Where We Left Off: Revenge in the Rockies – After two days off, both the Rush and the Cutthroats were back in action playing in game two of their three game rivalry set last night in Denver Colliseum. The Rush looked to continue their winning ways over their geographical rivals and tried to build off of their resulting momentum from Tuesday night’s shootout win. Denver took control of the game early for the second straight time, as Daniel Amesbury scored his first goal of the year for his first point of the year on an odd-man rush, giving the Cutthroats a 1-0 lead eight minutes in. The Rush would carry the back end of a double minor power play into the second period, but the Cutthroats would get the best of the Rush man-advantage. 33 seconds into the second frame, Mikael Tam scored a shorthanded goal for his first goal of the season, extending the Denver lead to 2-0. Moments later, the Cutthroats would add onto their lead as Lee Moffie helped complete a four-on-two scoring opportunity to give the Cutthroats a 3-0 lead midway through the game. But the Rush would get a break, and would go on a massive offensive charge. Without his stick, Denver goalie Kent Patterson still attempted to play the puck out of his net until Rush captain Scott Wray swooped in to intercept and wrapped the puck around into a wide-open net, cutting the Denver lead to 3-1. The goal sparked an offensive series which saw the Rush out-chance, out-shoot, and out-possess Denver for the final 20+ minutes of the game. It would take a while, but with the help of the extra-attacker, Konrad Reeder would cut further into the Rush deficit by sending the puck into the back door while crashing the net, making it a 3-2 game with 1:38 left in regulation. With 12.2 seconds left, Reeder won the draw back to Sean Erickson at the point, but his rocket of a shot missed, and the Rush fell 3-2 to their rivals despite a spirited comeback late in the game.
Power Kill – The newly dubbed “Power Kill” unit went to work last night, stifling the best power play unit in the CHL in the Cutthroats on five opportunities on the man-advantage. Last night was the first time since January 24th that the Rush held an opposing power play unit scoreless on their man-advantage in a game, and the third time in ten games against the Cutthroats that they have not allowed a power play goal.
Three Cooks in the Kitchen – With the loss and wins by the Missouri Mavericks and defending champion Allen Americans last night, there is once again a three-way tie for first place in the CHL. All three teams are knotted up at 56 points, with the Mavericks holding a game in hand on the Rush, and the Rush holding a game in hand on the Americans. Including tonight’s conclusion to the series, there are 24 games left in the season, with the Rush playing Allen two more times and Missouri once more before the season concludes.
NUMBER CRUNCH: vs the Cutthroats – Tuesday’s game provided some shocking statistics:
· 2 – the number of shorthanded goals in the game between both teams. It’s rare to see a shorthanded goal in hockey, but two in the same game is definitely something else.
· 5 – the number of goals scored in this series within the first minute of a period. Each team has set some of their fastest scoring times this season in this series. This is the second straight game that Denver has scored a goal within the first minute of the second period.
· +11 – the shooting differential in favor of the Rush in the last two periods of last night’s game. Statistically, the best periods for the Rush are the second and third, especially against Denver, where their shooting differential is +53 and their scoring differential is +7. Strong offensive performances have been prevalent in the last few games for the Rush, as they have controlled the pace of the game from the second period to the end of regulation in the 2014 portion of the season.
We’re Going Streaking! – Only one player is carrying a statistical streak into the conclusion of this weekend’s set:
· Konrad Reeder – points in his last three games (G, 2 A, 3 Pts)