Colorado Hands Arizona Sixth-Straight Loss
PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. - The Arizona Sundogs and Colorado Eagles closed out a two-game set Saturday night at Tim's Toyota Center in Prescott Valley. The visiting Eagles used a three-goal second period to top the Sundogs. Arizona extends it season-high winless streak to six games and falls to 17-21-3 with the loss.
After not trailing the entire night in Friday's game, Arizona would find itself down 1-0 early in the first period Saturday night as Colorado's Ryan Tobler converted on a centering pass from Riley Nelson seconds after referee waived-off an Eagles tally, ruling it was directed into the net by a Colorado player's hand. Collecting a pass from Kevin Ulanski at the blue line, Nelson gained the offensive zone before finding Tobler trailing behind the play. Arizona was unable to convert on four power play opportunities in the opening frame and outshot the visiting Eagles 15-11 despite heading into the first intermission trailing 1-0.
The Eagles stretched their lead to 2-0 early in the second period as Steve Haddon stabbed at a loose puck several times before finally pushing it across the goal line for his ninth of the season from Ed McGrane and Konrad Reeder 2:23 into the frame. Rob Lehtinen continued his offensive production since moving to forward, cutting Colorado's lead in half two-and-a-half minutes later with his eighth goal in 10 games since making the switch. Lehtinen redirected a Kyle Hood shot from the point through traffic and past netminder Andrew Penner. Joel Irving also collected an assist on the play, extending his scoring streak to three-straight games. Colorado took a commanding 4-1 lead late in the period, tallying two goals with less than a minute to play. With the Sundogs applying pressure down low, the Eagles capitalized on a clearing attempt as Reeder raced the length of the ice before slipping a shot past Joel Gistedt for his second point of the contest. Brett Hammond tallied a power play goal with 10 seconds to play in the period, lifting a forehand shot past Gistedt from just outside the goal crease to give his club a three-goal cushion heading into the third period.
The Eagles added two goals in the final 20 minutes of play en route to a 6-1 victory. Nelson, Ulanski and Polaski all collected their second points of the night as Nelson beat Gistedt high with a wrist shot 3:29 into the third. While shorthanded, Aaron Schneekloth figured into the scoring with his 12th of the season from Ulanksi and Ed McGrane just shy of the period's halfway mark to close out scoring in the contest.
Gistedt fell to 4-11-0 on the year, allowing six goals on 32 shots. Penner won his eleventh game in a row, turning aside 31 of 32 shots faced Saturday night. Arizona was held scoreless on six power play chances and surrendered a shorthanded goal in the third period. Colorado finished 1-for-6 with the man-advantage.
With the loss, Arizona falls to 17-21-3 on the year and sits one point behind Corpus Christi for the Southern Conference's fifth and final playoff spot. The Sundogs continue their longest homestand of the season Wednesday night as the Rocky Mountain Rage travel to Prescott Valley for three-straight. Wednesday's game is set for 7:05pm (Arizona time). Tickets start at just $14 and are available by phone at 1-866-4-GET-TIX (1-866-443-8849), online at www.gettix.net and in person at the Tim's Toyota Center Box Office.
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Central Hockey League Stories from January 24, 2009
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