4/20/2014 8:41:00 AM Denver 2, Sundogs 1 Cutthroats strike first vs. Sundogs in semifinals Denver's 2 power-play goals in 2nd period the difference
Arizona’s Mark Isherwood, center, tries to screen out the Cutthroats’ Jean-Philipp Chabot while Sundogs goalie Andrew Engelage keeps a close eye on the play Friday night in Denver.
Sundogs Playoff Spots
Sundogs forward David Rutherford, who led Arizona in scoring in the 4-3 series victory over top-seeded Missouri with two goals and seven assists, didn't register a point on Friday.
Arizona was out-shot by Denver, 35-29, and went 0-for-4 on the power play. Friday's contest marked only the second time in the Sundogs' seven playoff games thus far that they scored just one goal.
The Sundogs' defense did a pretty fine job on the penalty kill, limiting the Cutthroats to a 2-for-9 showing on the power play.
Friday's game represented only the second contest in which Arizona forward Kevin Baker didn't have a point in these playoffs. The other came in a 3-1 loss at Missouri April 9. In the series versus the Mavericks, Baker had four goals and four assists (8 points).
The opening game between these two clubs was physical, particularly in the second period. Arizona committed 11 infractions for 22 minutes in the penalty box, while Denver had nine infractions for 18 minutes in the sin bin. Six of the Sundogs' 11 penalties and four of the Cutthroats' nine came in the second frame.
Arizona will host Games 3 and 4 of the semifinals next Tuesday and Wednesday at Tim's Toyota Center in Prescott Valley. The puck drops at 6:35 p.m. for both contests.
Having just come off back-to-back double overtime wins to advance past the Central Hockey League playoffs' first round, the Arizona Sundogs were no doubt fatigued in Game 1 of the semifinals Friday night in Denver.
Arizona stayed close against the Cutthroats but ultimately fell, 2-1, in front of 1,793 fans at Denver Coliseum with Game 2 set for 5 p.m. Arizona time today in Colorado.
After a scoreless first period, the Cutthroats tallied twice on the power play in a dominating second period, out-shooting Arizona 21-9.
Jean-Philipp Chabot, a former Sundog, lit the lamp first on assists from Troy Schwab and Robin Soudek only 1 minute and 24 seconds into the second period for a 1-0 lead.
Forward A.J. Gale followed about four minutes later for a 2-0 Denver edge on helpers from league MVP Garett Bembridge and Troy Schwab (two assists total).
Gale led Denver in scoring in its opening-round 4-2 series victory over the Tulsa Oilers with two goals and eight assists (10 points), which is the most in the playoffs by any skater so far.
The Cutthroats' defense held the Sundogs without a goal until 2:08 into the third period when Johan Ryd found the back of the net on assists from Tommy Maxwell and Alex Velischek.
Denver and Arizona played the final 40 seconds of regulation in a 4-on-4 situation, but the visitors couldn't capitalize. The Sundogs also played the last 40 seconds with the extra attacker to no avail.
Between the pipes, Sundogs goalie Andrew Engelage took the loss, stopping 33-of-35 shots in 59:20.
Cutthroats net minder Kent Patterson stood his ground well in Game 1, making 28 saves on 29 shots in the full 60 minutes.