Dog Caller - Arizona Sundogs turning it around on the road

The Sundogs' long road trip is working to bring the team together - Valerie Haugh

The Arizona Sundogs remained on the road for four games in six nights. The Sundogs faced the Allen Americans on Friday and Saturday before traveling to Wichita to play the Thunder on Sunday and then to St. Charles to face the Chill.

The Sundogs took the ice against the Americans on Friday and Arizona would strike first with an unassisted goal by forward Johan Ryd in the opening period. As the first period was winding down, Sundogs' forward Shawn Limpright would increase his team's lead, assisted by Jason Morgan and Kevin Baker. Allen would get two goals in the middle frame to tie the game. Forty-two seconds into the third period, Arizona forward and Captain Jason Morgan would give his team the lead once more, assisted by Shawn Limpright. The Americans would go on to score four unanswered goals and get the 6-3 win. Arizona had 35 shots on goal and goalie Andrew Engelage stopped 27 of the 31 shots he faced.

Arizona and Allen would face-off again on Saturday and the Americans would score three goals in the first eight minutes of the opening period. Later in the first, with his team on the power play Sundogs' defenseman Garrett Clarke would get his team on the board, assisted by Mark Isherwood and Kevin Baker. Allen would score once more in the first and the only goal in the second. In the third, Arizona's special teams would strike again when forward Shawn Limpright would score shorthanded, assisted by Alex Tuckerman and Alex Velischek. Sundogs' forward Alex Tuckerman would cut further into Allen's lead, assisted by Johan Ryd and Riley Emmerson. Arizona would pull their goalie and forward Shawn Limpright would light the lamp, assisted by Johan Ryd and Jason Morgan. The Americans would then score on the empty-net and get the 6-4 win. The Sundogs totaled 34 shots on goal and goalie Andrew Engelage stopped 25 of the 30 shots on goal.

The Sundogs then traveled to Wichita and neither team would score in the first period. Early in the second, Arizona defenseman Alex Velischek would light the lamp, assisted by Sebastian Geoffrion and Johan Ryd. The Thunder would tie game less than a minute later. Late in the second, Sundogs' forward Kevin Baker would give his team the lead again, assisted by Brandon Coccimiglio and Alex Velischek. Baker would get the only goal of the third period and earn his team the 3-1 victory. Arizona had 23 shots on goal and goalie Andrew Engelage stopped 31 of the 32 shots he faced.

Arizona faced the St. Charles Chill on Wednesday and St. Charles would strike first with a goal early in the opening period. Later in the first, Sundogs' forward Kevin Baker would tie the game, assisted by Brandon Coccimiglio. Early in the second, Baker would give his team the lead with his second of the night, assisted by David Rutherford and Brandon Coccimiglio. Arizona forward David Rutherford would extend his team's lead late in the middle frame, assisted by Brandon Coccimiglio and Kevin Baker. In the third, the Sundogs would score more goals than in any other period this season. Forward Jason Morgan would get the explosion started, assisted by Shawn Limpright and Bryan Cameron. This would be followed with a goal by defenseman Alex Velischek, assisted by Riley Emmerson and Johan Ryd. Kevin Baker would get the hat trick with a goal less than a minute later, assisted by Brandon Coccimiglio and Matt McCready. Arizona forward Johan Ryd would get a power play goal in the final second, assisted by Matt McCready and Riley Emmerson for the 7-1 victory. The Sundogs totaled 46 shots on goal and goalie Andrew Engelage stopped 29 of the 30 shots on goal.

Big Dog of the Week

By popular vote, Big Dog of the Week is being awarded to Kevin Baker. The father of two has already won the award three times this season. The 34-year old forward has 54 points (29g/25a), a -4 +/- rating, 26 penalty minutes, and 216 shots in his 55 games with the Sundogs this season. This past week Kevin has five goals and three assists, his hat trick on Wednesday earned him the CHL's First Star of the Night.

Dog Bites

  • Fifty-six games into the season, Arizona is 26-24-6 with 58 points. They are 8th out of 10 teams in the CHL; 16 points out of first place and in possession of the final playoff position by seven points.
  • The Sundogs' special teams have a 19.40% power play percentage and an 84.03% penalty kill percentage, with five shorthanded goals scored and nine allowed.
  • On 2/27 goalie Dave Kopacz was waived and goalie Chris Rawlings was activated from leave by the league; On 2/28 defenseman Matt McCready was placed on 2-game league suspension; On 3/1 forward Dion Campbell was placed on 14-day I.R.; On 3/2 defenseman Matt McCready was activated from league suspension, forward David Rutherford was activated from I.R., defenseman Garrett Clarke was placed on 2-game league suspension, forward Paul McIlveen was moved from 14-day to 30-day I.R., forward Brandon Coccimiglio was activated from I.R., goalie Chris Rawlings was recalled to Portland (AHL), forward Jordan Clendenning was moved from 7-day to 14-day I.R., and goalie P.J. Pinkerton signed a contract; On 3/5 goalie Chris Rawlings was assigned by Portland, forward Bryan Cameron was activated from I.R., and goalie P.J. Pinkerton was waived
  • Forward Kevin Baker continues to lead the team in goals (29) and points (54).
  • Arizona continues the extended road trip with a games Friday and Saturday against the Quad City Mallards.

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