The Arizona Sundogs' tear continued this past week as they decisively swept the Central Hockey League's No. 1 team, the Rapid City Rush, in three games for the first time in franchise history. Andrew Engelage and Kevin Baker earned the league's Oakley Goaltender and Player of the Week, respectively, for their performances. It's Engelage's third award this season.
Wednesday in front of a record-breaking crowd of more than 5,200 on the first annual Kids Day, the Sundogs outscored the Rush 5-1. Baker scored twice and added an assist. Alex Tuckerman, in his first game as a Sundog, netted the third goal, Paul McIlveen, the fourth and Matt McCready the fifth. Engelage stopped 27 shots on the night.
Friday, Arizona capitalized three times on the power play for a 4-2 victory.
Bryan Cameron led things off four-and-a-half minutes into the game, and Baker scored the next two goals. David Rutherford added the fourth. Engelage stopped the puck 38 times.
The Sundogs wore special pink jerseys for the series closer, Pink in the Rink, on Saturday, also skating on pink ice fans had painted with the names of people whose lives have been affected by breast cancer. The 'Dogs proved they were "in the pink," with a 4-2 win. This time Tuckerman started the scoring with a shorthanded goal three minutes into the first period. Ten minutes later, forward Riley Emmerson, who literally had arrived at the arena minutes before, after signing with Arizona the same day, skated onto the ice and scored in his first shift. Baker added a power play goal late in the first frame. Jason Morgan contributed another power play goal early in the third period, to complete Sundogs' scoring in the series.
Engelage recorded 27 saves in his fifth consecutive win.
The Sundogs are tied for seventh place in the 10-team league, in playoff position.
Arizona takes the home ice today against the Brampton Beast, in a "5-on-5 game" where tickets to any seat are just $5. Puck drops at 6:35 p.m. More $5 games are: Feb. 18 and 19, and March 19 and 26.
Friday and Saturday games with the Beast start at 7:05 p.m.