Roadrunners Capture 5-2 Win, Continue San Diego Dominance
The Roadrunners ran away with a four-goal third period to secure their eighth consecutive victory over the San Diego Gulls, topping their division rival once again by a 5-2 margin Wednesday night at the Valley View Casino Center.
They have not lost to the Gulls since February 3.
The team has now earned points in seven of its last eight visits to San Diego, posting a 6-1-0-1 record in a span that dates back to November 18 of last season.
"It was a big win for us on the road," Laurent Dauphin said. "It's been a long road trip, and it was a good team [we were against] like always in San Diego, so a good win on the road for us."
Despite being down key names due to NHL recalls, the Roadrunners played a sound, solid game while dressing 11 forwards and seven defensemen. Defenseman Trevor Murphy, for instance, took a handful of shifts at forward to even out the imbalanced lineup, while others found themselves getting newfound opportunities during special teams situations.
"That's who we are, it shouldn't really matter when guys are out of the lineup, that's just opportunity for somebody," head coach Jay Varady noted. "Whether that's a different line, a power play, a penalty killing role. Whatever it is, it's a new opportunity on the ice, and I think the guys did a good job with that tonight."
Improving to a 5-0-0-0 mark against the Gulls this season alone, the Roadrunners had to overcome an early deficit, San Diego's Corey Tropp potting the lone goal of the first period.
With just under eight minutes left to play in the second, Laurent Dauphin got the Roadrunners on the board, scoring his third goal of the season when he drove to the net and beat Kevin Boyle with a move to his backhand after receiving a cross-ice pass from Adam Helewka.
The clubs entered the third period in a 1-1 tie.
Early in the third, Cam Dineen found the back of the net with a wrist shot from the point, beating Kevin Boyle high to the blocker side, scoring the first goal of his professional career. Dineen's goal gave the Roadrunners a temporary 2-1 lead.
San Diego's Kalle Kossila would once again tie the game, this time at a 2-2 count, with 9:49 to play in regulation.
A mere 44 seconds later, Hudson Fasching fired a wrist-shot home to the far side from the left dot, scoring his seventh goal of the season after Dysin Mayo and Tyler Steenbergen won a puck battle low in the offensive zone to give the Roadrunners a 3-2 lead.
Connecting on a three-pass sequence with less than five minutes left in regulation, Adam Helewka buried the Roadrunners' fourth goal of the evening, putting the finishing touches on a well-executed zone entry with Michael Bunting and Kyle Capobianco to give the Roadrunners a 4-2 lead.
"We had good pushback at key moments in the game," Jay Varady added. "Obviously they scored a power play goal to tie it up, and we were able to come back the next shift with great effort and find the back of the net again to create a little separation in the back half of that third period."
Hudson Fasching added an empty net goal with seven seconds left on the clock, putting the final tally on the board in the team's 5-2 win.
Hunter Miska stopped 21 of the 23 shots he faced to earn his fifth win of the season.
Michael Bunting (3A) registered the first three-point performance of his professional career, and is one assist shy of Chris Mueller for the all-time franchise lead.
The Roadrunners will begin a four-game home stand Friday night at Tucson Arena against the Ontario Reign, where the puck is scheduled to drop just after 7:05 PM.
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