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Cutthroats Top Sundogs in Shootout, 2-1

Brett Lutes scored in the third period and then again in the shootout to help lift the Denver Cutthroats to a 2-1 victory over the Arizona Sundogs on Friday night at the Denver Coliseum.

Kieran Millan, whose shutout streak ended at 154:26
Kieran Millan, whose shutout streak ended at 154:26
Hector Acevedo/Denver Cutthroats

The Cutthroats (5-6-0) are now 2-0 this season in games that go beyond regulation. The contest was the first in Denver franchise history to go into a shootout. With the win the Cutthroats pulled themselves into a tie with Missouri for seventh place in the CHL.

Kieran Millan stopped 26 shots for his third win of the season and saw his shutout streak come to an end at 154:26. Arizona’s third period goal was the first given up by the rookie since the third period of a game on November 7 at Arizona. Gabe Gauthier and Brad Smyth each scored in the opening rounds of the shootout, before Lutes sealed it in round four. Millan turned aside all three Arizona (6-5-2) shooters he faced.

With the game scoreless midway through the third period, the Cutthroats finally broke through as Lutes scored at 10:21. After a shot by Luke Fulghum rebounded off Arizona goaltender David Brown, Lutes crashed the goal crease and just got enough of the puck to tip it into the cage. Mario Larocque finally found a way to crack Millan as he scored on a shot from the top of the slot to tie the contest at one with 2:26 remaining, forcing overtime.

Both teams traded scoring chances in the first period, but opportunities really heated up in period two as Millan endured traffic and several scoring chances in front of the net for the Sundogs – who hit the goal post on three separate occasions. 11 of the Sundogs 27 shots on the night came in the second period alone.

Neither team registered a power play goal as the Cutthroats went 0-for-3 and Arizona finished 0-for-4. Brown took the loss in net for Arizona despite a 32-save performance.

After playing Arizona five straight games, Denver will welcome a new opponent on Saturday as the Fort Worth Brahmas come to the Denver Coliseum at 7:05 p.m. MT.

Three Stars:
1. Brett Lutes (DEN)
2. Kieran Millan (DEN)
3. David Brown (ARZ)

Post-Game Notes: It was the first home game in the last four in which the Cutthroats did not score at least five goals… The Cutthroats have had a multi-goal scorer in six of their last nine games… Markus Lauridsen registered an assist in his first game back from being called up to the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters…

Personal Note: I attended the game last night as a fan, not a reporter, and I have to be honest: it truly was a fun experience. If you haven't gone to a game yet, you need to. In fact, A.J., Jibs and I decided to have an MHH Meet Up for a game. Just because the NHL can't figure things out, MHH doesn't have to abandon tradition. Stay tuned for details. . .

Recap courtesy of Denver Cutthroats