Brent Gates scored his first professional hat trick, but the Oilers lost 8-4 in a game they outshot Rapid City 46-27.

Box Score

RAPID CITY, SD   — The Oilers lost 8-4 to Rapid City at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center on Saturday night, moving back into the fifth place in the Mountain Division.

Rapid City scored on their first shot of the game. Keegan Howdeshell sniped Devin Williams top shelf to make things 1-0 2:14 into the game. Brent Gates scored his first of the game 17:33 into the first period, tying the game 1-1 at the conclusion of the opening frame.

Tyler Coulter scored 6:32 into the period to give the Rush a 2-1 lead. Matteo Gennaro scored his third of the season 11:22 into the period to give the Rush a 3-1 lead. Coulter scored his second of the game 17:18 into the second period, extending Rapid City’s 4-1 lead, and giving the Rush three goals on eight shots in the period.

Howdeshell made things 5-1, scoring a beautiful “Michigan Move”, lacrosse-style goal on Olle Eriksson Ek, the first shot the Swede faced since taking over for Williams. Gates answered with a second goal of his own, sniping Gordon Defiel in-stride on the short side to make it a 5-2 game. The three-goal deficit was quickly increased when Coulter completed his hat trick 53 seconds later at the 3:31 point of the final period. Gates netted with a hat trick of his own, hammering home a rebound on the power play with 12 minutes left to bring the game 6-3 in Rapid City’s favor. Brennan Saulnier joined the 20-goal club at the 13:10 mark of the period, beating Eriksson Ek five-hole on the breakaway.  Charlie Sampair scored for the second-straight game, tipping a Steven Ruggiero wrister past Defiel at the 14:36 mark, cutting the Rush lead to three once again. Gennaro ended the scoring with his second of the game at the 17:23 mark, an empty netter that was his fourth goal of the season.

Both teams will faceoff in a weekend rubber match tomorrow at 5:05 CST at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. The winner of the game will possess the fourth spot in the Mountain Division.

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