PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – The Arizona Sundogs saw their season come to an end in heartbreaking fashion Wednesday night at Tim’s Toyota Center as the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs tallied a late power-play goal en route to a 2-1 victory and a three games to one series win.
Looking to force a deciding Game 5 Saturday the CenturyTel Center in Bossier City, Louisiana, Arizona appeared to have taken a 2-1 lead at the second period’s 13:41 mark but after convening with both linesmen, referee John McIsaac ruled the puck never fully crossed the goal line despite the Sundogs’ celebration and ensuing claims.
Justin Aikins tallied each of the Mudbugs’ scores including the eventual game-winner with 39 seconds remaining in regulation and Jason Visser in the penalty box for a neutral zone interference infraction.
Adam Smyth, skating in his second game of the series after being scratched in Games 2 and 3, struck first to give Arizona a 1-0 lead midway through the opening frame. Skating across the slot, Smyth knocked a Matt Frick shot between the legs of John DeCaro from the near dot for his first point of the playoffs.
Aikins evened the score at one three minutes later, catching the Sundogs out of position. The forward split two Sundogs skaters and slid a backhand past Scott Reid with 7:46 to play in the first period.
The two teams combined for 37 shots in the first 20 minutes with the home club holding a slight 19-18 advantage. Arizona outshot the Mudbugs 17-6 in the second period and 49-35 in a game that saw the Sundogs to be the more desperate team facing elimination.
Arizona was held without a power-play goal on six chances in the loss, finishing the series 0-for-19 with the man advantage.
Box score: http://www.pointstreak.com/prostats/boxscore.html?gameid=1560483&refresh=1