Tucson Roadrunners

Roadrunners lose to Texas Stars in Overtime, Take sole possession of first place

Yesterday, the Dallas Stars affiliate, Texas Stars snapped the Roadrunners’ five game win streak with a 4-3  overtime win.  Adin Hill made his fourth consecutive start for Tucson and Phillipe Desrosiers was in goal for Texas.

Julius Honka protects the puck from Michael Bunting. Source: Arizona Daily Star

Julius Honka protects the puck from Michael Bunting.
Source: Arizona Daily Star

Tucson Roadrunners Lineup 

Forward Lines: (LW – C – RW)

  1. 11 B. Perlini – 14 C. Cunningham (C) -19 C. Mueller (A)
  2. 27 M. Bunting – 10 T. Gaudet – 36 C. Fisher
  3. 9 H. Samuelsson – 20 R. MacInnis – 44 E. Selleck (A)
  4. 23 G. Ross – 25 M. Marcantuoni –  22 C. Garland

Defensive Pairs (LD – RD)

  1. 6 J. McBain – 7 B. Burlon
  2. 5 J. Tinordi – 24  A. DeAngelo
  3. 3 K. Wood – 43 D. Mermis

Goaltenders

  1. 33 A. Hill
  2. 34 A. Lotz

Scratched (Position)

  1. 4 Z. Michalek (D)
  2. 18 C. Dvorak (C)
  3. 28 J. Hache (D)
  4. 30 M. Langhamer (G)
  5. 37 D. Mayo (D)

Texas Stars Lineup

Forward Lines: (LW – C – RW)

  1. 24 B. DeFazio – 10 J. Dowling – 28 M. Stransky
  2. 25 D. Gurianov – 38 J. Dickinson – 26 M. Mangene
  3. 9 R. Elie – 23 T. Morin – 21 C. Ully
  4. 20 E. Werek  – 7 M. McMurty – 15 A. Fyten

Defensive Pairs (LD – RD)

  1. 5 M. Backman – 6 J. Honka
  2. 2 A. Bodnarchuck – 22 N. Ebert
  3. 39 D. Stevenson – 17 L. Bystrom

Goaltenders

  1. P. Desrosiers
  2. M. Lagace

First period

The first period wasn’t kind to the Roadrunners. In the first 9 minutes, they played nice back-and-forth, fast-paced hockey. Michael Bunting (assists: Christian Fischer, Anthony DeAngelo) was even able to open the scoring 8:49 into the game.

After the Roadrunners had broken the scoreless tie, the Stars kicked into another gear. Just 1:11 later Matej Stransky (goal), Justin Dowling, and Denis Gurianov capitalized on a 3-on-2 and tied up the game. Just twelve seconds later Ethan Werek went five-hole on Hill, putting Texas in the lead (assists: Ludwig Bystrom, Dustin Stevenson).

After the two goals in twelve seconds, the Stars had all the momentum. There was even a frame towards the end of the period where Tuscon didn’t register a single shot for about three minutes.

Through 20 minutes of play, shots were 10- 7 Texas.

Second Period

Texas continued their dominance in the six minutes of the period until Ryan MacInnis provided the Roadrunners with a spark by fighting and decisively beating Jason Dickinson. Inspired by his teammate’s performance, Jamie McBain scored the tying goal just 16 seconds after the fight (fights do this: see my fighting article) The goal came 7:02 into the period and was scored off of a beautiful feed from Chris Mueller and Eric Selleck.

Ryan MacInnis in the heat of his second period fight against Jason Dickinson Source: Arizona Daily Star

Ryan MacInnis in the heat of his second period fight against Jason Dickinson
Source: Arizona Daily Star

After the goal and the fight, the Roadrunners kept their foot on the pedal; looking like an entirely different team than the one that started the second period. Tucson was rewarded for their effort at 18:47, deflected Chris Mueller deflected Kyle Wood’s slapshot on the powerplay play, taking the lead.

Unfortunately, Mike McMurty found the back of the net less than 20 seconds after Mueller’s goal, leaving the score tied at three going into the third. Shots in the second were 11-6 Texas.

Third Period

Adin Hill makes a save. Source: Arizona Daily Star

Adin Hill makes a save.
Source: Arizona Daily Star

In a scoreless third period, Roadrunners goaltender Adin Hill single-handedly kept Tucson in the game. Late in the period, he made his best save of the season stoning Texas’ top line cold on a 2 on 0. The Stars got the better of the play in the third period, outshooting the Roadrunners 12-8.

Overtime

In the first ever AHL overtime hockey period at the TCC, Hill continued to be the busier of the two netminders. Texas kept the puck in our zone for most of OT, chasing Tucson for most of extra time. The only meaningful scoring chance for the Roadrunners was an odd line change that gave Brendan Perlini a breakaway.

With the game on his stick, Perlini put some nice moves on Desrosiers but unfortunately missed the net. Moments later, Jason Dickinson scored his first of the season to give the Stars the win 3:51 into overtime (assists: Remi Elie, Mattias Backman). Shots in overtime were 3-1 Stars and 36-22 in the entire game.

Fortunately for the Roadrunners, the AHL awards two points for a win and one for overtime losses. As a result, the Roadrunners now have sole possession of first in the Pacific at 9 points (Even though Texas has 11 points the Roadrunners are considered first place by the AHL, because they have 9 points in 6 games, which is makes for a better points percentage than Texas’ 11 point in 9 games) .

Texas Stars 4- Tucson Roadrunners 3 FINAL (OT)


Takeaways 

Positives

  1. Kyle Wood had an assist. The AHL’s rookie of the month now has a point in all of Tucson’s games this season and is still Tucson’s leading scorer (2G-7A-9P).
  2. Ryan MacInnis deserves a lot of credit for getting in that second period fight, as it directly led to McBain’s tying goal. By him taking some of the momentum back, he allowed the Roadrunners to get back in the game. Without him, this game would not have gone OT, and the Roadrunners wouldn’t be in first place right now.
  3. Adin Hill’s third period performance. Hill once again showed everyone that he is an elite young goaltender and that he belongs here in Tucson; not down in the ECHL (double-A). If he can work a little on his consistency, there is no doubt in my mind that the 20-year-old will make it to the NHL.

Negatives

  1. A recurring problem for the Roadrunners this season is losing the possession battle and being outshot (they have been outshot in all but one game this season). Playing a strong possession game and outshooting Stockton is what led to their big win against the Heat last Sunday. The Roadrunners are blessed with great goaltending, but like I’ve said before you can’t expect your goalie to save you every game and despite his best efforts Hill couldn’t do it all alone.
  2. Kyle Wood’s ice time. Wood played great; it’s not his fault his name is in the negative column. Despite being our team’s leading scorer, Kyle Wood played on the third defensive pairing the entire night. And I think it’s pretty obvious that giving more minutes to our best player might help in winning games.
  3. Christian Dvorak’s ice time. At least Kyle Wood played.  Impact center Christian Dvorak was out there for exactly 0 shifts last night. The Roadrunners only had 22 shots on goal in the game, most of which were perimeter shots. Dvorak, who finished 2nd in OHL scoring last year could have given our team a much-needed boost. He wasn’t hurt or anything, Dvorak just was not placed in the lineup.

Look for the Roadrunners to rebound from a tough loss when they take on the Ontario Reign tomorrow at home at 7:05 PM.

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