Tucson Roadrunners

Roadrunners sweep two game home series against Ontario Reign

Friday and Saturday were a huge test for the Roadrunners. Heading into the weekend the 2015 Calder Cup champions (which Ontario won as he Manchester Monarchs, just before relocating to California) and the Roadrunners were the two the top teams in the AHL’s Pacific Division.

19 Chris Mueller and 24 Anthony DeAngelo talk before a faceoff Source: Tucsonroadrunners.com

19 Chris Mueller and 24 Anthony DeAngelo talk before a faceoff
Source: Tucsonroadrunners.com


Friday, November 4th

TUCSON ROADRUNNERS 3  ONTARIO REIGN 2 FINAL, SHOTS 41- 20 ONTARIO

Game Notes

Kyle Wood was honored by Roadrunners’ GM Doug Soetaert for being named AHL rookie of the month in a pre-game ceremony.

First Period, Tied 1-1

Despite being outshot (like they were in all six periods of this two-game series), the Roadrunners played a solid period. The play was very fast-paced, and both teams were always changing possession. Tucson was able to jump out to a lead, but they conceded the equalizer very quickly. But overall, they were able to completely match the Reign in their play. Former Coyotes fan-favorite Paul Bissonnette and Tucson’s Stefan Fournier got in a fight which earned both players game misconducts.

Second Period, Tied 2-2

The second period saw a Les Cunningham (AHL MVP trophy) worthy performance from Roadrunners starting goaltender Adin Hill. Give the Roadrunners credit for being able to capitalize on the limited scoring chances they got, but had the man between the pipes not stood on his head in the second, the score would have easily been 5-2 Ontario. I know that the official shot totals were 14-6 Ontario at the end of the period, but the Reign must have had 30 shot attempts (shots are only counted if they hit the goalie) in the periods, many of which were narrow misses. Hill was hard at work, making great save after great save.

Third Period, Tucson wins 3-2

The Roadrunners responded with a strong physical effort in the third period. They gave Hill a lot more support and the play from Christian Fisher to Brandon Burlon, which resulted in the game-winning goal was textbook. All in all, the Roadrunners would not have won this game if it wasn’t for Adin Hill. He continued making great saves through the period, and Hill made three great saves in the final minutes of the game, to keep it from going into overtime.

Scoring Summary

First Period, shots 11-7 Ontario, Tied 1-1

  1. 13:01 Tucson: J. McBain (2) Assists: B. Perlini (3), C. Cunningham (3) (PPG)
  2. 14:18 Ontario: V. LoVerde (3) Assist: M. Latta (2)

Second Period, shots 14-6 Ontario, Tied 2-2 

  1. 17:03 Tucson: M. Bunting (3) Assists: T. Gaudet (3), C. Cunningham (4)
  2. 18:53 Ontario: V. LoVerde (4) Assist: A. Kempe (2)

Third Period, shots 16-7 Ontario

  1. 12:27 Tucson: C. Fischer (2) Assists: M. Bunting (1) , B. Burlon (3)

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. Fischer
  3. 9 H. Samuelsson – 20 R. MacInnis – 44 E. Selleck (A)
  4. 23 G. Ross – 26 S. Fournier – 22 C. Garland

Defensive Pairs (LD – RD)

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

Goaltenders

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

Ontario Reign lineup

Forward Lines: (LW – C – RW)

  1. 27 M. Mersch(A) – 19 M. Amadio – 16 S. Backman (A)
  2. 9 A. Kempe – 7 B. Sutter – 28 J. Lowry
  3. 25 S. Herr – 21 A. Crezcenzi – 39 J. Auger
  4. 15 P. Bissonnette – 24 M. Latta – 22 J. Brozinski

Defensive Pairs (LD – RD)

  1. 6 P. LaDue – 20 K. MacDermid
  2. 8  Z. Leslie – 5 V. LoVerde (C)
  3. 10 A. Lintuniemi – 55 Z. Trotman

Goaltenders

  1. 29 A. Lindback
  2. 36 J. Flinn

Saturday, November 5th (military appreciation night) 

TUCSON ROADRUNNERS 5, ONTARIO REIGN 4 FINAL (OT), SHOTS 48-28 ONTARIO 

Game Notes 

First Period, tied 2-2

The Reign dominated the possession game in the first period, which led to their early 2-0 lead and ended up outshooting Tucson 17-9 in the period. The only time the Roadrunners were able to get scoring chances was on the power play (where they scored both of their goals). An MVP-worthy performance from Adin Hill is what once again kept the ‘runners in the game.

Second Period, Tucson up 4-3

The second period was very good for the Roadrunners, an early shorthanded goal by Tyler Gaudet completely took the wind out of Ontario’s sails for the whole period. Tucson completely matched this excellent Reign team; they kept the scoring chances and the possession battle very close which rewarded them with a 4-3 lead heading into the third.

