Tucson Roadrunners can't muster victories against San Jose over weekend
Tucson Roadrunners Alternate captain Chris Mueller winning a face-off against San Jose Barracuda center Daniel O’Regan
The Tucson Roadrunners competed in two games on Friday and Saturday against the team currently in first place in the Pacific Division, the San Jose Barracuda. The Roadrunners dropped both games in tightly contested games. The Barracuda leaves Tucson with a 14-game winning streak and a 4-point lead over the second place San Diego Gulls. The Roadrunners fell from fourth place to fifth with two losses at home. The Roadrunners and the Bakersfield Condors both have 50 points.
Friday’s game was a physical game that saw plenty of fights and roughing penalties. A total of 60 minutes of penalties split between the two teams including a game misconduct call for both teams. The Roadrunners scored one power play goal on three attempts, while their penalty kill killed off all five attempts against them.
“That's the game plan every night, we are a physical team," said Roadrunner forward Eric Selleck. "We want to them work harder than us to beat us. We will expect the same tomorrow and we will be working hard again.”
Tucson Roadrunners Goaltender Adin Hill was an emergency recall for the, NHL affiliate, Arizona Coyotes, on Friday. Coyotes goalie Mike Smith was ill, so Adin Hill traveled to Dallas to play back up goalie. Tucson Roadrunners were left with one goaltender and did not have time to call up a goalie for ECHL affiliate Rapid City Rush. Nathan Schoenfeld, whose father-in-law works for the Arizona Coyotes, gave him a call and asked if he wanted to spend the day in Tucson and play back up goalie to Marek Langhamer. Schoenfeld made the trip down, arrived at the arena around 5PM and took warm ups with the team. Schoenfeld signed a one day contract and was released on Saturday when Adin Hill returned to Tucson.
“It's always fun being in the locker room with the guys, that's the one thing once you stop playing you always miss," said Schoefeld. "It's always the fun part just hanging out with guys a little bit.”
Saturday was a competitive game, the Barracuda was able to push the game into overtime with a late third period goal and eventually won the game in overtime. The Tucson Roadrunners came up big with a late third period 5-on-3 penalty kill and finished off that kill in the overtime period. Hill was back in net for the Roadrunners where he allowed four goals facing 38 shots. The Roadrunners scored one power play goal on three attempts. San Jose scored one power play goal on six attempts. The Barracuda also scored a shorthanded goal, their second in two games.
“Obviously both games we came back from being down. It's hard to be positive after a loss, but we battled back in the third," said Roadrunner forward Christian Fischer. "Some guys stepped up and scored some goals.”
Key Roadrunner Players:
Forward Laurent Dauphin scored three goals last weekend giving him 12 for the season. Fischer had three points on Friday with two assists and one goal putting him one away for 20 on the year. Alternate captain Chris Mueller had two assists on Saturday giving him 34 for the year which ties him for third most in the AHL.
The Tucson Roadrunners return to action on Tuesday to host the Bakersfield Condors in a makeup game from a cancellation earlier this season.
Follow Tanner Harris on Twitter.