Hector Acevedo/Denver Cutthroats
Goaltender Kieran Millan picked up his first professional shutout to help the Denver Cutthroats end a three-game losing streak with a 6-0 victory over the Arizona Sundogs on Wednesday at the Denver Coliseum.
The Colorado Avalanche prospect made 22 saves in his second win of the season and improved Denver’s record to 4-6-0 on the year (4-2-0 at home). It was the Cutthroats’ first shutout in franchise history. Millan kept the Cutthroats in the lead despite a flurry of Arizona shots late in the first and second period.
Brad Smyth and AJ Gale tallied two goals each on the night for Denver. The Cutthroats pulled themselves into a three-way tie for seventh place in the CHL with Quad City and Missouri with the win.
Both teams got off to a slow start in the contest, but the pace quickened after Smyth scored the first goal of the night on a breakaway at 11:37 of the opening period for a Denver lead.
The score stayed 1-0 until late in the stanza, when Gale scored back-to-back goals to close the period. Gale’s first came on a backhand shot after he beat an Arizona (6-4-2) defenseman down the slot, and his second on the power play after the Sundogs’ Adam Smyth took a roughing and tripping penalty with 3:08 left in the period. Troy Schwab found Gale alone in the slot -- who ripped a snap shot past Sundogs netminder Adam Russo.
Denver outshot Arizona 15-6 in the opening period and went on to outshoot them in the game by a 30-22 margin.
It didn’t take long for Denver to add to their lead in the second period as Gabe Gauthier picked up a cross ice pass from Brett Lutes and scored on a wrist shot from the left side just 53 seconds into the stanza. Luke Fulghum made it a 5-0 game as he scored on a wrist shot from the right wing wall at 16:26 of the period.
Smyth scored his second of the game with an outside shot on the power play at 7:35 of the third period. Denver finished 1-for-3 on the power play while Arizona went 0-for-2
Denver and Arizona will meet again on Friday at the Denver Coliseum in the final of five meetings between the two clubs in 10 days. Puck drop is set for 7:05 PM MST.
1. Kieran Millan (DEN)
2. Brad Smyth (DEN)
3. A.J. Gale (DEN)
Post-Game Notes: Wednesday’s game was the fourth of five straight that Denver played against Arizona… The Cutthroats have scored at least five goals in each of their last three home games… Luke Fulghum’s goal was his first since scoring a pair back on October 26th at Rapid City… The Cutthroats have had a multi-goal scorer in seven of their last nine games… AJ Gale took over the CHL lead in scoring points (19) with a goal a two assists.
Recap courtesy of Denver Cutthroats