Game #70: Texas Stars (5) at Tucson Roadrunners (4) (OT)
SOG: TEX (32) – TUC (40)
PP: TEX (0/5) – TUC (2/4)
TEXAS SCORING: Riley Tufte (18), Mavrik Bourque (18, 19), Curtis McKenzie (21), Marian Studenic (19)
TUCSON SCORING: Colin Theisen (7 PP), Josh Doan (2 PP), J.S. Dea (23), Cameron Hebig (8)
ROADRUNNERS CLINCH PLAYOFF BERTH WITH OVERTIME STANDINGS POINT AGAINST TEXAS SATURDAY
Tucson, Arizona – The Tucson Roadrunners clinched a 2023 Calder Cup Playoff berth Saturday night with an overtime standings point against the Texas Stars. Tucson overcame a 4-0 deficit with four unanswered goals over the final 21:19 of regulation, before falling in overtime 5-4 after Texas netted the overtime game-winner with 18 seconds left in the extra period. The Roadrunners four-goal rally was started by back-to-back power-play goals by forwards Colin Theisen and Josh Doan, before J.S. Dea and Cameron Hebig scored a pair of goals in the span of 37 seconds in the final 2:41 of regulation to send the contest past regulation. Tucson will have a week of practice before hosting the San Jose Barracuda for the final two games of the regular season Friday and Saturday on their home ice.
YA GOTTA SEE IT
Roadrunners forward Cameron Hebig scored the game-tying goal with 2:04 remaining in regulation Saturday night to eventually force overtime between Tucson and the Texas Stars. The goal extended Hebig’s active scoring streak to three games, while forward Adam Cracknell and defenseman Michael Kesselring each tallied their second assists of the third period to record multiple-point performances on the night.
DON’T OVERLOOK IT
TICKET PUNCHED – With the overtime standings point earned against the Stars on Saturday, the Roadrunners secured their spot in the 2023 Calder Cup Playoffs. Tucson will be on the road for the First Round of the Playoffs, which is a best-of-three series which will begin as early as Tuesday, April 18. Playoff Round Passes will go on sale Monday, April 10, should the Roadrunners advance to the Second Round where they will be guaranteed to host playoff hockey at the Tucson Arena. The Roadrunners will wear their White Kachina Alternate Jerseys for all home games during the Playoffs, which they also wore on Saturday night against Texas on their way to clinching a Playoff spot.
PHOTO OF THE GAME
Saturday’s three-goal third period by the Roadrunners to force overtime and clinch a playoff berth began with 3:04 gone by in the final frame when forward Josh Doan netted his second goal since joining Tucson in March out of Arizona State University. Doan’s tally was the second of back-to-back Roadrunners power-play goals scored by former Sun Devils, after forward Colin Theisen put Tucson on the board with 1:19 remaining in the middle frame. The goal extended Doan’s active scoring streak to three games after notching an assist in each of his last two outings, as the 21-year-old has totaled five points (2g 3a) in 12 games since his American Hockey League debut on March 17 at the Tucson Arena.
THEY SAID IT
“I couldn’t be more proud of our guys. To come back from that type of adversity speaks volumes of the character in the room. You work on building relationships all year, and this is a team that likes to play for each other. There’s a lot of love and aspirations in that room.”Roadrunners Head Coach Steve Potvin on Tucson battling back from down 4-0 to force overtime and clinch a playoff berth.
Texas opened Saturday’s series finale by jumping out to a 1-0 lead 20 seconds into the first period with a goal scored by forward Riley Tufte. The Stars added to their early advantage with 6:28 gone by in the opening frame, as forward Mavrik Bourque netted his fourth goal of the weekend after recording a hat trick on Friday. Bourque secured his second-straight multi-goal game for Texas with 3:17 remaining in the period, sending the Stars to the second period leading the Roadrunners by a count of 3-0. Tucson began the middle frame by killing off the second half of a four-minute Texas power-play, after Roadrunners forward Mike Carcone amassed six penalty minutes in the final 2:00 of the first period and defenseman Michael Karow of Texas also received two minutes in the penalty box to close out the period. The Stars opened the second period scoring with 7:45 gone by in the frame, extending their lead to 4-0. Tucson goaltender Tyler Parks kept Texas scoreless for the remainder of the period, stopping 11 of 12 shots faced overall in the middle 20 minutes of play. The Roadrunners went on their first man-advantage of the contest two minutes before the second intermission, and forward Colin Theisen capitalized on the opportunity with a goal 41 seconds into the power-play to put Tucson on the board at 4-1 with 2:19 left to go in the second period. The score was Theisen’s seventh total tally of the season and third while on special-teams, adding to a power-play strike and a shorthanded goal from the month of March. Still trailing by a count of 4-1, the Roadrunners opened the final frame with their second-straight power-play goal, scored by forward Josh Doan with 3:04 gone by in the period to cut the deficit to two. Doan’s goal was assisted by defensemen Vlad Kolyachonok and Michael Kesselring, and marked the 21-year-old’s second time lighting the lamp since joining Tucson in March. The Roadrunners were relentless in the third period, outshooting the Stars 21 to 4 as they looked to erase a 4-2 Texas lead. Tucson got one step closer with 2:41 remaining in regulation, as forward J.S. Dea made it a one-goal game with his 23rd goal of the year. Mike Carcone and Adam Cracknell each recorded assists on the score, as Carcone extended his AHL scoring lead to 84 points (31g 53a) in 63 games played on the season. The Roadrunners tied the contest for the first time since the opening 20 seconds of the contest just 37 seconds after Dea’s goal, as Cameron Hebig found the back of the net for the eighth time on the year to make it a 4-4 game with 2:04 left to play in the period. Hebig’s goal sent the contest to overtime still knotted at 4-4, securing Tucson’s spot in the 2023 Calder Cup Playoffs. The Roadrunners recorded four shots on goal in the three-on-three overtime period looking for the second standings point, but Stars forward Marian Studenic scored the game-winning goal for Texas with 17 seconds still to play in overtime for a 5-4 Stars victory.
(Photo Credits: Kate Dibildox/Chris Hook)