Game #45: Tucson Roadrunners vs Iowa Wild
SOG: TUC (23) – IA (34)
PP: TUC (1/2) – IA (1/3)
IOWA SCORING: Adam Beckman (10), Steven Fogarty (10), Brenden Miller (1), Sammy Walker (8, 9)
TUCSON SCORING: Justin Kirkland (3), Colin Theisen (4), Josh Doan (19), Cameron Hebig (8)
Cam we please see another replay of Cameron Hebig’s game-tying goal in the third period of Tucson’s Saturday night contest from the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, IA? It was Hebig’s eighth goal of the season, with Jan Jenik and Nathan Smith picking up assists. Hebig now has 19 points (8 goals, 11 assists) in 35 games; which ties his 2022-2023 season total in which he played 65 games. Hebig also his six points in his last six games played for the Roadrunners.
DON’T OVERLOOK IT
CLOSE, BUT USUALLY A CIGAR – Thats not how the saying goes, is it? I guess the Tucson Roadrunners don’t care as the one-goal overtime loss to Iowa on Saturday night brings their season win-loss total to 17-3-2-0 in one-score games. Tucson’s last six games have been decided by one score and in the stretch the Roadrunners are 4-1-1-0. On their Gem Show Road Trip the Roadrunners secured seven out of ten possible points and had every game end in a one-goal game. So for all you fans out there that like to relax and watch Roadrunners hockey, sorry, you’ll have to just stay on the edge of your seat.
LOOK AT THIS
Tucson Roadrunners players Patrik Koch, Victor Soderstrom, Dylan Wells, and Travis Barron battle to keep the puck out of the net in the second period of Tucson’s 5-4 overtime loss to the Iowa Wild on Saturday. Tucson’s special teams were a highlight of the two-game series in Des Moines as they held the Iowa Wild power-play unit to just one goal in ten power-play opportunities. Between Matthew Villalta’s Friday night performance, and Dylan Wells’ Saturday night performance Tucson netminders recorded 58 saves on the weekend.
THEY SAID IT
“It’s a gritty team over there who played hard and didn’t give us a lot of space. It’s a weekend that we are going to learn from and not a result that we are happy with. We’re looking forward to being back home and to reset physically and mentally.”Forward Justin Kirkland after Tucson’s 5-4 overtime loss in Iowa on Saturday night.
Contrary to Friday night’s game with zero goals in the first period, Saturday night’s contest between the Tucson Roadrunners and Iowa Wild featured five goals in the first period and nine total in the game. Iowa would strike first just 4:29 into the game and for the second straight night take a 1-0 lead on the Roadrunners. Justin Kirkland would answer back with his third goal of the year on the power-play at the nine-minute mark knotting things up 1-1. Kirkland, who has spent time with the Arizona Coyotes this season, was assisted by John Leonard who picked up his 13th assist of the year. Tucson would then take its first and only lead of the night three minutes and 16 seconds later with Colin Theisen lighting the lamp for the Roadrunners to give them the 2-1 lead. Peter DiLiberatore and Justin Kirkland picked up assists on the Theisen goal. Iowa would answer the Tucson lead with a power-play goal of their own followed by an even-strength goal late in the opening frame to head into the intermission with a 3-2 lead; out-shooting Tucson 11-7 in the period.
With slightly less of a chaotic second period the two sides would trade goals and leave Iowa with a one-goal lead. Iowa would score first and go up 4-2 just after the halfway mark of the second. AHL All-Star and Tucson leading point leader Josh Doan would answer the Iowa lead with a goal for the Roadrunners. The goal was Doan’s 19th of the season, and a palin-doan (palindrome) of his number #91. Doan was assisted by former Arizona State Univerity teammate Colin Theisen on the play, as well as Justin Kirkland. Kirkland picked up his third point of the night and recorded his second game of the season scoring three-points or more in the contest.
The third period would bode well for the Roadrunners as just a single goal was scored, and it belonged to the visiting team wearing white. Cameron Hebig would receive a pass from Jan Jenik and hack and whack the puck into the back of the net. Nathan Smith also assisted Hebig on his eighth goal of the season and game-tying goal. Regulation would wrap up 4-4 and the two sides would give the Iowa crowd some free hockey in the Well Fargo Arena.
Tucson netminder Dylan Wells was a wall for the Roadrunners, making 29 saves on the night and three in the overtime period. Following an incredible diving save from Wells the Wild would punch one into the net and skate off victorious 5-4. The team will travel back to Tucson for a matchup against the Ontario Reign on Friday, February 16th and Saturday, February 17th.
“It’s a gritty team over there who played hard and didn’t give us a lot of space. It’s a weekend that we are going to learn from and not a result that we are happy with. We’re looking forward to being back home and to reset physically and mentally,” said forward Justin Kirkland after Tucson’s 5-4 overtime loss in Iowa on Saturday night.