Roadrunners Recap: 3/18/23
Game #60: Calgary Wranglers (2) at Tucson Roadrunners (3) (SO)
SOG: CGY (26) – TUC (25)
PP: CGY (1/4) – TUC (0/4)
CALGARY SCORING: Adam Klapka (8 PP), Matthew Phillips (29)
TUCSON SCORING: Hudson Elynuik (7), Colin Theisen (5 SH)
ROADRUNNERS WIN 3-2 SHOOTOUT THRILLER ON SATURDAY OVER FIRST-PLACE CALGARY WRANGLERS
Tucson, Arizona – The Tucson Roadrunners took down the first-place Calgary Wranglers Saturday night with a 3-2 shootout victory in front of a crowd of 5,593 fans on hand at the Tucson Arena. The victory capped off a First Responders Day Doubleheader that saw the Tucson Police and Tucson Fire Departments square off prior to the Roadrunners comeback victory over Calgary, with Tucson Fire winning by a score of 4-3. The Roadrunners also wore Specialty First Responders Jerseys in the win that were featured in a live postgame jersey auction, with nearly $35,000 raised to benefit the First Tee of Tucson and all Roadrunners Community Efforts in Southern Arizona. Forwards Hudson Elynuik and Colin Theisen lit the lamp in a two-goal second period for Tucson, before Adam Cracknell and Nathan Smith were each successful in the shootout to secure the victory on their home ice. Tyler Parks earned his first shootout win of the season with the Roadrunners by stopping two of Calgary’s three total attempts along with 24 saves in regulation and overtime.
YA GOTTA SEE IT
The Roadrunners bested the Calgary Wranglers in a shootout on Saturday night with goals from forwards Adam Cracknell in the first round and Nathan Smith in the decisive third round. On the other end of the ice, Tucson goaltender Tyler Parks went two-for-three against Calgary’s shootout attempts to add to his 24 saves across regulation and overtime. The comeback win by the Roadrunners was their second against the first-place Wranglers on the year to split the four-game season series.
DON’T OVERLOOK IT
SHOOTOUT IS THE STRATEGY – With Saturday’s 3-2 shootout victory over the Calgary Wranglers, the Tucson Roadrunners improved their record to 3-0 on the year when going to a shootout. Leading the post-regulation heroics this season has been Captain Adam Cracknell, who has led off all three shootouts with a goal. Forward Nathan Smith also lit the lamp for Tucson in the 24-year-old’s first professional shootout attempt. The Roadrunners had to battle to reach their three shootouts this season by overcoming regulation deficits in all three contests, including a 1-0 Calgary advantage midway through the first period.
PHOTO OF THE GAME
The Tucson Roadrunners celebrated First Responders Day at the Tucson Arena on Saturday with a hockey doubleheader featuring the Tucson Police and Fire Departments at 4:30 p.m. before the Roadrunners defeated the Wranglers at 7:00 p.m. MST. The Tucson Fire Department fell behind 1-0 early on to the Police Department, but rallied for a 4-3 victory and their second-straight win in the annual First Responders Game after an 8-2 triumph on March 18 of 2022. The Roadrunners then wore Specialty First Responders Jerseys for their 3-2 shootout victory over Calgary, which were bid on live after the game to raise nearly $35,000 with all proceeds benefitting Roadrunners Community Efforts in Southern Arizona. Saturday’s matchup between Tucson and the Calgary Wranglers was also televised live in Southern Arizona on The CW Tucson, as the Roadrunners extended their point streak to five-straight televised contests since the start of the 2022-2023 campaign.
THEY SAID IT
“It’s a tough division, but we love challenges like that. In order to be the best, you have to beat the best. That game was playoff hockey out there and we showed that we can compete with the best, and we look forward to the challenge ahead.”Tucson Forward Colin Theisen on taking down the first-place Calgary Wranglers Saturday night with a 3-2 shootout victory. Theisen gave the Roadrunners their first lead of the contest at 2-1 with his fourth goal in five outings, which represented the second shorthanded goal scored by Tucson this season.
The Wranglers opened the scoring in Saturday’s series finale with 11:52 gone by in the first period, taking a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal scored by Adam Klapka. The man-advantage for Calgary was the only trip to the power-play for either team in the opening frame, which began just past the midway point of the period. The goal by the Wranglers was also the only offense through 20 minutes of play, as Tucson entered the second period with Calgary still trailing 1-0. The Roadrunners went to work quickly in the middle frame, as forward Hudson Elynuik took a feed from Milos Kelemen and buried the puck for his seventh goal of the season to erase the 1-0 deficit. With the score tied at 1-1, Tucson netted their second-straight goal to take a 2-1 lead with 6:23 still to play in the middle period. The goal came while on the penalty-kill for Tucson’s second shorthanded tally of the season, scored by forward Colin Theisen for his fourth time lighting the lamp in his last five outings. The Roadrunners flipped the script in the middle 20 minutes of play, outshooting the Wranglers 11 to five while holding Calgary scoreless to carry their one-goal lead into the third period. Tucson was able to hold onto their advantage for the opening 19:32 of the final frame, but a six-on-five goal by Calgary’s leading scorer Matthew Phillips tied the contest at 2-2 with 28 seconds remaining in regulation to send the contest to overtime. The Roadrunners recorded all four shots in the extra three-on-three period but couldn’t put one past Wranglers netminder Oscar Dansk in the five-minute frame. With a shootout needed to decide the outcome of Saturday’s game, the Roadrunners and Captain Adam Cracknell were up first, as he buried the puck to remain three-for-three in shootout attempts in his first season with Tucson. Roadrunners goaltender Tyler Parks followed Cracknell up on the other end by denying Wranglers forward Connor Zary to give Tucson an early advantage. Calgary evened up the shootout at one goal apiece in the second round, as Jeremie Poirier found the back of the net for the Wranglers while Roadrunners forward Josh Doan was stopped by Oscar Dansk. Nathan Smith led off the decisive third round for Tucson and made his shot count, scoring in his first professional shootout attempt to put the Roadrunners back up. With the pressure on Tyler Parks, he was once again faced by Matthew Phillips, whose late third-period goal tied him for the American Hockey League lead with 29 tallies on the year. Phillips’ shot was blocked by Parks, ending the shootout at three rounds and securing a 3-2 victory for the Roadrunners. Tucson will be back on their home ice Tuesday, March 21 and Wednesday, March 22 to play host to the Ontario Reign for their final trip to Southern Arizona this season. Both matchups between the Roadrunners and the AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings are set to face-off at 6:30 p.m. MST.
(Photo Credits: Kate Dibildox/Chris Hook)