Dog Caller - Arizona Sundogs Finish Regular Season on Fire

The Sundogs wore specialty jerseys to honor the military and law enforcement.

The Arizona Sundogs finished out the regular season with home games against the Wichita Thunder on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.

The Sundogs and Thunder met initially on Wednesday. Arizona forward Kevin Baker would get the only goal in the opening period, assisted by Brandon Coccimiglio and Justin Pender. Wichita would tie the game early in the second. With his team on the power play midway through the period, Sundogs’ forward Brandon Coccimiglio would give his team the lead once more, assisted by Shawn Limpright and David Rutherford. The Thunder would score late in the middle frame to tie things up heading into intermission.

Halfway through the third period, Wichita would score to take its first lead of the night. Three minutes later, Kevin Baker would light the lamp again, assisted by Brandon Coccimiglio and Matt McCready. Twenty-six seconds later, the Thunder would take the lead once more. Just twenty-six seconds after that, Brandon Coccimiglio would tie the game again, assisted by David Rutherford, eventually sending the game to overtime.

Neither team would score in the additional frame, and it would go to a shootout. The Sundogs would score once in the shootout while Wichita would score twice to get the 5-4 win. Arizona had 39 shots on goal, while their goalie Adam Brown stopped 41 of the 45 shots he faced.

The teams met again on Friday. Sundogs’ Mike Forney would get his team on the board first, assisted by Shawn Limpright and Bryan Cameron. The Thunder would tie the game late in the opening period and then take the lead early in the second.

Arizona defenseman Justin Pender would tie the game, thanks to assists by Bryan Cameron and Shawn Limpright. Just over a minute later, Wichita would take the lead once more. Sundogs’ forward Brandon Coccimiglio would level the score, assisted by Mike Forney and David Rutherford. The Thunder would score twice more before the end of the second to take the lead.

Late in the third, Arizona forward David Rutherford would score twice, 49 seconds apart, to tie the game and send it to overtime. Brandon Coccimiglio and Alex Tuckerman would assist on the first goal, Mike Forney and Brandon Coccimiglio on the second. With just 19 seconds left in overtime, David Rutherford would score his hat trick goal, assisted by Mike Forney and Garrett Clarke, and get the 6-5 victory. The Sundogs totaled 50 shots on goal and goalie Andrew Engelage stopped 32 of the 37 shots on goal.

Saturday, the teams would face-off in the regular season finale for both clubs. The Thunder would strike first with goal in the opening minute. Midway through the first, Arizona defenseman Matt McCready would tie the game, assisted by Jason Morgan and Shawn Limpright. Sundogs’ forward Bryan Cameron would give his team the lead going into the first intermission with an unassisted goal.

Wichita would score two goals in the middle frame to regain the lead. Fourteen seconds into the third, Arizona forward Paul McIlveen would tie the game, assisted by Shawn Limpright and Kevin Baker. Seven minutes later, Sundogs’ forward Brandon Coccimiglio would give his team the lead, assisted by David Rutherford and Paul McIlveen. Thirty-three seconds later, Arizona forward Shawn Limpright would score, assisted by Tommy Maxwell and Paul McIlveen, to give the Sundogs the 5-3 victory. Arizona had 46 shots on goal and goalie Adam Brown stopped 24 of the 27 shots he faced.

Big Dog of the Week

The final Big Dog of the Week of the regular season is being awarded to Brandon Coccimiglio. The forward has 41 points (17g/24a), a +12 +/- rating, 10 penalty minutes, and 91 shots in his 25 games with the Sundogs this season. The Burlington, Ontario native had four goals and four assists in his team’s three games this week and was named the CHL’s Player of the Week.

Dog Bites

  • With all sixty-six games of the regular season concluded, Arizona finished 32-27-7 with 71 points. They finished in 8th place.
  • In the regular season, the Sundogs' special teams had an 18.65% power play percentage and an 84.29% penalty kill percentage, with six shorthanded goals scored and 11 allowed.
  • On 3/22 forward Johan Ryd was placed on 14-day I.R. and forward Sebastian Geoffrion was placed on 7-day I.R.
  • On 3/26 goalie Chris Rawlings was recalled by Portland (AHL), goalie Adam Brown signed a contract, forward Tommy Maxwell was activated from I.R., forward Mike Forney signed a contract, forward Dion Campbell was moved from 14-day to season-ending I.R., forward Paul McIlveen was activated from I.R., defenseman Alex Velischek was moved from 7-day to 14-day I.R., forward Riley Emmerson was moved from 14-day to season-ending I.R., and defenseman Michael Couch was granted leave by the league.
  • On 3/28 defenseman Garrett Clarke was placed on 14-day I.R.; On 3/29 defenseman Alex Velischek was activated from I.R.
  • At the end of the regular season, forward Kevin Baker led the team in goals (34) and points (64).
  • Arizona faces the first place Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs. The Sundogs will start the playoffs on the road with games Friday and Sunday in Missouri.
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