In a key matchup, the Tucson Roadrunners decisively beat the Stockton Heat 4-1 on the road. First place in the Pacific Division was on the line last night; with Tucson needing a win to keep it and Stockton needing a win to capture it. Jon Gillies started in goal for Stockton and Marek Langhamer made his seventh start of the season for the Roadrunners.
The Roadrunners came out to a slow start in first period, getting badly outposessed and outshot 15-8. Stockton’s pressure rewarded them with the first goal of the game and the only goal of the period. Langhamer kept the Roadrunners in the game in the first period making many great saves, including a low pad stop late in the period (shown above).
The Heat continued carrying the play for the first seven minutes of the period until they gave Tucson their first powerplay of the game. One chance on the powerplay was all the Roadrunners needed to tie it up. Tucson took all of the momentum after that following up with two more powerplay goals, scoring a total of three in just 3 minutes and 55 seconds.
Both of Dauphin’s, Fischer’s and Ryan MacInnnis’ goals are shown in the video above (the second goal was reviewed and deemed a good goal).
The Heat looked like a completely different team after Tucson stunned them with three powerplay goals. Tucson momentum allowed MacInnis (shown at the end of the second video) to put the Roadrunners up 4-1 two minutes and 46 seconds in. After that, Tucson kept the pressure on denying Stockton of any meaningful scoring chances for the rest of the game. The Roadrunners’ outstanding play frustrated the Heat, making for a very chippy period, which was clear in Tucson’s biggest fight of the season (shown above).
- The powerplay. The Roadrunners went 3 for 6 on the powerplay last night, shocking the Stockton Heat with three powerplay goals in less than four minutes. Those three goals changed the course of the game, turning a poor effort into a great game.
- The last 33 minutes. The last 33 minutes of the game (after Tucson’s first powerplay) was hands-down the best hockey the Roadrunners have played all season. They played physical (how about those fights?), took shots and were holding on to the puck. The Heat are a very good team, they were second in the division, and the Roadrunners totally dominated them in the latter half of the game. The Roadrunners also outshot the Heat 16-12 in this part of the game.
- Marek Langhamer. Langhamer was lights-out for the Roadrunners in net last night. He stopped 35 of Stockton’s 36 shots, and kept Tucson in the game in the first half.
- The first 27 minutes. The Roadrunners and Heat both looked like completely different teams in first 27 minutes of the game. Stockton outshot Tucson 24-11 in this part of the game and were throughly out-playing the Roadrunners. Until they drew that “too many men on the ice” penalty, it looked like nothing was going to keep Stockton from winning.
Look for the Roadrunners to build off of this great win when they take on the San Antonio Rampage tomorrow at home.