Dog Caller - Arizona Sundogs vs. Wichita Thunder 1st Round Playoffs

Arizona hosted a Playoff Bash on Saturday with free skating, food, and the game on all the screens in the arena - Valerie Haugh

The 2012-2013 Central Hockey League’s Ray Miron President’s Cup Championship has begun and the seventh place Sundogs were in Wichita for the first two games against the Thunder.

On Thursday Arizona fell into an early hole against Wichita when the Thunder scored the only goal of the first period and then a shorthanded goal 24 seconds into the second period. Sundogs' defenseman Mario Larocque, assisted by Jeff Kyrzakos and Matt McCready, would get his team on the board with a goal at 3:31 of the middle frame. The Thunder would score again to take a 3-1 lead into the second intermission. Just 4:33 into the third period, Arizona forward Chad Nehring would light the lamp, assisted by Kirill Tulupov, to cut Wichita's lead to a single goal once again. With regulation time running out, the Sundogs would pull their goalie and rookie defenseman Matt McCready would find the back of the net, assisted by Jason Morgan, to send the game to overtime. The Thunder would halt Arizona's momentum though with a goal early in the extra frame and get the 4-3 win. Arizona had 26 shots on goal, and goalie Adam Russo turned away 24 of the 28 shots he faced.

The teams would meet again on Saturday and Wichita would own the night. Neither team would score in the first two periods, but the Thunder would score three times in the final frame to get the 3-0 win. The Sundogs totaled only 11 shots on goal, and goalie David Brown made 30 saves on 32 shots.

Dog Bites

Two games into the playoffs; Arizona is 0-2-0

The Sundogs' special teams in the playoffs have a 0% power play percentage, 0 goals on 9 man-advantages, and an 87.50% penalty kill percentage, allowing 1 goal on 8 penalty kills, with 0 shorthanded goals scored and 1 allowed

In the playoffs, defenseman Matt McCready leads Arizona in points with 1 goal and 1 assist

Arizona faces the Wichita at home tonight and tomorrow, with the puck dropping at 6:05pm for both games. Should the Sundogs win at least one of their home games, the teams will return to Wichita for a game Saturday and, if needed, a game Sunday.

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