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RoadRunners Weekly Update

December 19, 2005 - ECHL (ECHL) - Phoenix RoadRunners News Release

Phoenix, Ariz. - WEEK RECORD 1-2-0 - SEASON RECORD 9-13-2 - 6th WEST DIVISION

‘RUNNERS REWIND: The Phoenix RoadRunners closed out their ninth week of the season on a good note by dropping the Bakersfield Condors 3-1 on Sunday at America West Arena. The victory snapped a brief two-game losing streak. Phoenix remains in sixth place in the West Division with 20 points, just one point behind fifth place Victoria and 10 points behind fourth place Utah.

Friday, The Bakersfield Condors used three third period power play goals to defeat the Phoenix RoadRunners 6-4 before 5,622 at America West Arena.

Bakersfield (9-7-4) jumped on the scoreboard just 4:47 into the first period. Nate Metcalf's shot from the blue line beat RoadRunners goaltender Mathieu Chouinard along the ice to give the Condors a 1-0 lead.

Kevin St. Jacques extended the lead to 2-0 at 2:52 of the second period. St. Jacques collected the puck behind the net and wrapped it through the legs of Chouinard to open the period. However, the RoadRunners (8-12-2) would counter with a pair of goals 1:08 seconds apart. Dean Tiltgen re-directed Jake Riddle's centering feed past Bakersfield goaltender Ryan Munce at 10:38 to cut the deficit to 2-1. Jason Deskins brought Phoenix back to even strength when his blast from the right-wing circle zipped over Munce's blocker and into the back of the net at 11:46 to the game at 2-2.

The Condors scored two quick power play goals to open the third period. Sean Venedam gave Bakersfield a 3-2 lead 1:39 into the period. Metcalf made it 4-2 at 4:11 when his shot from the blue line deflected off Chouinard's glove and trickled into the net. The RoadRunners struck back at 8:43 as Adam Kostichka poked Shawn Snider's rebound past Munce to cut the deficit to 4-3. However, Joel Irving snuck another power play goal around Mike Mole in relief of Chouinard at 9:55 to extend Bakersfield's lead back to 5-3. Tiltgen brought back the RoadRunners to within one again at 5-4 when he tipped Cousineau's pass by Munce at 13:17, but Mike Hofstrand finished the scoring with a breakaway goal at 17:02 to make the final 6-4.

Bakersfield out-shot Phoenix 47-36. Chouinard stopped 28 shots in falling to 4-4-0 on the season. The RoadRunners went 1-6 on the power play.

Saturday, Jeff Drummond tallied his first two professional goals and goaltender Greg Hewitt stopped all 24 shots he faced to lead the Long Beach Ice Dogs to a 5-0 shutout victory over the Phoenix RoadRunners before 1,811 at the Long Beach Arena.

Drummond got the Ice Dogs (13-11-2) on the board when he slipped a backhand shot past RoadRunners' goaltender Mike Mole from the top of the crease at 10:40 for a 1-0 lead. Long Beach extended their lead to 2-0 at 17:29. Drummond charging through the slot took a centering pass from Ash Goldie in the corner and beat Mole with a wrist shot over the right shoulder for the tally.

Chris Kenady kept it going for the Ice Dogs to start the second period. Kenady's shot along the ice from the right-wing corner kicked off Mole's pads and trickled into the cage just 1:07 into the second period to give Long Beach a 3-0 lead. Luke Fritshaw put an end to Mole's night when after an unsuccessful clearing attempt, Fritshaw collected the puck at the right point and put a wrist shot over the goaltender's glove for a 4-0 advantage. Justin Aikens capped the scoring for the Ice Dogs with a power play goal at 12:02 to make it 5-0 after two periods.

Long Beach out-shot the RoadRunners (8-13-2) 33-24. Mole stopped 13 shots in falling to 4-9-2 on the season. Phoenix went 0-3 on the power play.

Sunday, Mark Wires tallied the go-ahead and eventual game-winning goal with 3:58 remaining in the third period to lead the Phoenix RoadRunners past the Bakersfield Condors 3-1 before 3,347 at America West Arena.

Kevin Truelson got Bakersfield (9-9-4) on the board first with a power play goal at 9:59 of the first period. Truelson beat a screened goaltender Mike Mole with a wrist shot from the point to give the Condors a 1-0 lead. The RoadRunners (9-13-2) would counter with a power play goal of their own in the final minute of the period. Shaun Fisher found Shawn Snider in front of the net, and Snider snapped a shot past Condors goaltender Ryan Munce at 19:07 of the period to tie the game at 1-1 heading into the first intermission.

