Game #31: Tucson Roadrunners vs Chicago Wolves
SOG: TUC (32) – CHI (15)
PP: TUC (0/3) – CHI (1/5)
CHICAGO SCORING: Isaac Ratcliffe (6), Cory Conacher (3), Max Comtois (8), Chris Terry (12)
TUCSON SCORING: Jan Jenik (8)
It was a valiant effort from Tucson Roadrunners netminder Matthew Villalta to go full extension and into the splits to keep the Chicago puck out of the back of the net. Villalta is 15-8-1-1 for Tucson this season with a save percentage of .910.
DON’T OVERLOOK IT
SOMETIMES YOU JUST NEED SHOTS – Maybe we are speaking for all Roadrunners fans right now, or maybe we are speaking for the shots that Tucson was getting on net in Friday’s contest. Tucson outshot Chicago 14-2 in the first period and 13-5 in the second period. Through 40 minutes, the grand total was 27-7 and yet they trailed the Wolves by a score of 2-1 at that point. Tucson would outshoot Chicago 32-15 on the night but would drop the contest; the first time this season that Tucson has lost back-to-back games in regulation on the road. So look back at the title of this paragraph and do what you must.
LOOK AT THIS
Tucson Forwards Jan Jenik and Josh Doan skate through the handshake line after scoring Tucson’s lone goal on Friday night. Jan Jenik was assisted by Josh Doan on the play which marked Jenik’s fifth point in five games, and his fifth point in his last three road games (2 goals on 12/23/2023 in San Diego, 2 assists on 1/3/2024 in San Jose, and a goal Friday in Chicago).
THEY SAID IT
We were the better team but we have to keep doing things our way. We have to bring the same attitude and work ethic tomorrow night.Forward Jan Jenik following Tucson’s 4-1 loss on Friday night in Chicago.
The wind must have been gusting something strange in Chicago on Friday night as the Roadrunners outshot the Chicago Wolves 32-15 including 14-2 in the first period but dropped the contest 4-1. The first period was all Roadrunners, or so it felt, until you saw the 1-0 Chicago lead at the end of the first 20 minutes. An even-strength goal for Chicago at the 2:15 mark would be the only time the lamp was lit in the period for either side, and just one of two shots for Chicago.
The Tucson Roadrunners, who had won seven of eight coming into Friday night, did not need long in the second frame to get things knotted back up 1-1. Just under a minute into the period Jan Jenik would find the back of the net and take the energy out of the Chicago faithful in the Allstate Arena. Jenik was assisted by Josh Doan on the play. The way Tucson had outshot Chicago and controlled puck possession in the first, it felt as though the Jenik goal would be the start of a big period for the good guys in red. After a successful penalty-kill early in the second for Tucson, it would be the second Chicago power-play that would give the Wolves the lead. A power-play goal at the 11:46 mark would shift the tide back in the direction of the Wolves.
Tucson outshot Chicago 13-5 in the second period and 27-7 through the first 40 minutes of play but Chicago carried a 2-1 lead into the third. In the third it would be Chicago getting on the board again and taking a 3-1 lead at the 3:27 mark and finally a 4-1 lead at the 13:47 mark. It was the first period of the night where Chicago outshot Tucson, 8-5, and outscored the Roadrunners 2-0. Friday night marked the first time in the 2023-2024 season the Roadrunners have dropped back-to-back regulation games on the road this season with Wednesday night’s loss in San Jose. The Roadrunners look to avenge the two-game losing skid and split the series in Chicago on Saturday night.