DENVER –A.J. Gale scored three goals but the Denver Cutthroats fell 8-5 on Saturday night to the Missouri Mavericks at the Denver Coliseum.
A day after scoring the first goal in franchise history, Gale picked up the team’s first hat trick in front of 3,328 in attendance. Two of his goals came in the first period, and he later added an assist in the game.
Gale’s first goal came early in the first period as he beat Missouri goaltender Austin Lee with a wrist shot from the right circle at 5:49. His second came less than two minutes later, scoring on a similar wrist shot from the right side.
Missouri (1-0-1) battled back in the first period with three unanswered goals to take a 3-2 lead at the intermission, but Gale scored his third of the night at 5:19 of the second period to tie the contest at three. The Cutthroats (1-1-0) retook the lead 1:04 later on a Ben Wilson goal, but the score advantage was short lived as the Mavericks scored twice in nearly two minutes to go up 5-4.
Denver’s Kyle Quincey scored on a slap shot from the blue line at 14:47 in the second to tie the game at 5-5, but Jeff Pierce's goal 33 seconds later gave Missouri back the lead for good. The Mavs scored two more times in the third period.
Kieran Milan for Denver and Lee for Missouri were the starting netminders, but all four goaltenders saw action as both starters were swapped out in the second period in favor of their backups. For Denver, Millan finished with 23 saves on 29 shots, while Kent Patterson made 16 saves on 18 shots in 24:40 of play.
Denver will next take on the Rapid City Rush in a home-and-home series next weekend. The Cutthroats will play the Rush on Friday Oct. 26 at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Arena in Rapid City before returning to the Denver Coliseum the following night, Saturday Oct. 27. Both games will begin at 7:05 p.m. MT.
1. A.J. Gale (DEN)
2. Kellen Tochkin (MIZ)
3. Jeff Pierce (MIZ)
Post-Game Notes: Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper dropped the puck during the ceremonial faceoff prior to the game… Captain Aaron MacKenzie missed the contest after being placed on the IR list… The puck from A.J. Gale’s franchise first goal and the stick from Jamie MacQueen’s overtime winner on Friday night were sent to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.