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Huge game by Brannon boosts Rapid City over Denver, 4-1
Scott Brannon had two goals and one assist to lead Rapid City to a 4-1 victory over the Denver Cutthroats.Brannon's tallies came at 33 seconds into the second period to make the score 1-0 Rapid City and 15:55 into the second to make the score 3-1 Rapid City.
Rapid City's Danny Battochio was a brick wall in net, as he came up with 34 saves and let only one puck past him. Battochio managed to improve on his goals against average, which stood at 2.27 prior to the game.
Rapid City forced its penalty killing units to work especially hard during the game, picking up five minors and four majors for 30 minutes in penalty time. The total exceeded the 18.0 minutes per game Rapid City had been spending in the box. Rapid City's penalty kill was spotless, allowing no goals on five Denver power plays. Rapid City's offense was clicking better than usual and put 50 shots on goal during the game, better than the 26.3 shots per game it averages.
Rapid City additionally got points from Jeff Lee, who also grabbed one goal and one assist. Rapid City also got a goal from Jarrett Konkle as well. More assists for Rapid City came via Jared Brown, who had two and Riley Weselowski, Jesse Schultz, and Garrett Gruenke, who contributed one a piece.
The Denver penalty box was a popular destination as the team totaled five minors and four majors for 40 minutes in penalty time. The Cutthroats surpassed its season average of 15.0 penalty minutes per game. Denver was held below its usual level of production. The Cutthroats average 3.2 goals per game. Denver forced Rapid City goalie Battochio to work between the pipes, taking 35 shots.
The Cutthroats were led by Chris Greene, who scored the team's only goal. Greene scored 1:03 into the second period to make the score 1-1. Luke Fulghum provided the assist.
Rapid City registered one goal on five power play opportunities. Kieran Millan recorded 46 saves for Denver. The Cutthroats ran into serious disciplinary problems during the contest, and Mario Boilard was ejected from the game.