3/19/2013 10:58:00 PM Sundogs clinch playoff spot on their night off
The Daily Courier
For the first time since the 2010-11 season, the Arizona Sundogs are back in the Central Hockey League playoffs.
The Sundogs on Tuesday clinched no worse than the eighth and final seed into the CHL's eight-team postseason, the Prescott Valley-based franchise and league officials confirmed.
However, the CHL won't announce the dates for the playoff rounds until after the regular season ends on Sunday.
Arizona (29-27-7 overall record, 65 points) captured a playoff spot after the ninth-place Bloomington (Ill.) Blaze lost to the fifth-place Missouri Mavericks, 4-2, on Tuesday.
The Sundogs were the last team to qualify for the postseason. The Mavericks (33-24-6, 72 points), sixth-place Quad City (Ill.) Mallards (31-26-6, 68 points) and the seventh-place Denver Cutthroats (29-26-9, 67 points) also clinched berths.
Only three points separate the sixth- through the eighth-place teams, so Arizona could get a higher seed than eighth if it has its way with the third-place Fort Worth (Texas) Brahmas in a three-game series finale starting at 6:05 Wednesday night at Tim's Toyota Center.
Seeding into the playoffs remains in flux at the top of the standings, too, as the league-leading Allen (Texas) Americans lead the second-place Wichita (Kan.) Thunder by only one point - 83 points to 82 points.
Fort Worth isn't far behind in third with 80 points, and the fourth-place Rapid City (S.D.) Rush (74 points) is in a tight race with the Mavericks.