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Power play catapults Roadrunners to 5-2 win

By: Alex Kinkopf
The Roadrunners’ power play rocketed the club to a 5-2 victory over the Manitoba Moose Friday night at Tucson Arena, four of the team’s goals coming on the man advantage.
The win kept Tucson atop the American Hockey League standings – their 8-1-2-0 record good for the best among all 30 teams. The club’s flurry of power play markers also tied them with the Ontario Reign for the best success rate (30.4%) in the league.
“We’ve got a good group of guys; I think we keep it simple,” Jamie McBain said of the team’s power play success. “We get pucks to the net, we have great net presence, and we have guys that can make plays when it’s time to make plays. It’s pretty simple hockey, we’re just getting pucks to the net and finding ways to score.”
In what was the first of a season-long six-game home stand for the Roadrunners, neither club scored in the opening frame, the Moose outshooting Tucson 12-5.
“We got off to a better start, but there still could be some improvement there,” said Adin Hill of the team’s start. “They controlled the play a bit, but it’s getting better. After the first period it was 0-0, we want to be ahead of course, but we’d rather be tied than behind.”
Just before the midway point of the game, Brendan Perlini stuffed home a Craig Cunningham pass to get the Roadrunners on the board, netting his seventh goal of the season.
Manitoba’s Darren Kramer answered three minutes later, getting the Moose on the board to tie the game 1-1.
With under two minutes left in the second, Craig Cunningham – stationed in front of Manitoba’s net, redirected a Jamie McBain shot/pass past Eric Comrie to give the Roadrunners a 2-1 lead.
In the third, Manitoba tied the game 2-2 via a Jimmy Lodge goal before Tucson answered back with three consecutive tallies to run away with the win.
Brendan Perlini scored his second goal of the night, and his team-leading eighth of the season, when he tipped a Jamie McBain shot past Manitoba’s Comrie while providing a screen on the power play.
With 4:15 to play in regulation, Brandon Burlon netted the Roadrunners’ only even-strength goal of the evening when he received a pass from Justin Hache and walked in to beat Comrie with a wrist shot high to the far side.
With Eric Comrie pulled from Manitoba’s net during the game’s final moments for an extra attacker, Michael Bunting registered his sixth goal of the season, giving the Roadrunners a 5-2 lead, the night’s eventual final score.
“It’s good, obviously anytime you’re winning it’s a happy place to be,” McBain said of the Roadrunners’ start. “It’s an exciting time to be here – obviously it’s the first season in Tucson, so hopefully the fans are excited about it with us being able to put together some wins, especially with us being at home, it’s been a fun place to play, and hopefully we can continue that success.”
Brendan Perlini (2G, 1A) led all Roadrunners players in points scored (3); Adin Hill made 40 saves in the win.
The Roadrunners will play the Moose Saturday night at Tucson Arena, where the puck is slated to drop just after 7:05 PM MST. You can purchase your tickets for that game HERE.
*Photos taken by Kate Dibildox