Blaze forward Dan Barczuk battles in front of the Cutthroats net as the Blaze fall in Denver 5-1 on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at Denver Coliseum. (Photo by Hector Acevedo)
By Greg Halbleib
DENVER - The Bloomington Blaze could not overcome an early deficit and lost their first matchup with the Denver Cutthroats 5-1 on Wednesday night at Denver Coliseum.
The Cutthroats scored first on a rebound tally by Luke Fulghum with 10:43 left in the first period, with assists given to Jamie MacQueen and Markus Lauridsen. Another rebound goal with 7:27 remaining in the opening period by Ben Wilson assisted by A.J. Gale and Brad Smyth to give the hosts a 2-0 lead. Brett Lutes scored an unassisted shorthanded goal when he stole the puck at the Bloomington blue line and tallied on a breakaway to give Denver a 3-0 lead with 5:16 left in the first period.
Denver added a power play goal early in the second period as Jamie MacQueen wristed a shot from the left dot into the upper right corner with 18:24 left in the second period, assisted by Fulghum and Joel Chouinard to put the hosts ahead 4-0.
The Cutthroats extended the lead to 5-0 with 17:29 left in the third period when McQueen scored his second goal of the game on a feed from Fulghum. The Blaze dented the scoreboard with 11:27 left when David Gilbert tipped a centering pass from Jared Walker to cut the Denver lead to 5-1.
Kent Patterson earned the win in goal with 32 saves while Gerry Festa took the loss with 27 stops. The Blaze were 0-for-5 on the power play while the Fish were 1-of 4.
The Blaze continue their trip to the Mountain time zone with a pair of contests against the Rapid City Rush. Face-off is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. Central on Friday and Saturday from the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center with pre-game on WJBC.com and CHL-TV at 7:45 both nights. The next home Blaze game is Thursday, December 6 at 7:05 p.m. against the Missouri Mavericks.