Matt Santos/Arizona Sundogs
AJ Gale made it a one-goal deficit midway through the third period, but Chad Nehring added one more for the Arizona Sundogs in a 5-3 win over the Denver Cutthroats on Wednesday night at Tim’s Toyota Center.
Jeff Kyrzakos was credited with the game-winner when his centering pass from the corner deflected off Cutthroats starting goaltender Kieran Millan and in the net with 4:54 to play in the second period to give the Sundogs (4-2-2) a 4-2 lead. Gale’s third period goal came on the power play for his fifth of the season and 13th overall point, leading the Cutthroats (3-4-0) in both categories.
Troy Schwab tallied a goal and two assists for Denver to extend his point streak to four games. The Denver forward opened the game’s scoring just over four minutes into the first period off a backhand shot in front of the net. Kyrzakos tied the game, on his first of two goals on the night, from the left circle on the power play with 6:18 remaining in the frame.
The Sundogs jumped out to a 2-1 lead in period two when Derek LeBlanc lifted a backhand shot from the right circle under the crossbar 3:46 in. JP Chabot added his second of the year for the Cutthroats to knot the game again on the power play two minutes later. Kyle Schussler gave the Sundogs the lead for good at 9:50 of the middle period with a slap shot from the point off of a faceoff win in the offensive zone.
Gale’s third period strike was from the slot with 8:38 to play to make the score 4-3. Arizona’s Nehring buried a loose puck in the goal crease with 6:19 left in the third to cement the final score.
Kent Patterson came on in relief of Millan with 3:30 remaining in the second and stopped 13 of 14 shots. Millan finished 24 of 28 as the Cutthroats were outshot by their opponent for only the second time this season, 42-26. Adam Russo earned the win for the Sundogs with a 23-save performance.
The Cutthroats finished 2-for-6 on the power play. The Sundogs went 1-for-5.
The two teams meet again on Friday night for the second of a three-game set between the clubs at Tim’s Toyota Center. Game time is set for 7:05 PM MST.
1. Jeff Kyrzakos (ARZ)
2. Kyle Chipchura (ARZ)
3. Chad Nehring (ARZ)
Kyle Quincey also extended his point streak to four games with an assist … The Cutthroats were without Markus Lauridsen, who is on a call-up with the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters… Wednesday’s game was the first of 11 total meetings this season between the Cutthroats and Sundogs, including a stretch of five consecutive games over the next 10 days… The Cutthroats fall to 0-2-0 on the road this season… The announced attendance was 2,113.
Recap courtesy of Denver Cutthroats