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Sundogs Move Back into Second Place with 5-4 Win

November 22, 2008 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Arizona Sundogs News Release

PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. - The Arizona Sundogs and New Mexico Scorpions squared off in the second of three-straight between the two clubs Saturday night at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. In a game that saw five lead changes, Arizona earned a hard-fought 5-4 victory over their division rivals to move back into sole possession of second place in the Southwest Division, three points back of first-place Odessa. The line of Cory Stillman, Joel Irving and Adam Perry combined for eight points in the win while netminder Joel Gistedt collected his second win of the season.

Following last night's loss, a game in which they held a 3-2 lead early in the third period, the Sundogs came out looking for redemption Saturday night and took a one-goal lead into the first intermission. Arizona opened an early 1-0 lead as Irving set up linemate Stillman with his third goal of the year. Stillman collected an Irving pass from the corner and lifted a wrist shot over the glove of goaltender Andrew Martin just 1:56 into the contest. Perry also assisted on the early tally. New Mexico quickly responded, tallying the next two goals to take a 2-1 lead. After being handed a 5-on-3 power play following interference and hooking penalties to newly-signed Henrik Ivarsson and defenseman Sean Zimmerman, Neil Trimm pushed a rebound past netminder Gistedt to pull his club even at 1-1 at the 4:29 mark. Gistedt made the initial save on a Craig Macdonald shot from the point but the rebound bounced free to Trimm on the doorstep. Aaron MacInnis also collected an assist on the equalizer. Mitch Stephens gave his club a 2-1 lead just over two minutes later on passes from Seth Leonard and MacInnis. Skating in on a breakaway 44 seconds later, the Sundogs' Mark Kolanos tied the game at 2-2 with his ninth goal of the year, beating Martin with the unassisted effort. Arizona regained a one-goal cushion with 6:20 to play in the opening frame as Jon Landry, Stillman and Irving combined on a tic-tac-toe play for their club's power play goal of the game. Seconds after a 5-on-3 advantage came to a close, Stillman one-timed a Landry pass from the point to Irving on the near post who slammed it home for his team-leading 11th of the year. The Sundogs held a 17-12 advantage in shots through the first 20 minutes of play.

New Mexico found the back of the net twice inside the second period's first six minutes for the game's fourth lead change. Defenseman Adam Blanchette gathered his first goal of the season from Leonard and Stephens 1:37 into the frame to tie the game at 3-3. Leonard and Stephens combined for their third points of the night less than four minutes later as Leonard registered his seventh marker of the year to give the Scorpions a 4-3 advantage. Macdonald recorded his second helper of the game on the Leonard tally. Just shy of the seven-minute mark, Irving netted his second of the game to pull his club even at four goals apiece. Stillman assisted for his third point of the night. Through two periods, the duo of Stillman and Irving combined for six points, each involved in the other's scoring efforts. Shifting momentum from the Scorpions, the Sundogs took a 5-4 lead into the second intermission following a Perry tally with just eight seconds remaining in the middle period. After being whistled for hooking at the 17:41 mark, Sellan exited the penalty box two minutes later and jarred the puck loose from a New Mexico defender, gaining possession behind Martin. Sellan sent a backhand chance on net and Perry's third attempt at the rebound found its way through the Scorpions' goaltender for his third goal in two nights. A.J. MacLean was also on the doorstep and was credited with an assist on the eventual game-winning goal. Arizona outshot New Mexico 19-12 in the second for a two-period 36-24 advantage.

The third period Saturday night saw the best flow of the weekend series with just two penalties called. New Mexico outshot the Sundogs 11-6 in the final 20 minutes.

Gistedt turned aside 31 of 35 shots to earn his second win of the year, improving to 2-4-0. Martin stopped 37 of 42 shots in the loss. Arizona finished 1-for-8 with the man advantage while New Mexico converted on one of six power play chances. The Sundogs improve to 7-8-1 on the year with the 5-4 win.

The two teams will skate face off again in the fourth of ten season meetings on Wednesday at Tim's Toyota Center in Prescott Valley. Game time is set for 7:05pm. Tickets 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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