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Dog Caller - Sundogs Start the New Year with Road Trip

Arizona took to the road to see if they could start 2013 like they ended 2012.

Adam Smyth, Ron Myers & Kevin Petovello
Adam Smyth, Ron Myers & Kevin Petovello
Valerie Haugh

The Arizona Sundogs played only two games this past week, both against the Bloomington Blaze. After having faced the Blaze for three straight games in Arizona the week before, the Sundogs played Friday and Saturday in Bloomington, Illinois.

On Friday night, Arizona picked up right where they had left off, with forward Jake Hauswirth scoring just 2:27 into the first period, assisted by Derek LeBlanc and Mike Glaicar. Captain Jason Morgan would increase the Sundogs' lead with a goal at 3:26, assisted by Ron Myers and Cody Purves. On the power play as the opening frame was coming to a close, Arizona forward Derek LeBlanc would find the back of the net, assisted by Matt McCready and Chad Nehring and give his team a 3-0 lead going into the first intermission. Neither team would score until late in the middle frame when Sundogs' forward Jeff Kyrzakos would light the lamp, assisted by Matt Tassone and Chad Nehring. The Blaze would get on the board with two power play goals in the third period, but Arizona would earn the 4-2 victory. Arizona had 18 shots on goal, and goalie Adam Russo turned away 39 of the 41 shots he faced.

Bloomington would get some revenge on Saturday night when they would score two goals in the first, two goals in the second, and one more in the third before Sundogs' forward Chad Nehring would get his team on the board, assisted by Matt Register and Derek LeBlanc. Midway through the final frame, Captain Jason Morgan would find the back of the net, assisted by Karl Linden and Chad Langlais. Continuing his hot streak, Chad Nehring would collect another goal, assisted by Derek LeBlanc, before the Blaze would score again and eventually get the 6-3 win. Arizona totaled 31 shots on goal, and goalie David Brown started the game and made 14 saves on 18 shots. Adam Russo finished the game and made 14 saves on 16 shots.

Dog Bites

Thirty-four games into the season; Arizona is 14-16-4 and is in 8th place with 32 points, 16 points out of 1st place.

The Sundogs' special teams currently has a 11.11% power play percentage and an 79.33% penalty kill percentage with 4 shorthanded goals scored and 2 allowed.

On 1/3 forward Jeff Pierce was acquired via trade from the Missouri Mavericks for future considerations; On 1/4 goalie Tim Baumgartner was waived, forward Cody Purves was activated from IR, forward Jeff Pierce was placed on team suspension, and defenseman Adam Chorneyko was 7-day to 14-say IR.

Forward Chad Nehring continues to lead the Sundogs in both goals (20) and points (34).

On January 7th, Chad Nehring was named Oakley Central Hockey League Player of the Week for the period ending January 6, 2013. In his team's three games during that week the Springsdale, Saskatchewan native scored 6 goals, had 3 assists, and a +7 +/- rating. Nehring's 4 goals in the Sundogs' 8-2 win over Bloomington on New Year's Eve were the most in a single CHL game this year. The 5-11, 195-pound forward has climbed into a tie for second in the league with 20 goals on the season and is tied for 12th in overall scoring.

The Sundogs play a split schedule this week. Tonight they face the Quad City Mallards in Moline, Illinois before returning home to face the Denver Cutthroats on Friday and Saturday. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. for the weekend games at Tim's Toyota Center.