Last Week, Today: November 4
Where They Stand
Record: 8-3-0-0 (16 Points)
Pacific Division: T-First Place
Western Conference: T-Second Place
Entering the week at 6-1, what began as a rough start to their four-game slate for the Roadrunners concluded with them being the first team in the AHL’s Western Conference with eight wins.
Tuesday vs. Chicago (2-1 L)
Tuesday night a heavy, physical Chicago team used their might and two special teams goals to earn a 2-1 win over Tucson. While Oscar Dansk was strong in net for the Vegas affiliate, Tucson struggled to create offense and getting their lone goal of the evening on a power play redirection from Tyler Steenbergen.
Ivan Prosvetov stopped 26 of 28 shots faced in the effort.
Wednesday vs. Chicago (3-0 L)
On Wednesday Tucson was blanked completely by the Wolves, who were backed by a 32-save shutout performance from Garret Sparks.
Of the two positive takeaways for the Roadrunners, the first was that none of their three goals surrendered were at five-on-five, further assuring that at even strength they can not only hang but provide a test to any team in this league.
The second shining note of the night was goaltender Erik Kallgren, who was making his first AHL start. The 23-year-old was sensational, allowing just one goal on 28 shots faced.
Saturday at Stockton (4-3 OTW)
Following the midweek reality check, Head Coach Jay Varady shuffled his deck for the first time really all season, mixing up line combinations to change what he felt was a group that was “getting stale”.
It turned out to be the best possible dose of medicine for the club as Nick Merkley, Jeremy Gregoire and Michael Bunting all scored their first of the season in the affair, an effort in which was capped by an overtime winner from Brayden Burke just 25 seconds into the extra frame.
Ivan Prosvetov put together another strong performance in the team’s first trip to Stockton, holding strong in a third period of which Stockton threw 20 shots on net.
Sunday at San Jose (5-3 W)
After allowing a goal just 38 seconds in and being outshot 27-9 through the first two periods of Sunday’s contest, enough can’t be said about the resolve of the Tucson group in their victory in San Jose.
Returning to his net for the first time in nine days, it’s borderline criminal Adin Hill wasn’t named one of the games three stars. The fourth-year pro held Tucson in a contest they very well could’ve been out of early on, however, he held on long enough to allow Michael Bunting to get his second goal in as many nights on the power play late in the second, which opened the floodgates.
Lane Pederson got his team-leading ninth, Jon Martin scored in tight on his former club and Brayden Burke also made it two goals in two days to complete a string of four unanswered for the Roadrunners. An empty-netter from Jeremy Gregoire, while shorthanded, capped the day’s scoring and got Tucson to wrap up the week at 2-2.
The Week That Was
Tuesday, October 29
Wolves (2) at Roadrunners (1)
Wednesday, October 30
Wolves (3) at Roadrunners (0)
Saturday, November 2
Roadrunners (4) at Heat (3) – OT
Sunday, November 3
Roadrunners (5) at Barracuda (3)
Up & Down
Recalls (TUC -> ARI)
Sunday, November 4: Michael Chaput
Recalls (RC -> TUC)
Assignments (ARI -> TUC)
Thursday, October 31: Kyle Capobianco
Assignments (TUC -> RC)
Thursday, October 31: Ryker Killins
Alumni In Action
Only Leon Draisaitl, Jonathan Huberdeau, Adam Henrique and Auston Matthews have scored more even strength goals than former Tucson Roadrunner Conor Garland thus far this season.
With seven to his name, Garland found a home for the puck while posted at his sweet-spot, the blocker-side circle of the goaltender.
In The System
Giovanni Fiore continues to do his thing with the Rapid City Rush (ECHL), now moving into second in the entire league’s scoring with seven goals and eight assists.
The Arizona Coyotes-contracted forward had two goals on Saturday and another one on Sunday in the Rush’ three-game weekend.
Highlight Of The Week
For those scoring at home, that’s three straight weekends with an overtime winner for the Tucson Roadrunners.
This week, Brayden Burke was the beneficiary from an outstanding individual effort by Andy Miele and an unselfish extra pass from Lane Pederson.