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GAME PREVIEW: RUSH vs CUTTHROATS 1/18/2014

Saturday, January 18th
GAME PREVIEW: RUSH vs CUTTHROATS 1/18/2014

Where We Left Off: Hungry For Five Guys – The Rush and the Denver Cutthroats carried on their rivalry with the latest installment coming last night in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. The battle was heated as always, with multiple fights breaking out between the clubs, but the Rush would not be phased, as they would dominate the game from start to finish. After the Rush’s first power play of the game expired, Konrad Reeder would get the Rush on the board to kick things off 9:04 into the game to give the Rush the early 1-0 lead. Winston Day Chief would find his way on the scoresheet as well, feeding a centering pass into the crease of Denver net-minder Travis Bosch that would go off the skate of the Denver defense and into their net, giving the Rush a 2-0 lead heading into the second period. Denver would be awarded a power play at the conclusion of the first frame, giving them a man-advantage to open up the second, and they would cash in on the opportunity fast. Garrett Bembridge would score his league-leading 28th goal of the season 29 seconds into the Cutthroats power play, and second period for that matter, to cut the Rush lead in half to 2-1. Moments later, however, Winston Day Chief would find himself back on the scoreboard, roofing a rebound in front of Bosch to re-establish the Rush two goal lead at 3-1 going into the third. Denver would pull Bosch from his net as a last-ditch effort, leading to an empty net goal from Justin Sawyer with 6.5 seconds left that sealed the game. The Rush would win 4-1 over the Cutthroats, their fifth straight over their geographical rivals since dropping the first game of this season’s set.

We’re Halfway There – The Rush played their 33rd game out of 66 this season last night. This year’s record through 33 games is the best in franchise history, barely topping the 23-9-1 record they posted during the 2009/2010 season, when the Rush won the CHL Championship. This is also the first season that the Rush have been undefeated in post regulation play, having won once in overtime and three times in a shootout.

I Feel Like A Million Bucks in Change – Since coming off the IR, Winston Day Chief has been stellar for the Rush up front. In 12 games since returning from his injury, Day Chief has scored 12 goals and added 6 assists for 18 points in that span. He is averaging exactly 1 goal per game, as well as an insane 1.5 points per game. On the season, Day Chief has accounted for 18 goals, good enough for a tie in 6th in the CHL, and 15.25% of the Rush’s goal total of 118.

It’s Getting Crowded Up Here – At the conclusion of league play last night, the battle for first in the CHL has escalated. Three points now separate the top three teams in the CHL. The Rush still maintain first place, a position they’ve held since November 9th, after their 4-1 win over the Cutthroats last night. The defending champion Allen Americans are still in second, salvaging a point against the Arizona Sundogs in a shootout loss to trail the Rush by 2 points in the standings. The Missouri Mavericks maintain their position in third, still trailing the Rush by 3 points, after a 5-3 win over the Tulsa Oilers last night.

Following the Leaders – Every time the Rush play the Cutthroats, players representing the top five of each statistical category in the CHL showcase their abilities on the ice:

· Garrett Bembridge (1st in Goals, 28; 2nd in Points, 57)

· Konrad Reeder (T-2nd in Goals, 23, with Tulsa’s Michel Beausoleil, T-5th in Points, 49)

· Jesse Schultz (T-2nd in Assists, 40; 3rd in Points, 52)

· Troy Schwab (T-2nd in Assists, 40; T-5th in Points, 49)

Your Lucky Numbers Are 4 and 1– The Rush are undefeated this year when two goal totals are reached. When the Rush score 4 or more goals, they are 17-0-0, and when the Rush allow only 1 goal, they are 9-0-0 through 33 games played.

NUMBER CRUNCH: VS the Cutthroats – Last night produced some interesting numbers in the first game of this three game set:

42 – the number of penalty minutes amassed by both teams through the first two periods. Three fights accounted for that total, with Justin Sawyer winning two of them in the first period alone

+10 – the goal differential for the Rush against the Cutthroats at home. While the Rush are outscoring the Cutthroats by an impressive 23-12 margin through six games, they are dominating at home in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, outscoring their rivals 15-5.

We’re Going Streaking! – Three Rush players are carrying statistical streaks into tonight’s rematch with the Cutthroats:

· Jesse Schultz – assists and points in his last three games (2 G, 5 A, 7 Pts)

· Konrad Reeder – points in his last three games (2 G, 2 A, 4 Pts)

· Winston Day Chief – points in his last three games (3 G, A, 4 Pts)

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