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Dog Caller - 3 Wins and a Franchise Record Have Sundogs Flying into the Playoffs

In their final three games of the regular season, Arizona faced the Fort Worth Brahmas in Prescott Valley.

David Brown, wearing specialty Superhero jersey, set a franchise record on Saturday
David Brown, wearing specialty Superhero jersey, set a franchise record on Saturday
Valerie Haugh

The two teams met on Wednesday night and the Sundogs struck first when Captain and forward Jason Morgan, assisted by Jeff Kyrzakos and Kevin Baker, scored 1:11 into the first period. Fort Worth would tie the game just over a minute later. Midway through the period, with the Brahmas on a power play, Morgan would get a breakaway and score when Fort Worth's goalie would come out to challenge and miss the puck. Jeff Kyrzakos and David Brown would assist on Morgan's second goal. The Brahmas would go back on the power play seven minutes later and this time it would be forward Cody Purves who would net a shorthanded goal, assisted by Jeff Kyrzakos. In the second period, Arizona would score the only two goals, and both would be by Kirill Tulupov. The defenseman would get his first just 19 seconds in, assisted by Keith Wynn and Chad Nehring, and his second at 5:25, assisted by Ron Myers and Chad Nehring. The scoring would subside until 13:24 of the third period when Sundogs' forward Johan Ryd would light the lamp, assisted by Ron Myers and Matt McCready. Fort Worth would score again before the final buzzer, but Arizona would earn the 6-2 victory. The Sundogs totaled 36 shots on goal, and goalie David Brown made 22 saves on 24 shots.

Arizona and Fort Worth faced-off again on Friday and neither team would score in the first two periods. Less than four minutes into the final frame, Sundogs' defenseman Zack Firlotte would get his team on the board, assisted by Kevin Baker and Jeff Kyrzakos. Just over a minute later, forward Kip Brennan would increase his team's lead, assisted by Kirill Tulupov and Keith Wynn. Later in the third, forward Jeff Kyrzakos would get Arizona's third goal, assisted by Johan Ryd and Sébastien Geoffrion, and the 3-0 victory. Arizona had 29 shots on goal, and goalie David Brown turned away all 26 shots he faced.

In their final regular season game, the two teams met again on Saturday and again the night belonged to the Sundogs. Neither team would score until 5:21 of the second when defenseman Mario Larocque would light the lamp, assisted by Johan Ryd and Sébastien Geoffrion. The score would stand until the final minute of the game when the Brahmas would pull their goalie and forward Jeff Kyrzakos would score unassisted and assure Arizona's 2-0 victory. The Sundogs totaled 22 shots on goal, and goalie David Brown made 24 saves on 24 shots. Brown's back-to-back shutouts were the first in Arizona franchise history.

Dog Bites

After all sixty-six games of the season, Arizona was 32-27-7 and in 7th place with 71 points.

The Sundogs' special teams ended the season with a 13.86% power play percentage and an 82.86% penalty kill percentage with 6 shorthanded goals scored and 4 allowed.

On 3/19 forward Jake Hauswirth was placed on team suspension; On 3/22 forward Kevin Petovello was placed activated from IR, forward Kip Brennan was activated from IR, forward Ron Myers was placed on 7-day IR, and forward Derek LeBlanc was granted leave by the league; On 3/23 forward Derek LeBlanc was activated from leave by the league; On 3/24 defenseman Chad Langlais was activated from suspension and placed on 14-Day IR, and forward Brian Bicek was waived.

After leading his team for the majority of the season, forward Chad Nehring ended the season with 33 goals and 24 assists.

Arizona faces the Wichita Thunder in the first round of the playoffs. A special preview story will be forthcoming before their first game on Thursday.