Last Week, Today: December 16
Three games, three wins.
(We used that line last week, too, we know. Feels good though, doesn’t it?)
The team’s first-ever six-game winning streak came to fruition following a grueling stretch three victories against three different opponents in three different cities in five days. Now 21-5, the team’s win percentage (.808) is the best in the league, the Pacific Division lead continues to grow and the good times keep rolling.
Tuesday vs. Iowa (2-0 Win)
Concluding the ever-uncommon Saturday/Tuesday two-game set in Des Moines, the team expected a bit more of a test from the Wild after Saturday’s win came under some tough circumstances for the Wild.
However, a first period goal from Michael Chaput, who was returning to the Tucson lineup following a nine-day recall to the Coyotes, seemed to really take the wind out of the sails of Iowa and a Jon Martin insurance goal early in the second was all that was needed offensively.
While the Wild did muster 30 shots on goal, it really felt like a suffocating effort from the defense, as Adin Hill wasn’t forced to consistently reach for “highlight reel” saves en route to his first shutout of the season.
Friday at San Antonio (2-1 Shootout Win)
Following a travel day and then a practice day in the Lone Star State, the gang got “back on their horses” and back to their winning ways.
Similar to Tuesday in Des Moines, the defense took center stage, limiting San Antonio’s high profile chances. Again taking first blood, this time from Kelly Klima, who earned his third goal in just his sixth game with the team.
Tucson had chances to put the game away in the third, however, overtime and eventually a shootout was needed, one that prolonged further enough to become the second-longest in AHL history when all was said and done. Goaltender Ivan Prosvetov stopped 14 of 15 attempts (after his 26/27 in regulation), including 13 in a row to end it before Tucson walked off in round 15.
Saturday at Texas (3-1 Win)
111 miles north on I-35 in Cedar Park, Tucson got right back after it Saturday, concluding their four-game road trip flawlessly.
Once again scoring first, Jeremy Gregoire got his fourth point in as many games with yet another brilliant displaying of working and working away in front of the opposition’s net in the first. While the Stars would tie it up on the power play later in the frame, yet again, that was the allotted capacity in the opponent’s goal scoring department.
24 hours after going 0/7 on the man advantage, the special teams unit became the story for much better reasons Saturday, netting both the game-winning and insurance goals for the Roadrunners by way of Andy Miele and Beau Bennett. The power play, which was operating without two of the their “top dogs” in both Brayden Burke and Robbie Russo – who were recalled by the Coyotes over the course of the week – quickly turned a corner and “gelled” enough to close out the trip on a high note.
Adin Hill, who this time was forced to come up with numerous big and timely stops, was marvelous in the effort. The 6-foot-6 netminder has won his last three in a row now and had one of his best performances of the season, in terms of quality, in the win.
Where They Stand
Record: 21-5-0-0 (42 Points – .808 Win Percentage)
Pacific Division: First Place / First Place
Western Conference: Second Place / Second Place
The Week That Was
Tuesday, December 10
Roadrunners (2) at Wild (0)
Wells Fargo Arena
Friday, December 13
Roadrunners (2) at Rampage (1) – SO
Saturday, December 14
Roadrunners (3) at Stars (1)
H-E-B Center at Cedar Park
Up & Down
Monday, December 9
- Defenseman Robbie Russo recalled by the Arizona Coyotes (NHL).
- Forward Michael Chaput assigned by the Arizona Coyotes (NHL)
Thursday, December 12
- Forward Brayden Burke recalled by the Arizona Coyotes (NHL).
Monday, December 16
- Forward Brayden Burke assigned by the Arizona Coyotes (NHL).
Monday, December 16
- Forwards Nick Merkley and Nate Schnarr traded to New Jersey (NHL) as a part of a trade in exchange for Taylor Hall and Blake Speers.
Alumni In Action
After beginning the year with the Tucson Roadrunners, defenseman Aaron Ness continues to play valuable minutes and games for the Arizona Coyotes. In his first year with the organization, Ness earned the promotion to Glendale after four games in Southern Arizona.
In The System
First-year pro Keeghan Howdeshell added another goal and an assist this weekend for the Rapid City Rush, contributing two more points to his now total of 13 points in 21 games.
Highlight Of The Week
Despite only making one start this week, Prosvetov was one of, if not the reason that the Roadrunners left San Antonio victorious.
Sudden death situations are pressure-packed and Ivan found a way to deny 13 straight tries from the Rampage, including this one on Andreas Borgman.