1/18/2013 9:58:00 PM Sundogs 4, Allen 3, OT Sundogs rally late against league-leading Americans
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier The Sundogsí Chad Nehring (23) drives toward the goal while Allenís Tyler Ludwig (3) tries to block him and Brian McMillin (9) gives chase Friday night at Timís Toyota Center in Prescott Valley.
The Daily Courier
The Arizona Sundogs pulled off an improbable comeback over the Central Hockey League-leading Allen (Texas) Americans Friday night at Tim's Toyota Center to keep their hot streak intact.
Down 3-2 with 12 seconds left in regulation, Sundogs defenseman Matt McCready scored with the extra attacker to force overtime and Arizona went on to win, 4-3, in the extra session in front of an announced crowd of 2,405.
Sundogs forward Kevin Petovello knocked in the game-winner 1 minute and 43 seconds into OT on assists from Matt Register and Ron Meyers.
Arizona has now won six out of its last eight games, including four out of five at home, and evened its record at 17-17-4 (10-7-2 at Tim's; 38 points). The Sundogs remain in eighth place and would claim the final playoff berth into the CHL postseason if it started today.
The hometown club is now just one point behind the seventh-place Rapid City (S.D.) Rush (17-16-5).
Allen dropped to 24-6-4 (52 points) and has now lost three in a row, including two straight overtime setbacks. All four of the Americans' OT losses this season have come on the road.
In the opener of a two-game series against the dreaded Americans, the Sundogs skated to a 2-0 first-period lead on goals from Chad Nehring - who remains the CHL's leading goal scorer with 24 tallies - and Jeff Kyrzakos.
Nehring, who extended his point streak to 12 games Friday, scored 3:01 into the first on assists from captain Jason Morgan and Derek LeBlanc. Kyrzakos followed 10-1/2 minutes later on helpers from Johan Ryd and Zack Firlotte.
But Allen slowly chipped away thanks to forward Darryl Bootland - the Americans' leading scorer who netted back-to-back goals, including one at the 17:01 mark of the first and the other 6:20 into the second.
The game remained tied at 2-2 more than halfway into the third period until Americans forward Anthony Maiani handed the visitors the 3-2 lead with little more than eight minutes left.
Arizona pulled goalie Adam Russo in the final minute, which gave the Sundogs the extra attacker. With just 12 seconds left, McCready drilled the equalizer on assists from Chad Langlais and Kyrzakos.
Petovello then became the hero 1:43 into OT when he dumped in the game-winner to avoid the game heading into a shootout.
Russo was credited with the win after making 27 saves on 30 shots. Arizona out shot Allen 42-30 for the contest.
Allen now holds a 5-1-2 record against the Sundogs this season, but five of the last eight games have been decided by just one goal.
Arizona will wrap up its two-game set against the Americans Saturday night at 7:05.