Beyond The Benches

Arizona Sundogs Make CHL History

Since it’s inception back in 1992, the Central Hockey League has experienced it’s fair share of firsts. However, what occurred this past Tuesday night will go down as one of the more memorable moments in CHL history.

In what was a back and forth series, the Arizona Sundogs were eventually able to impose their will on the Missouri Mavericks and end their season in six games. What made this series victory unique was that it was the first time in Central Hockey League history that an eight-seed had knocked off a one-seed.

The Sundogs were no stranger to overcoming obstacles this season, so the prospect of pulling off the biggest upset in CHL history seemed feasible before the series even started. Arizona entered the playoffs having dropped nine out of ten games and on paper appeared to over matched by the top seeded Sundogs.

For Missouri the opening series loss must be devastating and should take more than just a small amount of time to recover from; especially given the success they were able to achieve over the course of the 2013-2014 CHL regular season. The Mavericks were able to set franchise best totals in wins and points and were able to secure their first Governors Cup for having the best regular season record of any team in the Central Hockey League. There was also the tremendous individual accomplishment achieved by forward Andrew Courtney in breaking the franchise record for goals scored in a season.

However, after tying the series up in Game 4, the Mavericks proceeded to lose back to back double overtime games. First on the road and then proceeding to have their season ended at home. The feat accomplished by the Sundogs is made even more impressive by the fact that it was accomplished in what was voted as the toughest building to play in the Central Hockey League, Missouri’s Independence Events Center.

Next up for the Sundogs will be the second seeded Denver Cutthroats, and on the line a shot to advance to the CHL finals and an opportunity to capture their second Presidents Cup.


Staff writer: Michael Memmolo is a School Social Worker who’s dedication in the classroom is only eclipsed by his passion & love for the game of hockey. Mike lives in Chelsea, Massachusetts, with his girlfriend Julie and their dog Graham.  He can be reached on twitter @btownpucks