Denver, Colorado – The Arizona Sundogs held on for a 4-3 win over the Denver Cutthroats Saturday night at the Denver Coliseum, evening the series 1-1. Mike Forney and Paul Mcilveen each tallied two points.
Only two minutes into the opening frame Alex Tuckerman and Phil Tesoriero received matching penalties for roughing resulting in 4-on-4 hockey. Shortly after, AJ Gale scored on a breakaway from Troy Schwab taking the early lead. Sitting on the front door of the Denver net and with the extra attacker, Shawn Limpright lit the lamp halfway through the period with a feed from Forney and Mcilveen to even things up. At the 14:22 mark Tommy Maxwell and Dan Barczuk dropped their gloves in front of the Arizona bench resulting coincidentals for roughing and Maxwell received an additional two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct sending the Sundogs on the penalty kill. With 11 seconds before killing off their penalty Arizona would find themselves down again when Denver received a lucky bounce of the puck after it found its way over the glove side of netminder Andrew Engelage.
Arizona bounced back in the second period scoring three unanswered goals giving them the lead after 40 minutes of play. 10:35 into the second period Kevin Baker was sent off for a four minute double minor for high sticking and while a man down, Alex Tuckerman scored a shorthanded goal with a pass from Maxwell equalizing the game. Arizona posted two more goals less than a minute apart while playing 4-on-4 hockey. Justin Pender tallied the third goal with a feed from David Rutherford and Mike Forney and then moments later Alex Velischek followed it up with the game winning goal from Mcilveen and Cameron.
Hoping to come back in the third Denver’s Schwab tallied a power play goal after Maxwell was called for a two minute elbowing minor. With 1:10 to go in the third the Cutthroats pulled their goalie, Kent Patterson for the extra attacker, applying pressure but Sundogs goalie covered it.
Engelage earned his fifth win of the post-season making 35 saves. Each team tallied 38 shots on net. Arizona was unsuccessful on the power play with eight advantages and Denver was 2-6. The series now shifts to Arizona for games on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 22nd and 23rd at Tim’s Toyota Center.
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.
Photo Credit: Hector Acevedo