11/13/2012 9:26 PM
Photo by: Hector Acevedo
DENVER – 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. It was the Cutthroats’ first shutout in franchise history.
“It is nice to get a shutout in the first place, but with it being the first in franchise history it is a little extra special as your name is going to go down in history,” Millan said. “It’s exciting and I’m glad that the team played so well and rebounded from a couple tough games last weekend.”
The Colorado Avalanche prospect made 22 saves in his second win of the season and helped improve Denver’s record to 4-6-0 on the year (4-2-0 at home). Millan kept the Cutthroats in the lead despite a flurry of Arizona shots late in the first and second periods.
Brad Smyth and AJ Gale tallied two goals and one assist each on the night for Denver while Luke Fulghum also had a three-point game with one goal and two assists. The Cutthroats pulled themselves into a three-way tie for seventh place in the CHL with Quad City and Missouri with the win.
“I liked the way we moved the puck tonight,” said coach Derek Armstrong of his team’s performance. “That is what we have been working on the last couple of weeks, is breakouts and structure and five foot passes instead of 15 foot passes. I also liked how we competed as a team in the third period.”
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.
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 roughing and tripping penalties 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. 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.
In the third period, Smyth scored his second of the game with an outside shot at 7:35.
Denver finished 1-for-3 on the power play while Arizona went 0-for-2
The Cutthroats and Sundogs will meet again on Friday at the Denver Coliseum in the fifth and final meeting between the two clubs in 10 days. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m. MT.
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 Oct. 26 at Rapid City… The Cutthroats have had a multi-goal scorer in seven of their last nine games… A.J. Gale took over the CHL lead in scoring points (19) with a goal a two assists.