SUNDOGS GRAB FIRST HOME WIN OF SEASON IN 9-0 ROMP
Thauwald Nets First Hat Trick, Perras First Shutout of Season
PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – In front of 2,114 fans and looking for their first home win of the 2009-10 season, the Arizona Sundogs exploded for five goals in the second period of a 9-0 win over the visiting Laredo Bucks Wednesday night at Tim’s Toyota Center in the franchise’s biggest margin of victory in three-plus seasons.
Scott Thauwald recorded the team’s first hat trick of the year with his first three goals in a Sundogs uniform while J.F. Perras turned aside 28 shots for his and the club’s first shutout of the young season. Torren Delforte extended his league-leading point streak to seven games with a two-goal, three-point effort in his third multi-point game of the year.
Struggling on the power play early this season, Arizona opened a 1-0 lead with its first man advantage tally in its last 15 chances 7:25 into the opening frame Wednesday. Holding a Laredo clearing attempt in the offensive zone, defenseman Jon Landry sent a wrist shot on net that Delforte redirected past Laredo goaltender Kyle Gajewski for his sixth goal of the year.
Thauwald gave his club a two-goal cushion just over two minutes later, collecting a Mike Nesdill pass off the boards before beating a Laredo defenseman to the net. Cutting to the goal crease, Thauwald pulled the puck to his forehand and reached past Gajewski’s leg pad for his first of the season.
Arizona exploded for five goals in the middle period – tied for second-most in a period in franchise history – stretching its lead to 7-0 after 40 minutes of play.
Jason Visser helped to open scoring three minutes in the frame with a pass from the seat of his pants, finding a streaking Kevin Gardner on the far boards. Gardner fired a slap shot from the top of the circle past Gajewski for his third of the year.
Skating in 4-on-1, Kyle Hood dropped a pass to a trailing Evan Shaw for the defenseman’s first point of the season just past the period’s midway point to make it 4-0.
Delforte recorded his second of the game 23 seconds later from rookie Joey Sides while on a 2-on-1 break for a commanding five-goal lead. Switching roles, the two combined again at the 14:33 mark as Sides tallied his first professional goal, converting on a cross-ice feed from Delforte.
The Sundogs pushed the score to 7-0 with just two seconds remaining in the frame on a strong individual effort by veteran forward Steve Potvin. With several defenders collapsing on the puck, Potvin maintained possession deep into the zone before sending an innocent backhand on net. Gajewski was unable to control the rebound and Thauwald knocked home the loose puck for his second of the game.
Gardner netted his second of the game 4:21 into the final period, redirecting a Chris Bartolone shot from the point past Gajewski to give his club an 8-0 lead. Thauwald capped off the hat trick effort with 13:20 to play in the contest with the team’s second shorthanded marker of the season.
Gajewski fell to 1-2-1 on the year, allowing nine goals on 33 shots. The Sundogs finished 1-for-5 with the man advantage while holding the Bucks scoreless on seven power play opportunities. Arizona outshot Laredo in two of three periods for a 33-28 advantage.
Thirteen different players figured into the scoring for Arizona Wednesday with ten recording multiple points in the team’s strongest offensive showing of the season.
The two teams face off in the second of a three-game set on Friday at 7:05pm.