3/1/2014 10:31:00 AM Allen 6, Sundogs 3 Sundogs stay in funk, succumb to Americans
Garrett Klotz (25) and the Americans sported the Team USA throwback uniforms while hosting Riley Emmerson and the Sundogs Friday night in Allen, Texas.
Prescott Valley Tribune
The good news is that the Arizona Sundogs remain ahead of the Wichita Thunder for the eighth and final Central Hockey League playoff spot.
The bad? Arizona lost its sixth straight game on Friday night, falling 6-3 to the Americans at the Allen Event Center in Texas.
While three of those setbacks came in overtime, earning the Sundogs a point in each, they didn't get any with this regulation loss.
Of the six losses, Friday's must have been the toughest to swallow.
Tied 2-2 at the second intermission, the Sundogs took the lead when captain Jason Morgan scored 42 seconds into the third on an assist from recently signed veteran Shawn Limpright.
But Allen would respond emphatically with four unanswered goals, including two with an empty net in the final minute and 14 seconds.
Ross Rouleau registered the equalizer on the power play with 9-1/2 minutes to go on an assist from Jonathan Lessard to knot it at 3-3.
With 2:11 remaining, Jamie Schaafsma ripped the game-winning goal on helpers from Mike Berube and Rouleau.
The Sundogs subsequently pulled goalie Andrew Engelage for the extra attacker, but the move backfired. Brian McMillin scored with 1:14 to go and Garrett Klotz followed with 35 seconds left in regulation to seal Allen's fourth consecutive victory.
Morgan and Limpright, the former star of the now-defunct Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs, finished the game with a goal and an assist apiece for the visitors.
With the loss, Arizona's record dipped to 24-23-6 (54 points), while Allen improved to 30-18-4 (64 points, third place). On Friday, the Tulsa Oilers shut out the Thunder, 3-0, to keep Wichita in ninth place at 23-25-4 (50 points).
With a month left in the regular season, the Sundogs will have to start winning if they plan on making the playoffs. They are 0-1-2 through the first three contests of their season-high nine-game road trip.
The Sundogs led 2-0 after the first period Friday. Johan Ryd scored unassisted nearly 15 minutes in, followed by Limpright on helpers from Morgan and Kevin Baker a few minutes later.
For Limpright, a veteran forward who signed a contract on Tuesday, it was his first goal in his second game in a Sundogs uniform.
However, Allen would tie it up at 2-2 in the second period on power play goals from Jonathon Zion less than a minute into the frame and Daniel Tetrault with about five minutes left until the second intermission to set up the furious finish.
Engelage, who entered the contest ranked second among CHL goalies with a 22-11-5 record, ultimately suffered the loss, stopping 27-of-31 shots in 59:10. He's lost his last four starts and hasn't won since Feb. 15.
Allen net-minder Bryan Pitton made 32 saves on 35 shots to pick up the win, his fourth straight.
The Sundogs will face the Americans again at 6:05 Saturday night.