Third Period, tied 4-4

If Hill was an MVP in the first, he wasn’t human in the third. He faced 15 high-quality shots in the third (compared to 4 going back the other way), and the Roadrunners spent almost the whole period in their zone. Although he faced 2 more shots in the first period, many of those were perimeter shots. The majority of Ontario’s shots in the third, however, from the slot or inside the face-off circles. If Hill were anything other than superhuman this game would not have gone to overtime.

Overtime, Tucson wins 5-4

Roadrunners celebrate game winning overtime goal. Source: Tucsonroadrunners.com

Roadrunners celebrate game winning overtime goal.
Source: Tucsonroadrunners.com

Tucson won the possession battle in overtime; Hill continued his dominant play by turning away all 4 of the Reign’s shots, and defenseman Anthony DeAngelo was able to net the game-winner in a thrilling overtime period.

Scoring Summary 

First period, shots 17-9 Ontario, tied 2-2  

  1. 2:43 Ontario Andrew Crezenzi (2) Assists: Zach Leslie (4), Paul Bissonnette (1)
  2. 2:59 Ontario T. J. Hensick (3) Assist: Kurtis MacDermid (2)
  3. 8:37 Tucson Brendan Perlini (3) Assist: Jamie McBain (2) (PPG)
  4. 14:37 Tucson Brendan Perlini (4) Asissts: Chris Mueller (5), Anthony DeAngelo (5) (PPG)

Second period, shots 12-11 Ontario, Tucson up 4-3 

  1. 1:41 Tucson Tyler Gaudet (2) Assists: None  (SHG)
  2. 12:34 Ontario Paul LaDue (1) Assists: None
  3. 18:33 Tucson Michael Bunting (4) Assists: Christian Fischer (3), Anthony DeAngelo (6)

Third Period, shots 15-4 Ontario, tied 4-4

  1. 13:09 Ontario Adrian Kempe (2) Assists: Brett Sutter (1), Zach Trotman (2)

Overtime, shots 4-4, Tucson wins 5-4

  1. 3:16 Tucson Anthony DeAngelo (1) Assist: Craig Cunningham (5)

Tucson Roadrunners lineup

Forward Lines: (LW – C – RW)

  1. 27 M. Bunting – 10 T. Gaudet – 36 C. Fischer
  2. 11 B. Perlini – 14 C. Cunningham (C) -19 C. Mueller (A)
  3. 9 H. Samuelsson – 20 R. MacInnis – 44 E. Selleck (A)
  4. 23 G. Ross – 26 S. Fournier – 22 C. Garland

Defensive Pairs (LD – RD)

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

Goaltenders

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

Ontario Reign lineup

Forward Lines: (LW – C – RW)

  1. 28 J. Lowry – 17 T. Hensick – 39 J. Auger
  2. 27 M. Mersch(A) – 19 M. Amadio – 16 S. Backman (A)
  3. 9 A. Kempe – 7 B. Sutter – 22 J. Brozinksi
  4. 15 P. Bissonnette – 21 A. Crezcenzi –  – 24 M. Latta

Defensive Pairs (LD – RD)

  1. 8 Z. Leslie – 5 V. LoVerde (C)
  2. 6 P. LaDue – 20 K. MacDermid
  3. 10 A. Lintuniemi – 55 Z. Trotmam

Goaltenders

  1. 29 A. Lindback
  2. 36 J. Flinn

Takeaways

Positives

  1. Adin Hill. Someone call the cops because Adin Hill robbed the Ontario Reign of 4 points this weekend. The 20-year-old was the best player on the ice by a mile for both teams. If it were up to me, I would have given him all three stars in both games last weekend. He was that good.
  2. Christian Fischer’s Hockey IQ. One thing that stood out this weekend was Fischer’s patience and vision in the offensive zone. He showed himself to be an extremely intelligent player every time he stepped on the ice, making smart passes, smart plays and not rushing anything. If you read our website a lot, you know how much I like puck possession and how important it is; Fischer has that part of the game down. Look for the 19-year old to develop into an elite play-making winger over the next few seasons in Tucson.
  3. Special teams. The Roadrunners powerplay and penalty kill was excellent this weekend. They managed to score three power play goals this weekend and one shorthanded goal. Besides the incredible play from Adin Hill, special teams were the biggest reason why we got two wins this weekend.

Negatives

  1. Still too many shots against. I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record here, but the Roadrunners can’t keep losing the possession battle and getting outshot this badly. If the season ended today Adin Hill would win the Les Cunningham Award as AHL league MVP; he has had to consistently face and stop an obscene number of shots. Without him, the Roadrunners would have maybe two wins on the season, not six. To ensure long-term success, the Roadrunners have to work on limiting scoring chances.

This weekend’s games were the final two of the Roadrunners’ five-game homestand. The Roadrunners will take on the Bakersfield Condors in a pair of away games this Friday and Saturday at 7:05. Check your local TV listings or go to the AHL’s website for a live-stream.

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