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NEWS

Merkley Strikes Late; Roadrunners Collect A Point In Chicago

By: Alex Kinkopf
 
 
Don’t leave empty-handed.
 
A late marker Sunday helped the Roadrunners secure a standings point in the club’s eventual 2-1 overtime loss to the Chicago Wolves at Allstate Arena.
 
 
The team was able to pocket three of a possible four points during their two-game series in Rosemont, Illinois over the weekend.
 
Marek Langhamer made his season debut Sunday, and he was solid from the get-go as the teams trudged through a low-scoring, tight-knit affair that was ultimately decided during the 64th minute of play.
 
In total, Langhamer made 28 saves.
 
 
Chicago’s lone goal in regulation came just shy of the five-minute mark of the second period when Jens Looke was stripped of the puck after getting tangled in questionable contact in the neutral zone, ultimately giving way to a Wolves 3-on-0 sequence, which was finished off by Teemu Pulkkinen.
 
Langhamer stopped 14 of 15 shots faced in the middle frame.
 
Facing a one-goal deficit in the third, Langhamer made a number of key saves on high-grade Wolves opportunities to give the Roadrunners a chance to tie the game.
 
 
With just under two minutes to play in the third, and with the Roadrunners killing off their fifth and final penalty of the afternoon, Nick Merkley initiated a turnover in the neutral zone and walked in alone on Chicago’s Max Lagace, beating him through the five hole to tie the game 1-1.
 
 
Merkley’s goal, his second of the season, put him atop the team in scoring with four points (2G, 2A). It was also the team’s second shorthanded goal in as many games.
 
After the teams traded opportunities in overtime, Chicago’s Pulkkinen entered the Roadrunners’ zone and let a shot go from just inside the blue line to bury his second goal of the game. Pulkkinen’s shot grazed Dakota Mermis and found its way past Langhamer to secure a 2-1 victory for the Wolves.
 
The Roadrunners currently sit in third-place in the Pacific Division with a 2-1-1-0 mark and a .625 win percentage.
 
The team will complete its four-game road trip Wednesday night when they take on the Grand Rapids Griffins at Van Andel Arena, where the puck is scheduled to drop just after 4:00 PM PST.
 
 
Photos Courtesy: Chicago Wolves