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Dog Caller - Arizona Sundogs go fishing in the second round

The Arizona Sundogs and Denver Cutthroats began the second round of the 2014 Playoffs with two games in Denver and one in Arizona.

Sundogs face the second place Cutthroats in this round
Sundogs face the second place Cutthroats in this round

Friday, the Sundogs and Cutthroats opened their series with a scoreless first period. Less than a minute and a half into the second, Denver got on the board with a power play goal. The Cutthroats got another goal with the man-advantage less than four minutes later for the only scoring of the middle frame.

Early in the third, Sundogs' forward Johan Ryd got his team on the board, assisted by Tommy Maxwell and Alex Velischek, but that was the only goal of the frame and Denver got the 2-1 win. Arizona had 29 shots on goal and goalie Andrew Engelage stopped 33 of the 35 shots he faced.

The Cutthroats struck first again on Saturday, with a goal early in the first. Midway through the period, with the extra-attacker on for a delayed penalty, Sundogs' forward Shawn Limpright got his team on the board, assisted by Mike Forney and Paul McIlveen. Denver got a power play goal before the end of the period to take the lead into the first intermission.

Arizona found themselves down a man midway through the second when forward Alex Tuckerman tied the game with a shorthanded tally, assisted by Tommy Maxwell. Four minutes later, Sundogs' defenseman Justin Pender gave his team the lead, assisted by David Rutherford and Mike Forney. Forty-six seconds later, Arizona defenseman Alex Velischek increased his team's led, Paul McIlveen and Bryan Cameron with the helpers.

Denver scored one in the third with the Sundogs on the penalty kill again, but Arizona held on for the 4-3 victory. The Sundogs totaled 38 shots on goal and goalie Andrew Engelage stopped 35-of-38 shots on goal.

The series moved to Prescott Valley on Tuesday night and Arizona defenseman Matt McCready got his team on the board just 90 seconds into the opening period, assisted by David Rutherford. Denver got on the board midway through the first, but late in the period Sundogs' forward Bryan Cameron scored on the power play to regain the lead. Mark Isherwood and Paul McIlveen picked up the helpers on Cameron's goal.

Arizona returned to the power play early in the second and forward Mike Forney increased his team's lead, assists credited to Shawn Limpright and David Rutherford. Denver collected two goals to tie the score in the middle of the period. Sundogs' forward Kevin Baker claimed the lead for his team a few moments later, assisted by David Rutherford and Bryan Cameron.

Thirty seconds into the third period, the Cutthroats tied the score again and eventually sent the game to overtime. With just 2:25 left in the extra period, Denver scored to get the 5-4 win.

Arizona had 43 shots on goal. Goalie Andrew Engelage started the game and stopped 29 of the 33 shots he faced. David Brown replaced an injured Engelage in overtime and made eight saves on nine shots.

Big Dog of the Series

At the end of each playoff round, one of the Sundogs' players will be recognized for his play.

Dog Bites

  • Three games into the second round, Arizona holds a 5-4 record overall in the playoffs
  • In the playoffs, the Sundogs' special teams has a 18.92% power play percentage and a 74.42% penalty kill percentage, with one shorthanded goal scored and one allowed.
  • Forward David Rutherford is leading the Sundogs in points this postseason with 13 (2-11-13)
  • Arizona and Denver play tonight in Prescott Valley, with the puck dropping at 6:35 p.m. before returning to Denver for Game 5 on Saturday.