Thunder Pull Away in Third to Beat Cutthroats, 5-3
Smyth Extends Point Streak to Five Games for Fish
DENVER – Special teams were on display as five combined power play goals were scored, but the Denver Cutthroats came out on the losing end of a 5-3 final to the Wichita Thunder on Friday night at Denver Coliseum in front of 3,050 in attendance.
The Thunder scored a pair of third period goals to extend their lead to 5-2 as Matt Summers and Kevin Young each found the back of the net. Brad Smyth tallied his second goal of the game with just over a minute to play in the third to give Denver (9-8-1) a chance, but the Thunder (11-5-2) held on.
The loss ends Denver’s win streak at three and their unbeaten streak at five (4-0-1), while the Thunder picked up their fifth straight win. Smyth extended his point streak to five games with a second period assist.
The Thunder took early control of the game thanks to a pair of power play goals in the opening period. Ian Lowe buried a centering pass from behind the net just 1:07 into the game and Neil Trimm scored on a loose puck at the right side of the crease with 1:04 remaining in the frame to make it a 2-0 score.
In period two AJ Gale put the Cutthroats on the board with his 11th of the season on the power play at 7:44. Smyth and Troy Schwab tallied the assists. Young scored his first of the game from the point with 5:12 remaining to make it a 3-1 lead for the Thunder, but Smyth forced home a loose puck at the right side of the crease in the final minute to close Denver’s gap to one.
Denver’s Kieran Millan stopped 26 shots in his first loss since November 9. Wichita’s Kevin Reagan earned the win stopping 30 of 33 shots.
RG Flath was denied on a third period penalty shot attempt for the Thunder, who finished 3-for-5 on the power play while the Cutthroats went 2-for-4.
The Cutthroats and Thunder meet again on Saturday to close out their weekend set. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 PM MST.