1/13/2014 10:29:00 AM Sundogs 1, Quad City 0 10 straight shutout periods for surging Sundogs
Justin Pender (44) and Johan Ryd (14) surround the Mallardsí Grego Nagy Saturday night in Moline, Ill.
Sean Flynn Photography/Courtesy
Prescott Valley Tribune
No matter the opponent or the city or who's in on offense, this is about as strong as the Arizona Sundogs have played, well, ever.
The Sundogs blanked the Quad City Mallards in Moline, Ill., Saturday night with a 1-0 win. The red-hot Andrew Engelage was a literal wall again in goal, posting his third consecutive shutout while the team welcomed forward Kevin Baker back into the mix after his stint on injured reserve.
And one night after a shutout win in St. Charles, Mo., it was more of the same successful story Saturday in front of an announced crowd of 5,834 at the i-wireless Center.
Now with three straight shutouts, the Sundogs have a streak of 10 consecutive periods without allowing a goal. The last time an opponent scored on the defense was at the 13:35 mark of the second period back on Jan. 3 in Wichita. Saturday's shutout was also Engelage's fourth of the season, which is the most among CHL goalies.
Offensively, the difference came midway through the third period after the teams skated through two scoreless periods to open the game. With seven minutes left in regulation, Arizona's Ian Schultz scored a power-play goal off assists from Garrett Clarke and Bryan Cameron.
The score marked the Sundogs' seventh consecutive game with a power-play goal. The team spent the early part of the season last in the CHL in power-play percentage, but has vaulted up to sixth (16.96).
Having swept their road trip, the Sundogs have won five consecutive away games dating back to Dec. 14.
As they return home this weekend, a big test awaits.
The Allen Americans visit Tim's for their second trip to Prescott Valley this season. Allen blanked the Denver Cutthroats 5-0 Saturday night, and currently sits tied for second place with Missouri (43 points) and behind front-runner Rapid City (46).
The Americans took two of three from the Sundogs in Prescott Valley in their only matchup to this point back in late November. Allen has been particularly hot of late, going 6-0-1 in its past seven games, including two wins over Rapid City to close the gap.
They bring with them center Alex Lavoie, who ranks seventh in the CHL in scoring with 44 points (15 goals, 29 assists) in his 33 games this season. Forward Kale Kerbashian (35 points) is also among the league leaders.
Conversely, Arizona's leading scorer, Brandon Coccimiglio, who ranks 16th in the league with 32 points (combined points with the Sundogs and Tulsa this season), was placed on the seven-day injured reserve on Friday.
Saturday night's game at Quad City also marked the halfway point of the season for the Sundogs. At 14-18-1 overall with 29 points, they sit in eighth place in the 10-team CHL. The top eight teams advance to the postseason in March.
The games Friday and Saturday night this week both start at 7:05 p.m.