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Dog Caller - Arizona Sundogs' First Home Games Both Thrillers

Both games in the Arizona Sundogs and Missouri Mavericks weekend stand came down to one goal.

Forward Kyle Chipchura making an impact with the Sundogs.
Forward Kyle Chipchura making an impact with the Sundogs.
Valerie Haugh

The Arizona Sundogs returned to Prescott Valley to play their first home games of the 2012-2013 season. The Sundogs faced off against the Missouri Mavericks on Friday and Saturday and both nights the crowd at Tim's Toyota Center had plenty of reasons to cheer.

On Friday, the teams faced off and it was Arizona striking first with a powerplay goal by forward Chad Nehring just 2:40 into the opening frame, assisted by Cody Purves and Kyle Chipchura. Missouri scored late in the period, sending the teams into the first intermission tied. As they did in the first period, the Sundogs struck early in the second period, taking the lead again with a goal by forward Mikael Bedard, assisted by Kyle Schussler and Pascal Morency, at 2:03. Arizona would extend their lead even further with a goal by forward and Captain Jason Morgan midway through the period, assisted by David Schlemko. The Sundogs would take the two point lead into the second intermission. Early in the third, the Mavericks would score a power play goal to pull within one of Arizona, but the Sundogs would stand firm and come away with the 3-2 victory on the night. Arizona totaled 38 shots on goal, and goalie David Brown made 38 saves on 40 shots.

The two teams met again on Saturday, and this time neither would be able to find the back of the net in the first period. Sundogs' forward Chad Nehring would get the scoring going early in the second however, scoring just 44 second in, assisted by Kyle Chipchura and Mario Larocque. Nehring would continue his hot streak with another goal at 3:25 of the second, assisted by Kyle Chipchura and Cody Purves. The Mavericks would come alive after that, scoring twice in the middle frame and then once in late in the third to take the lead. With less than a minute left in the game, and down by a goal, Arizona would pull their goalie. Forward Jeff Kyrzakos would then sneak one past the Missouri goalie to tie the game, assisted by Chad Nehring and Cody Purves. Neither team would light the lamp in the extra frame, sending the game into a shootout. Both goalies would own the ice, denying the first five shooters for both teams. But, in the first round of extra-shooter sudden-death, Missouri would get one in the net and claim the 4-3 victory. Arizona had 37 shots on goal, and goalie Adam Russo turned away 35 of the 38 shots he faced.

Dog Bites

Four games into the season; Arizona is 1-1-2 and is in 7th place. With only 10 teams in the CHL this year, all teams are in one conference, the Berry Conference.

The Sundogs' special teams currently has a 5.26% power play percentage and an 72.22% penalty kill percentage with 1 shorthanded goal scored and none allowed.

On 10/26 forward Jake Hauswirth was activated from I.R. and forward Don Maloney Jr. was granted bereavement leave by the league.

Three players are tied for the points lead with 4 points apiece; Chad Nehring (3g/1a), Kyle Chipchura (0g/4a) and Cody Purves (0g/4a). Forward Chad Nehring leads the Sundogs in goals with three on the season so far.

The Sundogs play one more game at home against the Texas Brahmas on Wednesday 10/31. The puck drops at 6:05 pm and there is a jersey auction following the game. Arizona returns to the road for games against the Rapid City Rush on Friday and Saturday.