From the Cutthroats:

DENVER – Kent Patterson carried the load with 32 saves for the Denver Cutthroats in a 4-1 win on Saturday night over the rival Rapid City Rush in front of 5,536 at the Denver Coliseum.

The win was Patterson’s 10th of the season. Chris Greene scored for the third straight game for Denver (18-11-2) and Jeff Neitenbach tallied his first career goal also. The win was Denver’s sixth over Rapid City (14-12-5) in the past seven meetings between the two clubs, and the Fish now lead the season series with a 7-3-1 record against the Rush overall.

Greene put the Fish on the board just 2:32 into the first with a wrap-around goal for his third of the season. Todd Orlando then scored his first of the season with a slap shot from the top of the slot with 5:23 to play to give Denver a 2-0 lead. The Cutthroats have now outscored Rapid City 11-0 in the first period through 11 total meetings so far this season.

Rapid City’s Scott Wray made it a one-goal game on the power play midway through period two, but Neitenbach pulled the Cutthroats away with a wrist shot from the right circle to cap off a 2-on-1 rush with 2:24 remaining in the period.

Troy Schwab added Denver’s fourth goal with a backhand shot driving down the slot 3:15 into the third period from AJ Gale and Brad Smyth.

30 of Patterson’s 32 saves came in the second and third period alone as the rookie netminder improved to 8-1-0 in his last nine contests, giving up two goals or less in six of those games. Markus Lauridsen, Phil Tesoriero, and Luke Fulghum each finished with assists on the night for the Fish as well.

The Cutthroats are now 12-4-1 in their last 17 games and sit in third place in the Central Hockey League.

The Cutthroats and Rush close out 2012 with the finale of their four-game series on New Year’s Eve in Rapid City. Puck drop is set for 7:05 PM MST.

Denver’s next home game will be on February 1 against the Bloomington Blaze after the rodeo and stock show has completed its run in the Denver Coliseum.

Three Stars:
1. Kent Patterson (DEN)
2. Todd Orlando (DEN)
3. Jeff Neitenbach (DEN)

What do you think?