2/12/2013 10:28:00 PM Fort Worth 4, Sundogs 3, OT Sundogs return home from hot road trip with loss
Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier Arizona’s Chad Nehring (23) battles Fort Worth’s Greg Eskedjian along the boards in the second period Tuesday night in Prescott Valley during the Sundogs’ 4-3 overtime loss.
Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier New Arizona head coach Scott Muscutt confers with player/coach Jeff Kryzakos Tuesday night at Tim’s Toyota Center.
The Daily Courier
With the season down to its last few weeks, every point in the standings counts. Which makes, even a loss in this case, OK.
The Fort Worth Brahmas spoiled the home debut of new Arizona Sundogs coach Scott Muscutt Tuesday night at Tim's Toyota Center when they rallied late to send the 'Dogs to a 4-3 overtime loss.
The matchup brought together two of the CHL's hottest teams. The Brahmas improved to 4-0 on their current five-game road trip, which concludes Wednesday night in Prescott Valley, and the Sundogs came in winners of five of their last six.
Although the Sundogs lost in the sixth one-goal game in their last seven outings, they did pick up a point for the OT loss. Points are critical with 17 games left in the season and teams jockeying for playoff positioning. After a busy Tuesday night that featured all 10 league teams on the ice, the Sundogs were tied for sixth place among a field of eight playoff hopefuls.
Early on it was a big night for Arizona forward Jake Hauswirth (Houghton, Wis.), who turns 25 this Saturday.
Hauswirth scored in the first five minutes of the first period and in the final minute of the second period to stake the Sundogs to a 2-1 lead at the second intermission. He boosted his season total to 14 goals in 36 games, and increased his plus-minus to +9.
But the Brahmas finally broke through in the third period, to the chagrin of 2,157 announced fans in Prescott Valley taking in their first home game since Jan. 26. Fort Worth got two goals past Sundogs goalie Adam Russo, with the second one - a power play score from Brendon Hodge coming in the last few minutes before the end of regulation - forcing overtime tied 3-3.
Tomas Klempa ended the extra session early with the winning goal for Fort Worth in the first two minutes of OT.
In addition to Hauswirth's two goals, Arizona got two assists from Kevin Petovello, two assists from Matt McCready, two from Ron Meyers, and a third-period goal from Chad Nehring - his 27th, which is tied for second most overall in the CHL.
The same two teams hook up Wednesday (6:05 p.m.) at Tim's, and the Sundogs would like to pick up a win before hitting the road again. Arizona travels to Tulsa and Quad City this Friday and Saturday before returning to Prescott Valley for four straight games starting Feb. 23.
That home stand opens a final stretch where the Sundogs play nine of their last 14 regular-season games in the friendly confines of Tim's Toyota Center.