PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – The second round series between the Arizona Sundogs and Denver Cutthroats moved to Arizona on Tuesday as the teams faced off in game three. In what is becoming standard practice for Arizona in these playoffs, regulation wasn’t enough and the game went to overtime. It took nearly the entire extra frame, but Denver eventually Came out on top with a 5-4 victory in front of the crowd of 3,326 at Tim’s Toyota Center.
Former Sundog Steve Kaunisto scored both the game-tying goal in the third period and game-winning goal in overtime for Denver. The defenseman had only scored one playoff goal this season prior to Tuesday night’s game. Mikael Tam and Troy Schawb assisted on Kaunisto’s first goal, while Kyle Fletcher and Jean-Philipp Chabot on his second.
Denver’s defense made an offensive impact early in the game when Aaron Mackenzie found the back of the net to level the score, assisted by Cam Reid and Robin Soudek. The Cutthroats’ two other goals came from Reid, both two minutes and twenty-five seconds apart in the second period. Kyle Fletcher got the only helper on the first goal, while Garrett Bembridge and Lee Moffie were awarded the assists on the second.
Arizona, on the other hand, got goals from all over their roaster. Defenseman Matt McCready got the scoring started with a goal just 90-seconds into the game, as David Rutherford was credited with the helper.
Forwards Bryan Cameron and Mike Forney collected a power play goal each on the night. Cameron’s came late in the first period to give his team the lead once more, assisted by Mark Isherwood and Paul McIlveen. Forney’s goal would come early in the second and be scored while the forward was on his knees after redirecting a cross-ice pass from Shawn Limpright. Rutherford was awarded the second assist on the man-advantage goal.
Sundogs’ forward Kevin Baker lit the lamp late in the second period, giving his team the lead at that point in the game, but unfortunately it would be Arizona’s last goal of the night. Rutherford and Cameron got the assists on Baker’s goal.
Kent Patterson was between the pipes for the Cutthroats and made 39 saves on the 43 shots he faced from Arizona.
Andrew Engelage started the game for the Sundogs, making 29 saves on the 33 shots he faced. With 14:57 left in overtime, Engelage left the game with an injury after being crashed into net. Adam Brown replaced Engelage and made eight saves on nine shots.
The series continues in Arizona tonight, with the puck dropping at 6:35 p.m. local time, before returning to Denver on Saturday.
Photos courtesy of Matt Santos