Prescott Valley, AZ – The Arizona Sundogs announced today a pair of returning veterans for their upcoming 2014-15 Central Hockey League (CHL) season. Forward, Kevin Baker and defenseman, Michael Couch will both call Arizona home for another season.
Sundogs Coach, Kevin Colley said, “We’re very happy to have both of them returning. Couch came in and provided our team with the much needed experience on the blueline and Bakes is a points man. He’s always in the right place at the right time and is hard to deny when he’s on the ice. The experience and leadership they both bring on and off the ice is something that is hard to find and the guys in the locker room respect that.”
Baker, 35-years returns to the Sundogs for his second season. The 6-foot-1, Ontario native was signed as a free agent on March 5, 2013 after playing for both the Evansville Icemen (ECHL) and the Orlando Solar Bears (ECHL) at the start of the 2012-13 season. Baker, hit the ice strong posting eight goals and six assists in 10 games helping him earn Oakley’s CHL First Star of the Month. Last season he continued to dominate on the ice leading the team with 34 goals and 30 assists for 64 points in 65 games. Prior to joining the Sundogs, Baker saw a handful of games in the American Hockey League (AHL) playing for the Milwaukee Admirals, Toronto Marlies, Rochester Americans and the Albany River Rats. His best season to date came during the 2008-09 season while playing for the Florida Everbaldes where he spent two seasons and collected 57 goals and 45 assists for 102 points in 70 games in 2008-09.
Couch, 31-years joined Arizona in January after being acquired in a trade from the newly formed expansion team, the Brampton Beast. A native to Nova Scotia, Couch began his career in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) and played for St. Thomas University before turning pro in 2006-07 while playing in Italy. Upon his return stateside he signed with the Mississippi Sea Wolves where he played in 81 games and tallied three goals and 18 assists for 21 points. Couch later played for the now defunct Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs (CHL) where he won his first championship in 2011. From 2011-13 the defenseman played two seasons for the Rapid City Rush (CHL) where he posted seven goals and 28 assists for 35 points in 119 games. Last season Couch posted five points in 10 games while with the Beast and collected four points in 32 games with the Sundogs.
Couch expressed, “I am very excited to be returning to the Sundogs organization. It was a no brainer for me to re-sign. From the minute this organization traded for me, I was treated with nothing but the utmost respect and professionalism. I can’t say enough good things about team ownership, management, staff and the fans of Prescott/Prescott Valley. I have a great relationship with coach Colley and feel his approach to the game is similar to mine which makes coming to the rink enjoyable and makes it more than a job, it makes it fun. We have some unfinished business this season and look forward to nothing short of a Presidents Cup brought back to this winning organization.”
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.