grizzlies 3 stars of the game: 1. Diego Cuglietta (1 goal, 1 assist); 2. Brayden Gelsinger (1 goal, 1 assist); 3. Peyton Jones (21 of 22 saves) First professional win.

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