Yavapai Gaming - August 2014

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home : sports : local August 19, 2014


3/17/2014 9:26:00 AM
'Dogs bear down on playoff spot with win
Limpright registers hat trick to move Arizona past Tulsa
Sundog Brandon Coccimiglio (77) scores the second goal of the game while St. Charles’ Linus Lundin (31) tries to block it and teammate Michael MacIntyre (9) looks on Saturday night at Tim’s Toyota Center in Prescott Valley.
Photo courtesy Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier
Sundog Brandon Coccimiglio (77) scores the second goal of the game while St. Charles’ Linus Lundin (31) tries to block it and teammate Michael MacIntyre (9) looks on Saturday night at Tim’s Toyota Center in Prescott Valley.
Photo courtesy Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier
Sundog David Rutherford (91) battles with St. Charles’ Michael MacIntyre (9) trying to score a goal while goalie Linus Lundin (31) grabs the puck Saturday night at Tim’s Toyota Center in Prescott Valley.
Photo courtesy Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier
Sundog David Rutherford (91) battles with St. Charles’ Michael MacIntyre (9) trying to score a goal while goalie Linus Lundin (31) grabs the puck Saturday night at Tim’s Toyota Center in Prescott Valley.
Photo courtesy Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier

Doug Cook
Special to the Tribune


PRESCOTT VALLEY - With the Wichita Thunder still hot on their heels in the Central Hockey League playoff race, the Arizona Sundogs took care of business like they were supposed to do Saturday night.

After crushing the cellar-dwelling St. Charles Chill, 5-1, in front of 2,805 fans at Tim's Toyota Center, the Sundogs traded places with the Tulsa Oilers in the CHL standings, moving up from eighth to seventh in the process. The top eight teams make the playoffs.

The ninth-place Thunder (25-27-6 record, 56 points), which edged the Oilers, 5-4, Saturday, stayed 6 points behind the Sundogs (28-26-6, 62 points) and trail Tulsa (29-27-3) by 5.

In Arizona's rout Saturday, veteran Shawn Limpright recorded a hat trick, and Brandon Coccimiglio and David Rutherford each had a goal as the Sundogs out-shot the Chill a whopping 48-27.

Sundogs captain Jason Morgan, who had two assists, praised Limpright, who didn't join the team until late February, for his efforts.

"He's a great team guy, and one of the nicest guys I've met," Morgan said. "Obviously he hasn't been here for that long yet, but he's a stand-up, character guy, and his résumé speaks for itself."

Arizona led 1-0 at the first intermission before scoring three more times in the second period.

The Sundogs grabbed a 2-0 advantage with 13-plus minutes left in the second on Coccimiglio's goal that was assisted by Rutherford and Matt McCready, who finished the evening with three helpers.

For Coccimiglio, who's been plagued by injuries this season, it was his first goal since he had two in Arizona's 4-3 win over the Allen Americans Jan. 17 at home.

Later, inside of 8 minutes remaining in the second, the Sundogs lit the lamp again for a 3-0 lead when Limpright tallied. Limpright followed with another strike after 4 minutes had passed for the 4-0 lead.

Five-and-a-half minutes into the third period the Chill finally scored on the power play to avoid the shutout. St. Charles forward Travis Ouellette, a former Sundog, tallied to make it 4-1.

But back came Limpright with little more than 6 minutes to go in the game, scoring his third goal of the night, this time on the power play, to give the Sundogs a commanding 5-1 lead. Limpright registered his eighth goal in only nine games since he signed with Arizona on Feb. 25.

Limpright, 32, said he most recently had a hat trick when he played in Europe in 2013.

"I've had two in two years now, but before that I think it's been since junior hockey," he added. "So it's been a while."

The Sundogs skated to a 1-0 edge some 7 minutes into the first on Rutherford's goal. Kevin Baker and Coccimiglio provided the assists.

St. Charles killed 5 vs. 3 and 5 vs. 4 penalties in succession in the opening period. But the Sundogs' attack wouldn't be denied in the second, as it kept applying heavy pressure on the Chill defense.

Defensively for the Sundogs, goalie Andrew Engelage won his second straight start, stopping 26 Chill shots, to move his record to 26-13-5 with a 2.44 goals against average and a .918 save percentage.

"I was just happy we got the two points," Engelage said. "We kind of did what we needed to do. It's nice to be back home."

The Sundogs now have six games left on their regular-season schedule, all at home.

They'll host the playoff-bound Denver Cutthroats, winners of eight straight, for three games this Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. On Wednesday, the puck drops at 6:35 p.m.

Arizona will end the season next week with three contests against the dreaded Thunder, who knocked the Sundogs out of the 2013 postseason's opening round last spring.

"We've just got to take care of our own backyard here," Morgan said. "We're not looking for anyone else to do us any favors (to get into the playoffs). It's all in our hands, and we've got the guys in this room to do it."

Related Stories:
• 'Sloppy' effort, but Sundogs pick up a point as race tightens
• Sundogs rip Cutthroats, close in on clinch
• Sundogs tally 49 shots but lose 2-1 at home
• Sundogs snap Denver win streak; inch closer to playoff clinch
• Sundogs blast Chill, stay in playoff hunt
• Baker scores hat trick in Sundogs' 7-1 rout of Chill
• Sundogs end 9-game road trip with shutout loss
• Mallards beat Sundogs, now 4 points ahead of Arizona


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Yavapai Gaming - August 2014

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