The Arizona Sundogs returned home after a lengthy road trip to face the Wichita Thunder in back-to-back games.
Friday night, Arizona would benefit from an early lack of composure by a Wichita player that lead to a major penalty less than a minute and a half into the opening period.
With his team on the two-man advantage, Sundogs' forward Ian Schultz would light the lamp, assisted by Paul McIlveen and Kevin Baker. Still on the man-advantage, Arizona would increase its lead with a goal by newcomer Brandon Coccimiglio, assisted by Paul McIlveen and Travis Ouellette.
Midway through the first, Arizona forward Bryan Cameron would find the back of the net, assisted by Kevin Baker and Andrew Engelage.
The Thunder would get on the board with a goal late in the first and another early in the second to cut the lead to one. Sundogs' forward Alex Tuckerman would breakaway with his team on the penalty kill and score shorthanded, assisted by Brodie Zuk and Matt McCready.
Midway through the second, the Sundogs would regain the three-goal lead with a power play goal by Kevin Baker, assisted by Paul McIlveen and Jordan Clendenning. Wichita would score once more in the second and again in the third, but would fall short, giving the Sundogs the 5-4 victory.
Arizona had 31 shots on goal, and goalie Andrew Engelage turned away 32 of the 36 shots he faced.
The teams met again on Saturday and Arizona would get off to a quick start again with an unassisted goal by Alex Velischek 2:37 into the first period.
That would be the teams' only goal however and the Thunder would five unanswered to get the 5-1 win. The Sundogs totaled 28 shots on goal. Goalie Chris Rawlings started the game and made 15 saves on 19 shots, Andrew Engelage would finish with 4 saves on 5 shots.
Big Dog of the Week
For the second time, forward Paul McIlveen is receiving the Big Dog of the Week title. The 5'11", 185lbs forward has 25 points (9-16-25), 24 penalty minutes, and 122 shots in 26 games with the Sundogs this season. The Waterloo, Ontario native has led Arizona in points for nearly the entire season, his three assists in Friday night's game proof of his value to the team. On a personal note, it has been confirmed that "Macker" does not like cake.
- Twenty-six games into the season, Arizona is 9-16-1 with 19 points. They are 9th out of 10 teams in the CHL, and 21 points out of first place.
- The Sundogs' special teams have a 13.67% power play percentage and an 80.45% penalty kill percentage, with three shorthanded goals scored and seven allowed.
- On 12/14 forward Tommy Maxwell was placed on 14-day I.R.; On 12/17 forward Brandon Coccimiglio was acquired by trade from Tulsa; On 12/19 forward Jason Morgan was moved from 7-day to 14-day I.R. and forward Ian Schultz was activated from I.R.; On 12/20 forward Brandon Coccimiglio signed a contract, forward Brodie Zuk was activated from I.R., and defenseman Garrett Clarke was activated from I.R. then granted leave by the league; On 12/21 forward Kyle Beattie signed a contract, defenseman Andrew Eastman was waived, and forward Ian Schultz was placed on league suspension for one game; On 12/22 forward Kyle Beattie was waived and forward Ian Schultz was activated from suspension
- Forward Paul McIlveen leads the team with 25 points (9g/16a)
- Arizona remains at home for games against the Denver Cutthroats on Friday, Saturday, and Tuesday.