PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – Looking to get back to back to their winning ways established during their first two seasons, the Arizona Sundogs returned from Christmas break to take on the expansion Rapid City Rush Friday night at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City, South Dakota. Karl Sellan recorded his seventh multiple-point game of the year with two goals and goaltender Marco Emond turned aside 29 shots for his first shutout of the season as the visiting Sundogs topped the Rush 3-0.
Sellan and his club dominated the opening period of play Friday night as the Sundogs took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission. Sellan gave his club a one-goal lead 1:29 into the contest with a strong individual effort. After collecting passes from linemates Martin Gascon and Mark Kolanos, Sellan pulled the puck around Rush netminder Miguel Beaudry for his 19th of the season. While on the power play, the Sundogs stretched their lead to 2-0 with the final tally of the period as Sellan collected his second of the game, pushing a loose rebound past Beaudry 3:23 to play in the frame. Veteran defenseman Chris Bartolone and rookie forward Peter Cartwright assisted on the man advantage tally. Arizona outshot the Rush 15-4 in the period and was handed just two penalty minutes in comparison to Rapid City’s 29.
Neither team found the back of the net in the second period as each goaltender stopped each shot faced. Arizona however continued to dominate, holding Rapid City to just five shots while registering 11. Through two periods, the visiting Sundogs held a 26-9 advantage in shots.
Emond remained perfect for Arizona throughout the third period en route to his and his club’s first shutout of the season. Outshot 20-8 in the final period, Arizona added an empty-net insurance goal by defenseman Jon Landry with 51 seconds remaining in the game.
Arizona finished 1-for-6 with the man advantage in Friday night’s win while holding Rapid City scoreless on nine power play opportunities, including 3:19 of 5-on-3 play. Emond recorded his first shutout of the season and improved to 8-9-1 on the year, stopping 29 shots faced. Beaudry turned aside 31 of 33 shots in the loss and fell to 7-6-5 on the season. Emond’s shutout becomes just the third regular season shutout and fifth shutout overall in Sundogs franchise history.
With the win, Arizona improves to 12-17-1 (25 points) this season and maintains a two-point cushion over the Corpus Christi IceRays for the Southern Conference’s fifth and final playoff spot. The two teams square off again tomorrow night at 7:05pm (Arizona time). The game can be heard live on 96.7 FM The Wolf, the Official Broadcast Home of the Arizona Sundogs.
Box score: Pointstreak