Pascal Morency - Valerie Haugh
On the road this week, the Arizona Sundogs found the perfect gift for their fans; a broken losing streak.
The Sundogs faced the Missouri Mavericks on Tuesday before traveling to Denver for a two game stand against the Denver Cutthroats.
The Mavericks scored two goals in the opening period, but with only thirty-three seconds left before the first break, Captain and forward Jason Morgan got Arizona on the board, assisted by Ron Myers. Missouri would increase their lead once more with the only goal in the middle frame. The Sundogs refused to lie down in the final period however. They started their comeback with a goal by forward Jake Hauswirth, assisted by Chad Langlais and Karl Linden at 5:46. Forward Derek LeBlanc would score his first goal of the night at 14:40, assisted by Chad Nehring, to tie the game. Just fifteen seconds later, forward Matt Tassone would give Arizona its first lead of the night, assisted by Adam Chorneyko and Adam Smyth. Missouri would go on the power play with less than two minutes left in the game and pull their goalie for the 6-on-4 man advantage. At 19:13, Derek LeBlanc would score an unassisted short-handed goal and at 19:55, Jake Hauswirth would light the lamp, assisted by Karl Linden, to give the Sundogs the 6-3 victory. Arizona totaled 45 shots on goal, and goalie David Brown made 33 saves on 36 shots.
On Friday the Sundogs would face-off against the Cutthroats in Denver and Arizona would strike early with a goal by forward Jake Hauswirth, assisted by Chad Nehring and Kevin Petovello, at 1:41 of the first period. Midway through the opening frame, Sundogs' Kevin Petovello would increase his teams' lead, assisted by Jason Morgan and Ron Myers. With just seven seconds left before the first intermission, forward Matt Tassone would find the back of the net, assisted by Adam Smyth and Mike Glaicar. Denver would get on the board early in the middle frame, but forward Chad Nehring would give the Sundogs' their three goal lead again, assisted by Derek LeBlanc. The Cutthroats would score once more in the second period and twice in the third to tie the game and send it to overtime. Unable to score in extra time, the teams would go to a shootout. Denver would score once in the shootout, while the Sundogs' Derek LeBlanc and Kevin Petovello would both get one past the goalie for the 5-4 win. Arizona had 30 shots on goal, and goalie Adam Russo turned away 32 of the 36 shots he faced.
The two teams would meet again on Saturday, and Denver would score twice in the first period. Neither team would light the lamp in the middle frame. With just over two minutes left in the game, Sundogs' forward Chad Nehring would score unassisted, but Denver would find the back of the empty net again before the final buzzer and take the 3-1 win. Arizona totaled 31 shots on goal, and goalie David Brown made 30 saves on 28 shots.
Twenty-nine games into the season; Arizona is 11-14-4 and is in 8th place with 26 points, 13 points out of 1st place.
The Sundogs' special teams currently has a 9.68% power play percentage and an 79.20% penalty kill percentage with 4 shorthanded goals scored and 2 allowed.
On 12/15 defenseman Mario Larocque was placed on 7-day IR; On 12/18 forward Jeff Kyrzakos was granted leave by the league, forward Stephen Moore signed a contract and forward Johan Ryd was moved from 14 to 30-day IR; On 12/21 defenseman Deron Cousens was placed on team suspension.
Forward Chad Nehring continues to lead the Sundogs in both goals (12) and points (24).
Arizona ends the year with three home games. On Friday, Saturday, and Monday the Sundogs take on the Bloomington Blaze. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. for each game and on New Year's Eve there will be a skate with the players following the game.