Dog Caller - Arizona Sundogs take round one in thrilling fashion

Matt McCready & Andrew Engelage were significant factors in Round 1

The Arizona Sundogs and the Missouri Mavericks continued their opening round series with three games in Arizona and one in Missouri. Two of the games would go to double overtime, and neither would be won by more than two goals in this exhilarating series.

In the first playoff game on Arizona ice this season, Missouri would get the only goal of the first period.

The Sundogs would go on the power play in the second period and forward David Rutherford would even the score, assisted by Mike Forney and Matt McCready. Four minutes later, Arizona defenseman Michael Trebish would rifle one past the Maverick's goalie for his first goal of the season, assisted by David Rutherford and Shawn Limpright. Late in the middle frame, Sundogs' forward Kevin Baker would light the lamp, assisted by Alex Tuckerman and Brandon Coccimiglio, to cap off a thrilling period for the home team's fans.

Neither team would score in the third period and Arizona would claim the 3-1 victory. The Sundogs totaled 41 shots on goal and goalie Andrew Engelage stopped 31 of 32 shots on goal.

Friday, the Mavericks would once again get the only goal of the opening frame, as well as the only goal of the second period.

Late in the third period, controversy would arise when it appeared Sundogs' defenseman Matt McCready would score, the referee would signal a goal, the goal horn would go off, but the goal light would never come on. Missouri would gather the puck and head down the ice. Play would stop 29 seconds after the goal. Officials and players would gather in front of the scorers' bench to discuss the play, and in the meantime the video crew at the arena would begin showing the play repeatedly on the big screen. Head referee Trevor Harding would look at the replay and then call it a good goal, even though video review is not allowed in the CHL. The 29 seconds would go back on the clock, Mike Forney and David Rutherford would get the helpers, and play would resume. The Sundogs would pull their goalie, but the Mavericks would get an empty-net goal and the 3-1 win. Arizona had 41 shots on goal and goalie Andrew Engelage stopped 24 of the 26 shots he faced.

Neither team would score in the first period when the teams met again on Saturday night.

Less than eight minutes into the second, Arizona forward Mike Forney would get his team on the board, assisted by Matt McCready and David Rutherford. Less than a minute later, Missouri would tie the game with a power play goal. The Sundogs would go on their own power play later in the period, and Mike Forney would get his second of the night, assisted by Kevin Baker and David Rutherford.

In the third, the Mavericks would score two goals to take the lead. The Sundogs would pull their goalie as time was running out and defenseman Justin Pender would blast a shot from the blue line that would get past Missouri's goalie and send the game to overtime. Paul McIlveen and David Rutherford would get the assists on Pender's goal.

The teams would trade chances in the sudden death overtime, but neither would score in the first extra period. Ten minutes and 32 seconds into the second overtime, Arizona forward Johan Ryd would find the back of the net, assisted by Kevin Baker and Alex Tuckerman, to get the 4-3 victory.

The Sundogs totaled 56 shots on goal and goalie Andrew Engelage stopped 45-of-48 shots on goal.

The teams would travel to Missouri for game six on Tuesday and the Mavericks would score first in the opening period. With just over a minute left in the first, Arizona forward Kevin Baker would level the score, assisted by Alex Tuckerman and David Rutherford.

In the middle frame, Missouri would score twice, the only goals of the period.

The Sundogs would go on the power play early in the third, and forward Paul McIlveen would score, assisted by Jason Morgan and Alex Tuckerman, to cut into the Mavericks' lead. Less than three minutes later, Arizona forward Shawn Limpright would score on the power play to tie the game again, assisted by Kevin Baker and Paul McIlveen, and send it to overtime.

As in their last game, neither team would score in the initial extra frame. With only 52 seconds remaining in the second overtime, Kevin Baker would get his second of the night, assisted by David Rutherford and Michael Couch, to get the 4-3 victory and win the series four games to two.

Arizona had 42 shots on goal and goalie Andrew Engelage stopped 32 of the 35 shots he faced.

Big Dog of the Series

Big Dog of the Series for Round One goes to forward Kevin Baker. The 6"1', 202lbs, Kingston, Ontario native had eight points (4-4-8), a +4 +/- rating, four penalty minutes, and 29 shots on goal in the six games against the Mavericks. The father of two scored the series-winning goal in double overtime of Game Six.

Dog Bites

  • Arizona wins their first round series, four games to two over the Missouri Mavericks.
  • In the playoffs, the Sundogs' special teams has a 23.81% power play percentage and a 70.83% penalty kill percentage, with zero shorthanded goals scored and one allowed.
  • Forward David Rutherford is leading the Sundogs in points this postseason with 9 (2g/7a)
  • Arizona will face the Denver Cutthroats in the second round of the playoffs. Dates are yet to be determined.
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