Thursday, November 24, 2011

Former Brahmas forward Jeff Hazelwood sneaks one (three) past Mark Guggenberger

Wait, what just happened?

Sundogs defeat Brahmas in overtime, 4-3

Sudden death overtime. Emphasis on the word sudden. One second you're in it, the next you're scratching you're head, thinking 'wait, what just happened here?' and then a second later, you realize what's happened and that's it. Game over.

The Arizona Sundogs delivered another home loss for the purple and black on Wednesday night with a 4-3 overtime victory, courtesy of former Texas Brahmas forward Jeff Hazelwood. Exactly three minutes into the extra frame, Hazelwood, who had solved Mark Guggenberger twice already, sent in the game winner which also completed his first hat trick as a Sundog.

Guggenberger stopped 25 of 29 shots faced in 63:00 played and took his first professional loss. His record goes to 3-0-1 with a 2.16 GAA (first in the league) and a .926 Save Percentage (fourth in the league).

Special teams play continues to falter - despite two power play goals, the Brahmas power play is second to last at 15.38%, as is the penalty kill at 75.93%.

The Brahmas earned a point for their efforts, but remain in fifth place in the Berry Conference with a 7-5-1 record (.577) and 15 points. Their home record goes to 4-2-1.

Hazelwood struck first blood with a shot from the left circle at the 17:54 mark of the opening frame, putting the Sundogs up 1-0. David Nimmo and B.J. Crum were in on the assists. Arizona had a 12-7 shot advantage in the period and neither team capitalized on their initial power play opportunities. That would change in the second period.

A Holding call on Brahmas defenseman Ryan Hand provided a man-advantage for the Sundogs at the 6:22 mark and it took Tyler Butler all of 37 seconds to strike with a slapshot from the point, assisted by Kyle Hood and Nimmo.

Texas countered with a power play strike of their own, courtesy of a Slashing call on Jean-Philipp Chabot less than 2 1/2 minutes later. Defenseman Andrew Lackner sent in a shot from the blue line, assisted by Kyle Howarth and Adam Hogg at the 10:44 mark to cut the Sundogs' lead in half.

A Too Many Men Bench Minor gave the Brahmas another power play at the 14:30 mark and Chad Woollard beat goalie Levente Szuper with his shot from between the circles, fed by Phil Fox and T.J. Fox at 14:52.

The game remained knotted at 2-2 for the remainder of the period. Ryan Hand and Tyler Matheson dropped gloves following Woollard's score. More of a sweater grab than a fight, Matheson appeared to connect with a couple of rights and took a couple of lefts from Hand, who managed to win the balance war, taking Matheson to the ice as the Sundog groped for an eye gouge. The two were assessed Fighting Majors for their efforts.

The Brahmas had a 13-9 shot advantage in the middle period.

Calin Wild broke the deadlock 2:37 into the third frame, assisted by Jim Burichin and Woollard. Midway through the period, Jeff Hazelwood scored his second of the night, once again on a feed by Nimmo and a secondary assist from Luke Erickson.

Tied at 3-3, the Brahmas had two power play chances later in the period, but failed to convert. Texas had a 12-7 shot advantage in the third and led the shot count in regulation at 32-28, but the game was to be decided in overtime.

The Brahmas sent in the first shot of the extra frame but once again it was Hazelwood who sent in a loose puck from the crease and secured the second win for the Sundogs in as many nights. With their victory, the Sundogs improved to 5-7-3 (.433).

Referee: Brent Coulombe
Linesmen: Bill McGoldrick, John Grandt

Mark Guggenberger stopped 25 of 29 shots faced in 63:00 of play and takes the loss. His record goes to 3-0-1. Arizona's Levente Szuper stopped 30 of 33 shots faced and earned the win. His record goes to 2-4-3.

The Brahmas wen 2 for 7 on the power play; the Sundogs went 1 for 2. Texas was assessed 9 minutes on 3 infractions. Arizona was assessed 19 minutes on 8 infractions.

1st Star: Jeff Hazelwood (ARZ) - 3 Points (3 G, 0 A, +3) - the game-winning goal on 7 shots
2nd Star: Chad Woollard - 2 Points (1 G, 1 A, 0) on 10 shots
3rd Star: Calin Wild - 1 Point (1 G, 0 A, 0) on 3 shots

You can view Pointstreak's box score here and their Game Live broadcast here.

You can view my images from the game here.

The Brahmas will host the Laredo Bucks at NYTEX on Friday night before traveling to going on the road to play the Bucks at the Laredo Energy Arena on Saturday evening.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

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