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Cutthroats Win a Wild One Over Rapid City, 5-4

In a game that saw three lead changes, three tie scores, four combined power play goals, and one side scoring three unanswered times to erase a two-goal deficit, the Denver Cutthroats held on in the end for a 5-4 win on Wednesday night over the Rapid City Rush in front of 4,924 at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.

Sonja Erickson/Rapid City Rush

The win was the Cutthroats (17-10-2) sixth over Rapid City (13-11-5) in nine total meetings this season. Brad Smyth extended his league-leading point streak to 16 games. Markus Lauridsen scored a pair of goals and Chris Greene’s first goal in a Cutthroats uniform proved to be the game-winner in the end.

Kent Patterson stopped a career high 39 shots for his ninth win of the season and is now 7-1-0 in his last eight appearances.

Denver jumped out a 2-0 lead in the first period as Smyth scored just 19 seconds into the night for his 16th of the year. Lauridsen then buried a power play goal from the blue line at 6:52.

Rapid City responded in the second period with three unanswered goals of their own as Justin Faryna scored from the left circle at 4:51 before Jordan Baker added a power play goal at 10:54 and Jarrett Konkle struck on the man-advantage with four seconds remaining in the frame.

The back-and-forth play increased in period three when Lauridsen’s blast from the right point trickled through Rush netminder Tim Boron to knot the game at 3-3. AJ Gale then pushed Denver in front on a rush down the middle of the ice for his team-leading 18th goal of the season. Rapid City responded with their third power play goal of the night when Jesse Schultz scored on a rebound with 8:20 left in regulation.

Greene tallied the game-winner just over a minute later by driving the net from the corner.

Boron stopped 21 of 26 shots on the night in the loss. Rapid City finished 3-for-8 on the power play while the Cutthroats went 1-for-3.

The Cutthroats and Rush continue their four-game series on Friday in the Black Hills. Puck drop is set for 7:05 PM MST at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. The series will shift to Denver on Dec. 29 before returning to South Dakota to conclude on New Year’s Eve.

Three Stars:

1. Markus Lauridsen (DEN)
2. AJ Gale (DEN)
3. Jarrett Konkle (RPD)

Recap courtesy of the Denver Cutthroats