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GAME PREVIEW: Rush @ Cutthroats 12/21

Saturday, December 21st
GAME PREVIEW: Rush @ Cutthroats 12/21

Where We Left Off: Shooting For Fish – The Rush resumed their season series with their archrivals, the Denver Cutthroats, last night in Denver Coliseum. The continuation of the rivalry was as advertised, with the ferocity of the rivalry shown throughout all facets of the game. Denver started off scoring late in the first period, as J.P. Chabot scored on a power play goal to put the Cutthroats on the scoreboard first and give them a 1-0 lead heading into the locker room. The Rush would counter right out of the gates in the second period, with Konrad Reeder scoring on a three-on-one charge and a give-and-go play from Jesse Schultz to knot the game up 1-1 just a minute and a half into the middle frame. Despite decent scoring chances by both sides, the rivals would be sent to overtime for the first time against each other this year. The Cutthroats would have a power play late in the extra session, but would not capitalize on their chance. A shootout would befall both teams, and behind Tim Boron, Jesse Schultz, and Eric Giosa’s game-winner in the fourth round, the Rush would hang on for a 2-1 win, and would tie CHL history with their tenth consecutive road win.

Tons of Excitement on the Road – Last night, the Rush played in their third shootout game of the season, all of which have happened to be on the road. Rush goaltender Tim Boron stopped 4 of 5 shooters last night, putting him at 7/9 on the season in the shootout in two appearances of the three games.

There’s a First Time for Everything – As mentioned earlier, last night marked the first time the Rush and the Cutthroats played past 60 minutes in their head to head series this season. Out of 16 games in last year’s set, the Rush and Cutthroats went past 60 minutes in exactly half of those matchups, with 7 deciding a winner in the shootout.

Chasing History Once More – The Rush come into Denver with the chance to possibly set two records in the CHL. Last night, with a shootout win over the Cutthroats, the Rush have won 10 straight road games, tying the previous record that has been met four previous times (most recently the Odessa Jackalopes in 2001/02). The Rush have yet to lose away from Rushmore Plaza Civic Center this season with a 10-0 road record, are the last team to be undefeated in road play in the CHL, and with a win tonight will gain sole possession of the record. On top of that, the Rush can become the first team in the CHL to ever win 20 of their first 23 games to start a season. This is the second time this season that the Rush have tied CHL history this year, as they won their first 10 games of the season.

Number Crunch: VS the Cutthroats – The Rush conclude part two of their season series against the Cutthroats tonight. Let’s look at some numbers from last night’s shootout win:

· 6 – the number of power plays given to both teams combined. We said the power play would be a factor, and each team got three on the evening (Rapid City was awarded a five-on-three power play). Denver scored on their second chance of the night, and was awarded a power play late in OT, but wouldn’t convert.

· 12 – the number of wins for the Rush when shooting between 30 and 39 times in a game this season. Coach Ferras has stressed getting pucks to the net all season, and the team has bought into the philosophy. Last night was no exception, as their 36 shots on net in regulation and overtime helped them to their 19th win of the season. When firing between 30 and 39 shots, the Rush have only lost once.

· 4 – the number of shootout losses for Denver on the season to date. They have played in seven games past 60 minutes, with five boiling down to a shootout.

Keep an Eye Out – Although there are no statistical streaks yet, let’s highlight some interesting player performances:

· Jesse Schultz has points in every game but two this season (also has assists in all but five games this season)

· Konrad Reeder has points in every game but three this season (also has goals in all but eight games this season)

· Matt Larke has points in seven of his last nine games

· Winston Day Chief has points in five of his last six games

· Eric Giosa has ten points in his last eight games (5 G, 5 A)

· Sean Erickson has multi-point outings in four of his last seven games

· Ryan Palmer (IR), Konrad Reeder, and Tristin Llewellyn are tied for 1st in the CHL in +/- (each has +18 rating)

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