Arizona Sundogs finish the year with a fish tale

Goalie Chris Rawlings got two starts against Denver - Valerie Haugh

The Arizona Sundogs spent the holiday week and home and faced the Denver Cutthroats for three straight games.

The Arizona Sundogs spent the holiday week facing the Denver Cutthroats for three straight games.

Friday night the Cutthroats would score the only goal in the opening period. Arizona forward Brandon Coccimiglio would tie the score with a goal late in the second, assisted by Paul McIlveen and Travis Ouellette.

Early in the third, Denver would take the lead once more, but Coccimiglio would tie things up again with a power play goal at the midway point, assisted by Travis Ouellette and Matt McCready. With just over a minute left in regulation, the Cutthroats would score and get the 3-2 win. Arizona had 41 shots on goal, and goalie Andrew Engelage turned away 32 of the 35 shots he faced.

The teams met again on Saturday and again Denver would get the only goal in the first period.

The Sundogs would be on the power play early in the second and forward Brandon Coccimiglio would level the score, assisted by Travis Ouellette and Matt McCready.

A few minutes later, forward Kevin Baker would give Arizona its first lead, assisted by Ian Schultz and Bryan Cameron.

Midway through the second, with the Sundogs on the power play again, Brandon Coccimiglio would extend his team's lead, assisted by Travis Ouellette and Michael Trebish. The Cutthroats would score twice before the end of the second period to tie the score.

Neither team would find the back of the net in the third period and the game would go to overtime. A minute and ten seconds into the extra frame, Arizona defenseman Matt McCready would light the lamp, assisted by Brandon Coccimiglio and Paul McIlveen for the 4-3 victory.

The Sundogs totaled 44 shots on goal and goalie Chris Rawlings made 31 saves on 34 shots.

In their traditional New Year's Eve game, Arizona faced the Cutthroats and it was Denver striking first again. The Cutthroats would get two goals in the first and one in the second before the Sundogs would get on the board. Forward Kevin Baker would find the back of the net, assisted by Bryan Cameron and Jordan Clendenning.

With his team on the power play, Arizona newcomer and forward David Rutherford would cut Denver's lead to one, assisted by Brandon Coccimiglio and Paul McIlveen. The Cutthroats would regain the two-goal lead in the third period. On the power play again, Sundogs' forward Bryan Cameron would find the back of the net, assisted by Kevin Baker and Matt McCready.

The comeback would fall short however and Denver would get the 4-3 win. Arizona had 41 shots on goal, and goalie Chris Rawlings turned away 21 of the 25 shots he faced.

Big Dog of the Week

The final Big Dog of the Week for 2013 goes to forward Brandon Coccimiglio. The 6'2", 200lbs forward has seven points (5-2-7) and 21 shots in his five games with the Sundogs. Four of his goals and one assist have come on the power play. The Burlington, Ontario native had four goals and two assists in his team's three game stand against Denver this week.

Dog Bites

  • Twenty-nine games into the season, Arizona is 10-18-1 with 21 points. They are 9th out of 10 teams in the CHL, and 23 points out of first place.
  • The Sundogs' special teams have a 15.48% power play percentage and an 80.99% penalty kill percentage, with three shorthanded goals scored and eight allowed.
  • On 12/26 defenseman Mark Isherwood signed a contract; On 12/27 defenseman Garrett Clarke was activated from leave by the league and defenseman Karl Linden was waived; On 12/28 forward Tommy Maxwell was moved from 14-day to 30-day I.R., defenseman Jeff Buvinow was moved from 7-day to 14-day I.R., forward Brodie Zuk was placed on 7-day I.R., and forward Dion Campbell was activated from I.R.; On 12/31 forward Alex Tuckerman was moved from 7-day to 14-day I.R., defenseman Justin Pender was activated from leave by the league, forward Darcy Verot was activated from I.R. and then waived, forward Travis Ouellette was waived, forward Jason Morgan was moved from 14-day to 30-day I.R., and forward David Rutherford signed a contract
  • Forward Paul McIlveen continues to lead the team in points with 28 (9g/19a)
  • Arizona returns to the road for games against the Wichita Thunder on Friday and Saturday
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