Tuesday, April 29th, 2008
SUNDOGS AND EAGLES PREPARE FOR FINALS
The Arizona Sundogs and the Colorado Eagles will meet in the 2008 Ray Miron President’s Cup Finals after each team completed series wins in their respective conference finals. Both team’s conference finals went seven games with Arizona knocking Laredo off their Southern Conference mountain stopping the Bucks reign of four straight seasons in the finals and the Eagles defeated the Texas Brahmas in the Northern Conference Finals.
For the Eagles, the trip to the President’s Cup Finals is their third in the last four seasons winning the cup on 2005 and 2007. Colorado is looking to become the first CHL team to win the President’s Cup three times escaping a group of two-time winners Wichita, Laredo, Memphis and Oklahoma City. Eagles Head Coach Chris Stewart already has more CHL championships than any other bench boss winning the two titles with the Eagles and in 1999 with Huntsville.
During the regular season, the Eagles won the Northwest Division with 81 points and the Sundogs won the Southwest Division with 84 points. The teams played eight times with Colorado winning five times including in each of the last four games. Arizona went 2-2 on home ice and 1-3-1 in Colorado.
Colorado vs. Arizona (best of seven, all times local)
Game 1 – Thursday, May 1 – Colorado @ Arizona, 7:05 PM
Game 2 – Saturday, May 3 – Colorado @ Arizona, 7:05 PM
Game 3 – Wednesday, May 7 – Arizona @ Colorado, 7:05 PM
Game 4 – Friday, May 9 – Arizona @ Colorado, 7:05 PM
*Game 5 – Sunday, May 11 – Arizona @ Colorado, 7:05 PM
*Game 6 – Tuesday, May 13 – Colorado @ Arizona, 7:05 PM
*Game 7 – Wednesday, May 14 – Colorado @ Arizona, 7:05 PM
* - if necessary
REDENBACH LEADS THE WAY IN CONFERENCE FINALS
During the regular season, Tyler Redenbach was one of the offensive catalysts for the Sundogs in the first half of the season prior to being called up to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins. The Regina, Saskatchewan native returned to the Sundogs for the start of the conference finals and made a big impact posting a goal with eight assists in the seven games versus Laredo. During the regular season, Redenbach had points in 30 of 31 games totaling 18 goals with 48 assists.
LAPLANTE SETTING THE TONE IN NET
Sebastien Laplante has been the workhorse in net for the Eagles seeing all but 39 minutes of action in the post-season. Thus far, he has posted an 8-4 record with a CHL record-tying three shutouts. He has a save percentage of .930 and a goals against average of 2.32 goals against average. During the regular season with the Eagles, Laplante went 11-7-1 with a 2.77 goals against average. He was acquired from Wichita in a trade that sent Marco Emond (now an Arizona Sundog) and Mike Lukajic to the Thunder.
FILIPIC STEPS UP IN PANKEWICZ ABSENCE
With Greg Pankewicz, the Eagles Captain and last season’s CHL Playoff MVP, serving game one of his three-game suspension, the Eagles turned to Fraser Filipic for a little experience and asked the normally tough-minded forward to add some offense and the fifth-year Eagles responded with a pair of helpers in the Eagles 3-2 victory over Texas. During the regular season he scored seven goals with 12 assists in 51 games.
SUNDOGS POWER PLAY SHORT-CIRCUTING IN PLAYOFFS
On the surface, one would look at the Arizona Sundogs power play scoring 20 times in the post-season and connecting at close to 20% and not be alarmed, but when you look at the success the team had during the regular season leading the CHL with 103 power play goals with a success rate of near 27% you can make the case that the PP is struggling somewhat. In the series with Laredo, the Sundogs went just 6 for 57 on the power play (10%). Versus the Eagles during the regular season, Arizona scored 14 PP goals in 59 chances (23.7%) with Chris Bartolone leading the way with three PPG’s.