Prescott Valley, AZ – The Arizona Sundogs dominated the five-round shootout in their final match against the Denver Cutthroats this season for a 3-2 win at the Denver Coliseum.
The Arizona Sundogs struck first 9:26 into the first period when the puck deflected off the skate of new Sundogs’ player Kip Brennan with a slapper from Jason Morgan. Derek LeBlanc broke out on a straightaway looking for a shorthanded goal after Morgan was issued two minutes for tripping but Denver’s goaltender Kieran Millan denied the shot. The Cutthroats quickly took advantage of a 4-on-3 man advantage when AJ Gale scored tying the game with 6:38 left in the period. The Sundogs found themselves on a 5-on-3 penalty kill for 1:37 after Mario Larocque and Matt Register were each accessed, two minute penalty minors.
Denver would grab the lead in the second period with a rebounder goal from AJ Gale his second of the night. Gale’s goal came seconds after Arizona’s Gord Burnett’s tripping penalty expired. Arizona looked to equalize the game when they found themselves on the power play for, four straight minutes after Denver was called for tripping and holding, but the Sundogs were unable to put the puck in the net despite their five shots on goal.
Early in the third, Arizona would look to close the gap with a shot from Jake Hauswirth but it was deflected off the crossbar and bounced through the wide open crease. The Sundogs went on their seventh penalty kill of the evening after Matt McCready’s stick hooked Brad Smyth sending him into Arizona’s net. With 56 seconds left in regulation Morgan would force the game into overtime when he chipped the puck past Denver’s goalie Millan. With the game undecided in overtime the Sundogs headed into a five-round shootout where Johan Ryd would score the game winning goal. Hauswirth was able to find the net making him three for three in a shootout.
Adam Russo took the win for the Sundogs with 19 saves, his 12th win of the season and his fourth win in a shootout. Arizona outshot Denver 44-21. Arizona was 0-3 on the power play while Denver was 1-8 on the power play. Arizona is in a two-way tie with the Missouri Mavericks for fifth place in the league standings (22-20-4). The Sundogs continue their winning streak with four games and Adam Smyth played in his 500th pro career game. The Sundogs continue their five game and 12 day roadtrip when they are hosted for a two game series against the Rapid City Rush.
The Arizona Sundogs are the Central Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes. Season tickets, mini-plan, and single-game ticket information is now available by calling (928) 759-6600 or visiting arizonasundogs.com.