DENVER, Colo. – One night after giving up four first period goals and being chased from game five, Cutthroats goaltender Kent Patterson turned in a superb effort, pitching a scoreless shutout while stopping 52-shots in front of 2,482 fans on Saturday night at the Denver Coliseum. A.J. Gale scored the game’s only goal as Denver defeated the Tulsa Oilers 1-0 to take a 3-2 advantage in their opening round best-of-seven Ray Miron Presidents’ Cup playoff series.
Gale’s goal, the eventual game-winner, came on the power play 2:45 into the opening period with assists from Troy Schwab and Steve Kaunisto. With Tulsa’s Eric Tallent in the penalty box serving a two-minute minor for roughing, Schwab found Gale at the circle. Gale then slapped a one-timer past Tulsa’s Shane Madolora for the score.
In total, Denver was 1-for-4 on the man advantage while Tulsa went 0-for-4, making them just 1-for-21 on the power play in the series. Madolora also turned in a solid effort in net, stopping 31-of-32 shots in the losing effort.
But it was Patterson who stole the show, denying Tulsa’s potent offense just 24-hours after they exploded for six goals in game four. Patterson turned back 19 shots in the first period as the Oilers out-shot the Cutthroats 19-14. Penalties were minimal in the opening frame, with each team being assessed one minor.
Denver held a 13-12 shot advantage in the second, with again only two minor penalties being called.
Tulsa put forth a furious effort in the final period, peppering Patterson with 21 shots only to see them all turned aside. Tulsa’s Ben Gordon led all skaters with 11 shots on goal in the loss.
The series now shifts back to the BOK Center for game six on Tuesday night. Opening face-off is scheduled for 7:05pm CDT. Denver can close out the series and move into the semi-final round with a win, while Tulsa hopes to claim victory and force a seventh and deciding game in Denver on Thursday night.
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