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Dog Caller - Sundogs Back on Roller Coaster as Team Fights for Playoff Spot

The Sundogs played three home games this past week, taking on the Tulsa Oilers before back-to-back games against the Rapid City Rush.

Captain Jason Morgan playing in his 1,000th professional game
Captain Jason Morgan playing in his 1,000th professional game
Valerie Haugh

On Tuesday, Arizona and Tulsa faced off and the Sundogs got on the board early in the first period with a goal by forward Chad Nehring, assisted by Matt McCready and Derek LeBlanc. Arizona captain and forward Jason Morgan, playing his 1,000 professional game, would extend his team's lead with a goal just 17 seconds into the second period, assisted by Derek LeBlanc and Chad Nehring. Midway through the middle frame the Oilers would get on the board with a power play goal. Just over a minute later, Sundogs forward Cody Purves would regain Arizona's two-goal lead, assisted by Mario Larocque and Kevin Petovello. Tulsa would net a short-handed goal late in the third period, but Arizona would earn the 3-2 victory. The Sundogs totaled 39 shots on goal, and goalie David Brown made 28 saves on 30 shots.

The Sundogs took the ice against Rapid City on Friday and the night would belong to the Rush. Rapid City would score once in the first and once in the third to get the 2-0 shutout. Late in the third Arizona would score only to have the goal waived off as the ref said it was hit with a high stick. The video showed the puck went off the crossbar and not a stick, but video review is not allowed in the CHL so the no goal call would stand. Arizona had 26 shots on goal, and goalie Adam Russo turned away 24 of the 26 shots he faced.

Arizona and Rapid City met again on Saturday and the Rush would score two goals early in the first period. On the power play midway through the first, Sundogs' forward Johan Ryd would get his team on the board, assisted by Cody Purves and Jeff Kyrzakos. The Rush would score the only goal of the second to reestablish their 2 goal lead. Less than a minute into the final frame Arizona forward Jason Morgan would score, assisted by Johan Ryd and Cody Purves. Late in the third, the Sundogs would pull their goalie for the extra attacker, but it would be Rapid City who would net the goal and get the 4-2 win. The Sundogs totaled 28 shots on goal, and goalie David Brown made 27 saves on 30 shots.

Dog Bites

Fifty-six games into the season, Arizona is 25-26-5 and is in 8th place with 55 points, 22 points out of 1st place and holding onto the final playoff spot by 1 point.

The Sundogs' special teams currently has a 12.33% power play percentage and an 82.16% penalty kill percentage with 4 shorthanded goals scored and 4 allowed.

On 3/1 forward Jeff Kyrzakos was activated from IR.

Forward Chad Nehring continues to lead the Sundogs in both goals (28) and points (50).

Arizona is on the road beginning its final road trip of the regular season this week. The team plays the Tulsa Oilers tonight and Wednesday before traveling to Fort Worth to take on the Brahmas Friday and Saturday.