RoadRunners nail down California split
'RUNNERS REWIND: The Phoenix RoadRunners followed up the ECHL All-Star Break by splitting a pair of games in central California losing at Bakersfield Friday and winning at Stockton Saturday. With a record of 15-21-6 and 36 points, the RoadRunners are currently fifth in the West Division and eighth overall in the National Conference.
Friday, rookie Mark Derlago tallied a pair of goals for the third consecutive game and goaltender Michel Robinson stopped 44 shots to lift the Bakersfield Condors to a 4-2 win over the Phoenix RoadRunners before 6,212 at Rabobank Arena.
Bakersfield (12-20-7) jumped ahead early as the Condors built a 2-0 first period lead. Andrew Ianiero opened the scoring 5:00 into the game when he received Sean Venedam's centering pass from behind the net in the slot and promptly snapped a wrist shot past RoadRunners goalie Dave McKee. Tim Konsorada made it 2-0 at 10:58 of the first rifling home his team-leading 22nd goal of the season off a pass from Brett Lutes in the left-wing corner.
Derlago extended the Condors advantage to three goals using a terrific individual effort to get around a RoadRunners' defenseman and sneaking the puck into the upper right corner of the net at 9:50 of the second period. Phoenix (14-21-6) finally broke through Robinson at 17:01 of the second as Peder Skinner scored on a five-on-three power play goal pushing a backhand shot over the left glove of the goalie Robinson to cut the Condors lead to 3-1 at the end of two periods.
The two clubs traded goals in the third period as Derlago scored his second of the night on a two-man advantage power play at 8:40, while Nathan Gillies potted his second goal in a RoadRunners uniform at 13:49 but that's as close as Phoenix would come.
Phoenix out-shot Bakersfield 46-41. McKee stopped 37 shots but fell to 4-6-3 on the season. The RoadRunners went 1-4 on the power play while Bakersfield was 1-8 with the man-advantage.
Saturday, center Daniel Sisca set the RoadRunners' ECHL single season assist record and Phoenix used 51 shots and goals from three different skaters to defeat the Stockton Thunder 3-1 before 7,552 at Stockton Arena.
The RoadRunners (15-21-6) ambushed Stockton (18-19-2) with a 21-shot first period and scored three times to build a commanding 3-0 lead after twenty minutes. Justin Maiser opened the scoring at 7:22 when he zipped a shot from the left-wing boards over the glove of Thunder goalie Tim Boron and into the back of the net. Ian Turner gave the RoadRunners a 2-0 lead beating Boron with a slap shot from the center blue line off a feed from Thatcher Bell in the left-wing corner at 11:00. Captain Reagan Rome capped the first period scoring with a five-on-three power play goal at 14:15.
The score would remain the same until the third period when Stockton's Greg Paukovich lit the lamp for his eighth goal of the season at 15:24, but that's as close as the Thunder would come.
Phoenix out-shot Stockton 51-29. Rudkowsky stopped 28 shots to improve to 8-14-3 on the season. The RoadRunners went 1-7 on the power play while Stockton was 0-5 with the man-advantage.
SISCA ETCHES HIS NAME IN THE RECORD BOOKS: Center Daniel Sisca collected his 31st assist Saturday breaking the RoadRunners' ECHL single season assist record of 30 previously held by Justin Aikins in 2006-07. Sisca leads the RoadRunners and ranks tied for 18th in the ECHL scoring race with 10 goals and 41 points through 41 games. The Woodbridge, Ontario native and fourth-year professional also became the fastest player in RoadRunners ECHL history to reach 40 points accomplishing the feat in just 40 games.
HOME SWEET HOME: Phoenix returns to US Airways Center Wednesday after completing a season-long 12-game road trip Tuesday in Fresno. Since their last home game Jan. 2 against Idaho, the RoadRunners have traveled a grand total of 11,232 miles with stops in Anchorage, Bakersfield, Fresno, Salt Lake City, and Stockton. Phoenix will open a five-game home-stand Wednesday, their longest since a season-opening 12-game road trip. The RoadRunners don't return to the road until opening a three-game series at Idaho Wednesday, Feb. 13.
POWER PLAY CONTINUES TO SHINE: The RoadRunners continued their strong play on the man-advantage away from US Airways Center last week converting on a pair of five-on-three power plays. Phoenix has a power play goal in 10 of their 11 games on this current swing with a trip-high of three coming back on Jan. 5 in Alaska. The RoadRunners are 5-19 on the power play in their last four games converting at 26.3%. They also have the ECHL's fifth best road power play with 26 goals in 131 chances, good for a 19.8% efficiency rate.
A PENALTY SHOT FOR US FINALLY: Center Gino Guyer was awarded the RoadRunners' first penalty shot of the season Saturday. However, it marked the fourth time this year that the RoadRunners played a game that included a penalty shot. In all three previous games the penalty shots were awarded to the opponent. The Pensacola Ice Pilots have played an ECHL season-high eight games that have included a penalty shot.
NEWS & NOTES: Goaltender Cody Rudkowsky captured his first career win against Stockton Saturday. Rudkowsky was 0-5-1 in his previous seven starts versus the Thunder...Center Peder Skinner has matched a career-high with his current five-game point streak. Skinner has five goals and seven points since Jan. 16...The RoadRunners are sixth in the ECHL in penalty minutes per game averaging 21.98 minutes per contest. Phoenix is fourth in total penalty minutes with 923.
WATCH THE 'RUNNERS LIVE IN '07-08: The RoadRunners have teamed up with B2 Networks to bring you live action of Phoenix RoadRunners hockey in 2006-07. RoadRunners fans will be able to click the "Watch Online" link at www.phxroadrunners.com to view and listen to the game. These broadcasts are available to fans for a charge of $6 per game. All 36 RoadRunners home broadcasts will be available in addition to over 25 road games in Alaska, Idaho, Las Vegas, Stockton, Utah, and Bakersfield. A cable or DSL Internet connection and Windows Media Player 9 are required to view the games.
UP NEXT: The RoadRunners play four games in five nights this week visiting Fresno Tuesday and returning home to open a five-game home-stand Wednesday against Las Vegas and continuing Friday and Saturday against Idaho. Catch Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday's action live on Independent 1310 KXAM and all four contests at www.phxroadrunners.com beginning with "RoadRunners Countdown" twenty minutes prior to face-off. Information on season tickets, half-season packages, and flex plans for the 2007-08 season of Phoenix RoadRunners Hockey are available by calling (602) 462-GOAL.
ECHL Stories from January 28, 2008
- Bakersfield gaining ground in National Conference - Bakersfield Condors
- Steelheads Off The Hook - Idaho Steelheads
- RoadRunners nail down California split - Phoenix RoadRunners
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