The Arizona Sundogs finished 2012 with three home games against the Bloomington Blaze. The two teams met on Friday, Saturday and on New Year's Eve Monday.
Bloomington struck first when the teams met for the first time Friday, getting on the board early in the first period. Sundogs' forward Ron Myers tied the game up, assisted by Jason Morgan, less than a minute later. The Blaze would get another goal in the first and take a 2-1 lead into the break. Bloomington would extend their lead with two more goals in the middle frame before Arizona defenseman Mike Glaicar would score, assisted by Jason Morgan and Johan Ryd. The Blaze would light the lamp again before the buzzer to take a 5-2 lead into the second intermission. Early in the third, Sundogs' forward Jake Hauswirth would find the back of the net, assisted by Kyle Schussler and Chad Nehring, but the Blaze would score again before the final buzzer for the 6-3 win. Arizona totaled 29 shots on goal, and goalie David Brown started the game and made 17 saves on 22 shots. Adam Russo finished the game and made 9 saves on 10 shots.
The teams faced-off again on Saturday and it was Arizona who struck first when forward Ron Myers lit the lamp less than a minute into the opening frame, assisted by Jason Morgan and Karl Linden. Less than three minutes later, Myers would score again, assisted by Jason Morgan. On the power play late in the first, the Sundogs would find the back of the net again when Captain Jason Morgan would score, assisted by Derek LeBlanc. Bloomington would get on the board with the only goal in the middle frame. With time running out, and on the power play again, Arizona forward Chad Nehring would light the lamp, assisted by Chad Langlais and Jason Morgan, giving his team the 4-1 victory. Arizona had 34 shots on goal, and goalie Adam Russo turned away 26 of the 27 shots he faced.
Playing a rare Monday game, the Sundogs would score in the first minute for the second straight game with an unassisted goal by forward Derek LeBlanc. The Blaze would tie the game up less than two minutes later. Five minutes after that, Arizona forward Chad Nehring would find the back of the net and begin his hot streak for the night. At 7:23 of the first, Nehring would get his first of the night, assisted by Chad Langlais and Jake Hauswirth. Nehring's second would come at 12:12, assisted by Jake Hauswirth and Derek LeBlanc. Nehring would complete the natural hat trick, the Sundogs' first hat trick of the season, with a goal at 19:37 of the first, assisted by Chad Langlais and Matt McCready. The second period would open as the first had, with the Sundogs scoring in the first minute, this time with a power play goal by forward Ron Myers, assisted by Jason Morgan. The man with the hot hand, Chad Nehring, would get his fourth of the night at 3:33 of the middle frame, assisted by Derek LeBlanc and Jake Hauswirth. The Blaze would get a goal in the second, but Arizona wasn't done yet. Forward Jeff Kyrzakos, would score, assisted by Johan Ryd and Matt Tassone, before forward Matt Tassone would get one of his own, assisted by Adam Smyth. Neither team would get on the board in the third period, and the Sundogs would earn the 8-2 victory. Arizona totaled 49 shots on goal, and goalie David Brown made 27 saves on 29 shots.
Thirty-two games into the season; Arizona is 13-15-4 and is in 8th place with 30 points, 14 points out of 1st place.
The Sundogs' special teams currently has a 11.03% power play percentage and an 79.43% penalty kill percentage with 4 shorthanded goals scored and 2 allowed.
On 12/26 forward Stephen Moore was waived; On 12/28 forward Johan Ryd was activated from IR, defenseman Kyle Schussler was activated from IR, defenseman Mario Larocque was moved from 7-day IR to 30-day IR, and forward Jeff Kyrzakos was activated from leave by the league; On 12/31 defenseman Kyle Schussler was placed on team suspension, defenseman Matt McCready was activated from team suspension, and goalie Tim Baumgartner signed a 5-game contract
Forward Chad Nehring continues to lead the Sundogs in both goals (18) and points (30).
The Sundogs travel to Bloomington to take on the Blaze Friday and Saturday.