On their season-high six game road trip, the Tucson Roadrunners earned only 2 of a possible 12 points; a dismal 0.1667 points percentage. This rough stretch has seen them fall to 4th place in the Pacific Division, just ahead of the Texas Stars and behind San Jose, San Diego and Ontario.
In their first game back at the TCC in weeks, they fell to the San Jose Barracuda 4-3. Heading into the game, the Barracuda, AHL affiliate of the San Jose Sharks were the hottest team in the AHL, winning 12 straight games.
Marek Langhamer started in goal for Tucson as Adin Hill was called up to the NHL just hours before the game. Veteran goaltender Troy Grosenick was between the pipes for the Barracuda.
Road Trip Recap
- Friday February 10th 3-2L vs. Texas Stars
- Saturday February 11th 6-2L vs. Texas Stars
- Tuesday February 14th 4-1L vs. San Jose
- Friday February 17th 4-1L vs. Ontario
- Saturday February 18th 5-2W vs San Diego
- Wednesday February 22nd 3-0L vs. Ontario
Friday night wasn’t a bad night for the Roadrunners; they had a strong forecheck, special teams were excellent and stayed in it throughout the game. The game was tied 1-1 at the end of the first, 2-2 after the second, and the Roadrunners even had a 3-2 lead at one point in the third period.
The main place where their game fell apart was discipline; as the Roadrunners had 31 penalties in minutes (PIM). If you want to win a hockey game, you can’t spend that much time in the box as it stalls the offense and kills momentum. The Roadrunners also seemed to be playing frustrated hockey, often seen on teams battling through a tough part of their season. Throughout the night you saw a lot of passes at the feet, and guys were running into each other, a sign of poor on-ice communication.
However, this was a close game and there were quite a few things to like. One was the play of the first line, consisting of Laurent Dauphin, Christian Fischer, and Chris Mueller. The Roadrunner’s top line was responsible for all three of Tucson’s goals, scoring a combined 3 goals and 3 assists. The Roadrunners also didn’t let the Barracuda dominate puck possession, getting outshot only 27-24.
Overall, it was a solid effort out there for Tucson, if they just communicate out there, stay out of the box, and get some secondary scoring, they should be able to bounce back with a win Saturday night.