Dog Caller - Can't stop the rush? The Arizona Sundogs can

The Sundogs wore specialty jerseys for Pink in the Rink on Saturday - Valerie Haugh

The Arizona Sundogs returned home for three games against the Rapid City Rush this week. The week was an emotionally charged one with the Sundogs’ first Kids Day Game on Wednesday and Pink in the Rink on Saturday.

On Wednesday, Arizona hosted its first Kids Day Game in front of a record crowd of 5,218 fans. Sundogs' forward Kevin Baker would get his team on the board first with a power play goal in the opening period, assisted by David Rutherford and Jason Morgan. The Rush would score and the teams would go into the first break tied at one.

Nine seconds into the middle frame, Baker would get his second of the day, assisted by Michael Trebish and Jordan Clendenning. At 1:27 of the period, forward Alex Tuckerman would increase Arizona's lead, assisted by Paul McIlveen and Mark Isherwood. Five minutes later, with the Sundogs on the power play again, forward Paul McIlveen would score, assisted by Kevin Baker and Bryan Cameron.

In the third period, Arizona defenseman Matt McCready would light the lamp, assisted by Michael Trebish and Paul McIlveen, to give his team the 5-1 victory.

The Sundogs totaled 30 shots on goal and goalie Andrew Engelage stopped 27 of the 28 shots on goal.

The teams met again Friday and again Arizona would score first with a power play goal by forward Bryan Cameron, assisted by Paul McIlveen and Justin Pender.

The Sundogs would have two penalty shot opportunities, one in the first and one in the second, but were unable to capitalize on either.

In the second, Arizona forward Kevin Baker would score on the power play, assisted by Matt McCready and Jordan Clendenning. Ten minutes later, Baker would get his second power play goal of the night, assisted by David Rutherford and Paul McIlveen.

Early in the third, Rapid City would get on the board. Midway through the third Arizona forward David Rutherford would light the lamp, assisted by Justin Pender.

Rush would get another before the final buzzer, but the Sundogs would get the 4-2 victory. Arizona had 30 shots on goal, and goalie Andrew Engelage turned away 38 of the 40 shots he faced.

Saturday, the Sundogs' special teams would continue to shine as forward Alex Tuckerman would get his team on the board with a shorthanded goal early in the first, assisted by Sebastian Geoffrion. Newly signed Arizona forward Riley Emmerson would increase his team's lead later in the first, assisted by Michael Couch and Jason Morgan. Continuing his trend for the week, Sundogs' forward Kevin Baker would get a power play goal in the first, assisted by Matt McCready and Alex Tuckerman, to give his team a three-goal lead going into the first intermission.

Rapid City would get the only goal in the middle frame.

Sundogs' Captain and forward Jason Morgan would get a power play goal in the third, assisted by Alex Tuckerman and Matt McCready, to regain the three-goal lead. The Rush would get a goal later in the third, but Arizona would get the 4-2 victory and the sweep.

The Sundogs totaled 31 shots on goal and goalie Andrew Engelage stopped 27 of the 29 shots on goal.

Big Dog of the Week

Kevin Baker is receiving the Big Dog of the Week award for the second time this season. In his 40 games with the Sundogs this season, the Kingston, Ontario native has 33 points (19-14-33), 20 penalty minutes, and 143 shots on goal. Baker was named the CHL's Oakley Player of the Week for the week ending February 2, 2014. The 6'1" forward netted the game winning goal in all three games against the Rush this week and ended the series with five goals, one assist, and a +1 rating.

Goalie Andrew Engelage is getting a special mention for winning the CHL's Oakley Goalie of the Week. Engelage was in net for all three wins against Rapid City and ended the series with a 1.67 GAA, 92 saves, and a .948 Save Percentage.

Dog Bites

  • Forty-one games into the season, Arizona is 20-18-3 with 43 points. They are 7th out of 10 teams in the CHL: 11 points out of first place and in possession of a playoff position by one point.
  • The Sundogs' special teams have a 19.16% power play percentage and an 83.76% penalty kill percentage, with four shorthanded goals scored and eight allowed.
  • On 1/29 forward Alex Tuckerman was activated from I.R.; On 2/1 forward Brandon Coccimiglio was moved from 14-day to 30-day I.R., forward Riley Emmerson signed a contract, defenseman Alex Velischek was moved from 7-day to 14-day I.R., and defenseman Jeff Buvinow was activated from I.R. and then waived
  • Forward Paul McIlveen leads the team in points with 40 (15g/25a). Forward Kevin Baker leads the team in goals with 19.
  • Arizona continues its homestand with games against the Brampton Beast on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. The puck drops at 6:35 pm on Wednesday and 7:05 pm on Friday and Saturday.

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