March 17, 2013 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Denver Cutthroats
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - The offense came alive at the most important time for the Denver Cutthroats in a 7-1 win over the Bloomington Blaze on Sunday afternoon at US Cellular Coliseum.
With the win the Cutthroats (29-26-8) are one point away from clinching a playoff spot and pull themselves into a sixth-place tie with the Quad City Mallards as the two teams are set to meet on Tuesday night. Denver and Quad City are one point ahead of the Arizona Sundogs in the standings.
AJ Gale and Mikael Bedard each scored a pair of goals for the Cutthroats in the win. Kieran Millan stopped 41 shots in net for his 14th win of the season.
The Cutthroats opened up a 2-0 lead in the first from Gabe Gauthier and Gale and a 4-0 lead after the second from Gale's league-leading 41st of the season and Luke Fulghum.
Bedard scored each of his goals at 5:22 and 9:42 of the third to pull the game out of reach. Jon Booras for the Blaze (28-32-2) and Adam Smyth for Denver also scored third period goals.
The win ends the regular season series between Denver and Bloomington with the Cutthroats taking five of the seven matchups. The Cutthroats can finish no worse than tied for eighth with the Blaze in the standings at the end of the season, but Bloomington currently owns the first tiebreaker between the two teams meaning the Cutthroats need one more point to clinch a playoff spot.
Three games remain in the regular season for the Cutthroats.
The Cutthroats continue their road trip on Tuesday when they face the Quad City Mallards for the final time this season. Puck drop is set for 6:05 PM MST from the iWireless Center.
1. Kieran Millan (DEN)
2. AJ Gale (DEN)
3. Mikael Bedard (DEN)