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Arizona Sundogs see the light at the end of the tunnel

Two road games to change their course and Arizona finally takes advantage.

Kevin Baker and the Arizona Sundogs searched for a win after five straight losses
Kevin Baker and the Arizona Sundogs searched for a win after five straight losses
Valerie Haugh

The Arizona Sundogs remained on the road for games against the Denver Cutthroats on Friday and Saturday.

The teams faced-off on Friday and Denver would strike first with a goal in the opening period and another in the second. With the Sundogs' on the power play late in the second period, forward Travis Ouellette would light the lamp, assisted by Paul McIlveen and Michael Trebish. That would be Arizona's only tally of the night as the Cutthroats would score twice in the third period and take the 4-1 win. The Sundogs totaled 31 shots on goal and goalie Chris Rawlings made 29 saves on 33 shots.

Denver would strike first again on Saturday. Arizona forward Kevin Baker would tie the score later in the opening frame, assisted by Matt McCready. The Cutthroats would regain the lead in the second period. Two minutes later, Kevin Baker would find the back of the net, assisted by Alex Tuckerman, to level the score once more. The Sundogs' would be on the penalty kill later in the middle frame when forward Paul McIlveen would score shorthanded, assisted by Alex Tuckerman, to give his team the lead. With the period running out, Denver would score and the teams would go into the final intermission tied. In the third, Sundogs' defenseman Matt McCready would get one past the Cutthroats' goalie, assisted by Kevin Baker, to clinch the 4-3 victory. Arizona had 28 shots on goal, and goalie Andrew Engelage turned away 32 of the 35 shots he faced.

Big Dog of the Week

Forward Kevin Baker will receive the Big Dog of the Week title this time. The Kingston, Ontario native has 15 points (8-7-15), 14 penalty minutes and 82 shots on goal in his 24 games with the Sundogs this season. His two goals and one assist in Saturday's game against Denver were integral in breaking the Sundogs' losing streak.

Dog Bites

  • Twenty-four games into the season, Arizona is 8-15-1 with 17 points. They are 9th out of 10 teams in the CHL, and 19 points out of first place.
  • The Sundogs' special teams have a 12.90% power play percentage and an 81.15% penalty kill percentage, with two shorthanded goals scored and seven allowed.
  • On 12/12 defenseman Justin Pender was granted leave by the league; on 12/13 defenseman Karl Linden signed a contract and forward Jason Morgan was placed on 7-day I.R.; On 12/14 forward Johan Ryd was activated from I.R.
  • Forward Paul McIlveen leads the team with 22 points (9g/13a)
  • Arizona returns home for games against the Wichita Thunder on Friday and Saturday. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. for both games.