By: Alex Kinkopf
November 27, 2016 7:57 PM
If there was a team in need of a winning result, it was the Roadrunners – who did so Sunday evening in their 5-4 victory over the Stockton Heat at Tucson Arena.
“It’s definitely huge getting this one,” said defenseman Kyle Wood. “It was a big effort after a tough loss yesterday, so it’s good to get one before we go on the road.”
Following up on Saturday night’s difficult defeat at the hands of Stockton’s Linden Vey, who netted the game-winner with 1:58 to play, and a very trying week with the incident involving the team’s Captain, Craig Cunningham, the win for the club was just about as crucial as you can get.
Sunday’s affair didn’t start off on the right foot, however; Stockton’s Ryan Lomborg getting the Heat on the board just 90 seconds into the contest.
For starting goaltender Marek Langhamer, it was his first appearance with the team since October 21.
“It was a tough game,” said Langhamer. “They always came back, or we came back, there were a lot of chances, and we’ve got to clean some stuff up, but all that counts is the win, so I’m happy about that.”
Following Stockton’s opening marker, it was a back-and-forth affair that saw the team’s tie the score on three separate occasions.
The Roadrunners’ power play got the team on the board four minutes into the night when Kyle Wood slammed home a loose puck past Jon Gillies to even the score 1-1.
Linden Vey answered two minutes later, giving the Heat a 2-1 lead.
With just over three minutes to play in the first, Brendan Perlini followed up a rush initiated by Kyle Wood, chipping home a loose puck rebound to give the Roadrunners their second goal of the evening.
Brandon Bollig gave Stockton a 3-2 lead in the opening minutes of the second period, but Tucson answered back with three consecutive goals shortly thereafter.
Christian Fischer beat Jon Gillies with a wrist shot from the left half boards, scoring his third goal of the season 8:16 into the second to knot the score 3-3.
The Roadrunners scored their second power play goal of the evening with 3:33 left to play in the middle frame when Kyle Wood received a pass from Jamie McBain and whistled home a shot from the point off the cross-bar and in.
Just over a minute later, and on an ensuing power play, Henrik Samuelsson buried a wrist shot from the slot after corralling a pass from Chris Mueller.
For Samuelsson, it was his first goal of the season. “It was a good feeling,” he said of scoring. “I feel like my game is coming along after my injury there, just getting better each game, have to keep working hard, and hopefully I can keep scoring a little bit.”
Marek Langhamer stopped 13 of the 14 shots he faced in the third to help the Roadrunners secure a 5-4 victory.
Kyle Wood (2G, 2A) and Chris Mueller (4A) lead all Roadrunners players in points scored (4). Marek Langhamer made 37 saves in the win.
The team will venture out on a three-game road trip after Tuesday’s practice, which begins Wednesday night against the San Diego Gulls at the Valley View Casino Center. The puck is scheduled to drop at 8:00 PM MST.
*Photos taken by Chris Hook