You almost have to feel bad for the Arizona Sundogs. Almost. They played a much better game than I expected but in the end, the Brahmas prevailed with a 3-1 overtime win; their fifth in a row. With the win, the Brahmas record goes to 12-9-3 with 27 points and they remain in fourth place in the Southern Conference - one point behind the Laredo Bucks who were beaten by the Missouri Mavericks in a 1-0 contest tonight.
As I said, the Sundogs battled hard. They outshot the Brahmas in each of the three periods in regulation for a 37-28 final mark and never gave in.
A hooking call on Arizona's Kevin Gardner at the 7:48 mark gave the Brahmas their first power play of the game and Jordan Cameron wasted no time getting the first score on the board four second later. Off an offensive zone face off to start the power-play, Cameron blasted a shot past J.F. Perras for his fifth goal of the season 7:52 into the contest. Kevin McLeod and Matt Burto were credited with the assist.
Teddy Bears and other stuffed creations littered the ice as the Brahmas Teddy Bear Toss went into full swing as a result of the first Brahmas goal of the night. All stuffed animals collected were donated to the Community Enrichment center of North Richland Hills.
Three minutes later, the Brahmas were down a skater after a Matt Burto holding penalty but that didn't stop the club from adding to their league-leading short-handed tally. Jordan Cameron gained possession of the puck in the offensive zone before circling and finding Tyler Skworchinski available. Skworchinski beat J.F. Perras for his ninth tally of the year to give the Brahmas a 2-0 lead and their eighth short-hander.
Konrad Reeder had Arizona’s best scoring chance with 2:09 to play in the period, splitting the Texas defense and lifting a backhand shot towards the net but Brett Jaeger swatted the puck aside.
The first period ended with the Sundogs up 13-11 on the shot count but down by two goals.
Sundogs linemates Torren Delforte and Joey Sides kicked off the comeback bid early in the middle period to put Arizona on the board with an even-strength marker just 1:29 into the second. Collapsing on a loose puck in the slot, Delforte faked a slap shot forcing Jaeger to the ice before sending a shot on net towards the net. Stationed at the near post, Sides slammed home the rebound chance making it a 2-1 game.
The Sundogs' tally was the only score of the period and they finished with a 15-10 shot advantage.
With Arizona on its sixth power-play of the game, Konrad Reeder knotted the game at two apiece, redirecting a Jon Landry shot from the point past a screened Jaeger at the 6:52 mark.
The Sundogs once again led the shot count at 9-5 and forced the game into overtime.
The crowd at NYTEX erupted when Kevin McLeod netted the game winner just 19 seconds into the extra session for his second point of the night, gloving down a puck before slipping it past J.F. Perras. Game over.
Brett Jaeger made 35 saves on 37 shots and earned the win. His record goes to 6-6-1. J.F. Perras made 25 saves on 28 shots and takes the loss. His record goes to 6-7-2-1.
The Brahmas went 1 for 11 on the power play. Arizona went 1 for 7. The Brahmas were assessed 16 minutes on 8 infractions; Tulsa received 20 minutes on 10 infractions.
The 3rd Star of the game went to Jordan Cameron who had a power play goal and two assists on the night. The 2nd Star was awarded to Brett Jaeger for his performance in net and the 1st Star went to Kevin McLeod for an assist and the game-winning goal.
You can view the box score here
You can view my photos from the game here (not edited yet)
Photo Credit: Robert Keith