12/15/2010 9:20:00 AM December recap reveals highs and lows for Sundogs
3 homes games this week
The Arizona Sundogs play host to the Rapid City Rush tonight, Friday and Saturday. The Salvation Army will collect donations outside the main entrances of Tim's Toyota Center all three days, and Toys for Tots will have donation boxes set up inside the concourse to collect new, unwrapped toys.
The second annual Teddy Bear toss is Saturday. Fans can bring new teddy bears or stuffed animals and throw them on the ice after the Sundogs score their first goal. The toys will go to Toys for Tots, Andrea's Closet and other non-profit organizations in northern Arizona for distribution to less fortunate children.
December has provided a series of ups and downs on the road for the Arizona Sundogs hockey club.
On Dec. 2 Arizona led 1-0 on a Kyle Hood goal until the host Laredo Bucks tied the game late in the third period. The Bucks won the shootout, 2-1, and Levente Szuper took the loss.
The following night, the Sundogs came from behind for a 4-3 victory over the host Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees, in a game that pitted brothers Matt (Rio Grande) and Adam (Arizona) Smyth against each other.
The Sundogs jumped out to a first period 2-0 lead on goals from Billy Bezeau and Cam Keith before the Killer Bees tallied three unanswered in the second.
In the final frame, Jason Williams tied it and Joey Sides contributed the game-winner. Doug Groenestege got the win in goal.
The close win seemed to spark the Sundogs the next night, as they scored a season-high 7 goals in a 7-1 blow-out and near shut-out of the Killer Bees.
Arizona got two goals apiece from Sides and Luke Erickson, and singles from Bezeau, Jason Visser and Karl Sellan.
Szuper got the win.
An icy welcome greeted the 'Dogs on Tuesday, Dec. 7, when the Odessa Jackalopes handed the visitors a 5-3 loss. Szuper, who earlier that day had earned his second Oakley Goaltender of the Week honor in three weeks, suffered the defeat.
Although Arizona took the early lead by Erickson, four straight goals from the Jacks more than negated the effort. Goals from Jim Driscoll and Tyler Butler were not enough to bridge the gap.
The Sundogs returned to Laredo this past Friday to turn the tables on the Bucks, 2-1, and give Groenestege his second straight win.
Hood scored within 21 seconds and Sides widened the lead five minutes later.
Saturday, Arizona continued its "up" phase with a 3-2 overtime victory over the Killer Bees. Mark Kolanos scored twice in the contest, including the game-winning OT goal. Erickson managed the middle goal.
Szuper held on for the win.
The Sundogs play host to the Rapid City Rush tonight, Friday and Saturday. Game time is 7:05 p.m.