Hector Acevedo/Denver Cutthroats
Jarrett Konkle tied the game in the final minute of regulation for the Rapid City Rush, but AJ Gale’s fifth-round shootout goal sealed the win for the Denver Cutthroats on Saturday night at the Denver Coliseum in front of 4,387.
It was the second straight game the Cutthroats (7-7-1) and Rush (8-6-2) needed to go past regulation to decide the winner as Rapid City took a shootout win from Denver on Friday night in the Black Hills. Jamie MacQueen also scored for the Fish in the shootout. Damian Surma added Rapid City’s only goal.
With the win the Cutthroats move past two teams to take over sixth place in the CHL standings. Denver has now won four of their last six games, and has picked up points in five of their last six.
Denver saw their 3-1, third period lead evaporate as Rapid City’s Scott Wray scored with just under six minutes remaining. Konkle then slipped in a sharp-angled shot from the bottom of the left circle off a crossing pass in the game’s final minute to knot the score and force overtime, before Gale’s shootout-winner.
Gabriel Beaupre opened up the game’s scoring 5:20 into the first period closing off a 3-on-1 rush for the Cutthroats from the slot for his second of the season. Brett Lutes and Gabe Gauthier tallied the assists.
In period two, Joel Chouinard then made it a 2-0 game when his centering pass from the left circle deflected off the stick of Rapid City’s Justin Sawyer and in the net for his first of the season. Riley Weselowski put the Rush on the board with a power play strike with five minutes left in the frame.
Brad Smyth scored Denver’s lone third period goal on the power play at 8:14 for his eighth of the year. Gauthier and Lutes also tallied assists on Chouinard’s goal for two-point nights.
Kent Patterson earned his third win of the season for the Cutthroats, stopping 26 shots. Neil Conway’s 38 saves were not enough in the Rapid City loss.
Denver finished 1-for-5 on the power play, while the Rush went 1-for-4.
The two teams close out their four-game series on Sunday at 7:05 PM MST.
1. AJ Gale (DEN)
2. Riley Weselowski (RPD)
3. Kent Patterson (DEN)
Recap courtesy of Denver Cutthroats