Game #11: Tucson (5) at San Jose (3)
Records: Tucson 8-3, San Jose 4-4-0-1
SOG: TUC (23) – SJ (37)
PP: TUC (3/6) – SJ (1/4)
TUC SCORING: Bunting (2 – PP), Pederson (9 – PP), Martin (3), Burke (4 – PP), Gregoire (2 – EN, SH)
SJ SCORING: Blichfeld (3), Suomela (1), Gregoire (1)
HILL HOLDS STRONG
The Roadrunners (8-3) allowed a goal 38 seconds into Sunday afternoon’s contest and were outshot 13-3 in the first period, yet still won a hockey game.
Adin Hill’s effort in his return to the crease for the first time in nine days can’t be understated, as he held his group together in the final contest in California this weekend for Tucson, denying 34 shots on 37 attempts. Ironically enough with the number 37, that’s how many minutes it took Tucson to get their fourth-year goaltender any form of goal support.
Less than 24 hours after shaking “King Kong”, in his own words, from his back and netting his first of the season, Michael Bunting found time and space in the slot to get his second on the man advantage and of the campaign.
The goal would prove to be a late-frame momentum swing in the favor of the Roadrunners, as Lane Pederson, Jon Martin and Brayden Burke would all strike consecutively to put Tucson ahead by a margin they wouldn’t look back from.
After a comeback bid goal by brother Thomas Gregoire, Jeremy Gregoire found an empty net with 1:14 to go to wrap up the scoring and send the Roadrunners back to Tucson a happy bunch with a 5-3 win.
THEY SAID IT
“It’s been quite the stretch for us. This was our sixth game in ten days now and we’ve been fighting the bangs and bruises that come along with it. Tonight was about grinding through it and finding a way, and we did that.”Forward Hudson Fasching sharing his pride and relief in the team’s second straight win.
DON’T OVERLOOK IT
The attitude of a formerly 6-1 team changed a bit following a midweek sweep at the hands of the Chicago Wolves but taking just two days in between a dauntingly quick turnaround set in California, the Roadrunners found a way to make it work and pick up the two wins they dropped against two good teams as they improved to 8-3.
Stockton entered Saturday atop the Pacific Division, San Jose showed up Sunday with the fewest goals in the league allowed and Tucson prevailed to now be the only team in the Western Conference with eight wins.
GOTTA SEE IT
Working with very little help in front of him through the first 40 minutes, Adin Hill prevented San Jose from going up by a trio here in the middle portion by sprawling to keep this one out.
PHOTO OF THE GAME
Raw emotion from forward Michael Bunting after getting Tucson on the board late in Sunday’s second period.