It would remain that way until under four minutes remaining in regulation. Fisher set up Mark Wires with a pass at the side of the net, and Wires pushed it past Munce at 16:02 of the third to give the RoadRunners a 2-1 lead. Dean Tiltgen finished the scoring with an empty-net goal at 19:12.

Bakersfield out-shot Phoenix 36-20. Mole stopped 35 shots to improve to 5-9-2. The RoadRunners went 1-5 on the power play and killed off 10 of 11 power play chances for the Condors.

DOING IT WITH DEFENSE: After allowing 11 goals on Friday and Saturday, the RoadRunners surrendered just one tally in Sunday's victory. Phoenix has given up just 32 goals in their last 11 games, an average of 2.90 goals against per game. That's nearly a one goal improvement from their first 13 games when the RoadRunners were averaging 3.84 goals against per game. Phoenix is 6-5-0 in their last 11 contests after opening the season with a 3-8-2 mark.

KILLING THEM OFF: Sunday's 10-11 effort on the penalty kill improved the RoadRunners overall penalty kill efficiency to 81.1%, good for 15th in the ECHL. That is less than a percentage point below the league average of 81.9%. Phoenix has been on the penalty kill 53 times in their last six games and has killed off 43 power plays.

THE 400 WATCH: Captain Dean Tiltgen tallied three goals over the weekend and is now just four points shy of 400 for his professional career. Tiltgen is attempting to become the first player in the ECHL to record his 400th point and play in his 500th game in the same season since Stefan Rivard accomplished the feat with the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies during the 2003-04 campaign. On his current pace, Tiltgen will play in his 500th career game on March 17 at Bakersfield. Tiltgen has four goals in his last four games.

ANOTHER MEMBER OF THE CENTURY CLUB: Forward Mike Ouellet skated in his 100th professional game yesterday. Ouellet has tallied 22 goals and 60 points over three professional seasons.

CALIFORNIA DREAMING: With Sunday's win, the RoadRunners are now 6-5-2 this season against their Pacific Division rivals. Phoenix has had the most success against San Diego by going 3-1-0 against the Gulls. The only team in the division that the RoadRunners have a losing record against is Long Beach. Phoenix is 1-2-2 in five meetings with the Ice Dogs.

HOME COOKING: Between now and January 19, the RoadRunners will play 10 of their next 13 games at America West Arena. After January 19 Phoenix will have only 12 home games remaining in the regular season. The RoadRunners are currently 4-7-2 at home this season.

DIVISION DUELS: Beginning Wednesday against Idaho, Phoenix will play 16 of their next 22 games against teams from within the West Division. Included in that stretch is seven games with the first place Alaska Aces. The RoadRunners have gotten off to a slow start in the division with a record of 3-8-0.

UPCOMING ROADRUNNERS PROMOTIONS: It's the Famous Dave's Holiday Game this Wednesday when the RoadRunners host the Idaho Steelheads at 7:11PM. The first 2,000 kids 12-and-under will receive RoadRunners Stockings just in time for the holidays, and fans will get samples of Famous Dave's BBQ Sauce upon exiting America West Arena. Thursday, join the RoadRunners at Alice Cooper'stown following their 7:11PM game with the Idaho Steelheads for "Thirsty Thursday". Enjoy pints of Bud and Bud Light for just $3, the "Best Damn Margarita" for only $4 and other great drink specials throughout the night.

WATCH THE ‘RUNNERS LIVE IN '05-06: The RoadRunners have teamed up with B2 Networks to bring you live action of Phoenix RoadRunners hockey in 2005-06. 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, Pensacola, Las Vegas, San Diego, Utah, and Bakersfield. A cable or DSL Internet connection and Windows Media Player 9 are required to view the games.

UP NEXT: The RoadRunners will welcome the Idaho Steelheads to America West Arena this week for a two-game series before taking a seven-day break for the holidays. Phoenix hosts Idaho at 7:11PM on Wednesday and Thursday. Catch all three games live on News Talk Radio 1100AM KFNX and Pro Sports Radio beginning with "RoadRunners Countdown" twenty minutes before opening face-off.

PHOENIX ROADRUNNERS SCHEDULE WEEK OF DECEMBER 19th

Monday, December 19: Off Day

Tuesday, December 20: Practice 10AM-11:30AM @ Alltel Ice Den

Wednesday, December 21: Morning skate @ 10AM; RoadRunners vs. Idaho 7:11PM

Thursday, December 22: Morning skate @ 10AM; RoadRunners vs. Idaho 7:11PM

Friday, December 23: Off Day

Saturday, December 24: Off Day

Sunday, December 25: Off Day

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