1/27/2014 11:31:00 AM Sundogs 4, Denver 1 Quick start carries Sundogs past Cutthroats
Sundogs goalie Andrew Engelage held the CHLís second leading scorer, Garett Bembridge and the Cutthroats to just one goal Friday night in Vail, Colo.
The Sundogs have scored 13 goals in their past four games (2-0-2).
The Sundogs are 4-3 vs. Denver this season. After tonight's game, they have one more regular season series, March 19 and 21 in Prescott Valley.
Friday night's win was Arizona's fourth straight win on a Friday.
The Sundogs are now 6-13-2 in games following a loss this season.
Only one of the Central Hockey League's top four teams lost Friday night. And the Arizona Sundogs beat them up pretty well.
The Sundogs handled the fourth-place Denver Cutthroats in a 4-1 win in Vail, Colo., on a night eight different Sundogs players registered a point - including goalie Andrew Engelage. Arizona has now won seven of its past 10 games since Dec. 28.
Kevin Baker got the busy night of scoring started when he connected off assists from Matt McCready and Bryan Cameron midway through the first period to stake Arizona to a 1-0 lead by the break.
Paul McIlveen picked up his 13th goal of the season less than three minutes into the second period, fed by helpers from Brandon Coccomiglio and David Rutherford to widen the gap to 2-0. McIlveen now has 34 points on the season, which ranks second on the team to Coccomiglio's 38.
The lead grew to 3-0 later in the second when Arizona's Justin Pender cashed in a power play goal on assists from McIlveen and Rutherford. The Sundogs were 1-for-3 on the power play while killing both of Denver's chances.
Arizona has scored a power play goal in 10 of its last 11 games, with a percentage of 28 percent over that stretch. Denver currently leads the CHL in power play percentage at 21.99.
After nearly two and a half scoreless periods against Engelage, Denver finally got on the board midway through the third. Garett Bembridge, who entered the game tied for the league lead in scoring, found a seam past Engelage to trim the lead to 3-1.
But the Arizona defense packed in from there, and the Sundogs got a late empty-netter from Rutherford off an assist from, of all people, Engelage. The dish was the goalie's third in 26 games this season.
The game took place at the Dobson Ice Arena in Vail as the Cutthroats are out again on their Colorado Tour, which takes them from their usual home confines at the Denver Coliseum. The team earlier this month also played in Aspen, where the 2014 U.S. Women's Snowboarding Halfpipe Team were on hand, and Olympians Kelly Clark and Ellery Hollingsworth presented the honorary puck drop.
The Sundogs (16-18-3, 35 points) and Cutthroats meet again on the Vail ice Saturday night for a 6 p.m. start.