Last Week, Today: March 9
Well this feels good, doesn’t it?
Returning to Tucson following a pair of wins in Chicago to piggyback a victory in Bakersfield last Sunday, that’s now three in a row for the group.
They’ve talked about stringing together some wins for quite some time now, however, they’ve accomplished it and will look to keep this good thing going.
Here’s how the seven-day successes were obtained:
Thursday at Chicago (4-2 W)
For the sixth straight game Tucson got off to a good start, scoring the first goal of the contest via Kevin Hancock.
Chicago responded quickly with a power play goal, setting the tone for the only fashion of which they’d score their two goals on the evening.
Then, in the second, after setting up Hancock’s tally, Jalen Smereck chimed in with his first of the season, also giving him his first multipoint game of the year.
After the lead held until late in the third period, the Wolves tied the contest with their second of the evening, insinuating that the contest would likely be headed to overtime, being that there was only 3:56 to go in regulation.
However, it was then on the following shift that Tyler Steenbergen responded with one of the biggest ‘answers” of the season, stunning Chicago and giving his team a 3-2 lead.
Jeremy Gregoire, who was noticeably excellent throughout the entire game, would polish the contest off with an empty net goal inside the final 30 seconds to secure the contest for Tucson, providing them with their 34thwin of the year.
Not to be lost in the victory, Adin Hill was magnificent once again, stopping 23/25 for his third win in three games since returning from Arizona.
Saturday at Chicago (3-2 Shootout Win)
After a practice day Friday, the streak of scoring first was snapped on Saturday and it was a one-two punch in fact that put the Roadrunners in a tough spot, down 2-0 in the first 12:01.
Armed with two even strength goals and a stout defensive effort that dictated that style of play for the opening 40 minutes, it looked as if the Wolves were sitting pretty entering the final period of regulation.
That turned out to be very far from the case, as coming out for the third period with a bit of extra jump, Markus Hannikainen deposited his third goal in four games to pull Tucson back within one. Seemingly only energized more by the shutout-breaking bid, Michael Chaput and Michael Bunting connected for a power play marker to earn the road side another point, which would have been considered a victory within itself considering how the first two periods transpired.
Although the team was able to total six shots on goal during the extra three-on-three session, a team record, there was no winner found and thus a shootout was needed.
The Wolves elected to shoot first and were successful, forcing the Roadrunners into a pressure packed “play from behind” situation once again.
Thankfully, shootout specialist Jordan Gross was able to knot the contest and then, sandwiched between two crucial stops from Adin Hill, Markus Hannikainen won it for the Roadrunners with a stellar backhand move for the team’s third straight win.
Where They Stand
Record: 35-18-1-2 (73 Points / .652 Win Percentage)
Pacific Division: First Place / First Place
Western Conference: Third Place / Third Place
The Week That Was
Thursday, March 5
Roadrunners (4) at Wolves (2)
Saturday, March 7
Roadrunners (3) at Wolves (2) – SO
Up & Down
- No transactions were made between Monday, March 2 and Monday, March 9.
Alumni In Action
Scoring a crucial goal in the team’s victory against Vancouver last week, Lawson Crouse has quietly put together a nice season for himself in the NHL.
In his third season with the Arizona Coyotes, Crouse has now matched his career-high with 25 points and given that the club still has three weeks of play left, odds that he’ll be reaching new heights are pretty good.
In The System
Matteo Gennaro registered a three-point performance for the Rapid City Rush over the weekend as they split a series with the Utah Grizzlies.
The second-year pro had four points in total on the weekend, increasing his ECHL production to 12 points in 14 games.
Highlight Of The Week
How have opposing teams not figured out how to stop this yet?
We’re not sure, but we’re not complaining.