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Wires Lights Lamp in Roadrunners' 3-1 Win Over Bakersfield

by Andrew Nordmeier
December 19, 2005 - ECHL (ECHL) - Phoenix RoadRunners

At Christmas, most men like electronics, gifts that usually come with wires. For Phoenix Head Coach Ron Filion and the Phoenix Roadrunners, Mark Wires made them feel almost as happy as his first goal of the season lifted Phoenix to a 3-1 win over the Bakersfield Condors Sunday night at America West Arena.

"Fisher had tremendous vision and it was a beautiful lane right to me," Wires said about the setup for the game-winning goal, "I don't know how he saw me but he gave me a pass right on the tape."

Wires made no mistake with the picture-perfect pass and beat Bakersfield goaltender Ryan Munce for his first goal of the season at the 16:02 mark.

Even with Wires' goal and Dean Tiltgen's empty-netter with 48 seconds left to ice the win, the news wasn't all-good for the Roadrunners.

"We're losing again two good players today in (Jake) Riddle and (Shaun) Deskins, Filion said about the two players who will be missing time with ankle injuries, "That's where the biggest part of my frustration comes. We had a great line with Tiltgen, Riddle and Deskins, probably our best line this year and now I lost two of those guys."

Heading into the third period, the outcome was certainly in doubt as the score was tied at 1-1 and the Roadrunners were in an all-too-familiar position. They were down two men due to penalties in the final minute of the second period on Wires and Brad Woods and Bakersfield was on a two-man advantage. Add to that the pair of 10-minute misconducts Shawn Snider and Dean Tiltgen were assessed and Phoenix was essentially down four men heading into the last period.

The Roadrunners were able to withstand the Bakersfield rush early in the period and killed off both halves of the two-man advantage. They were also whistled for three more penalties in the next seven minutes but killed them off as well to survive 11 Condor power-play chances with only allowing one score.

Bakersfield started the scoring with Kevin Truelson's power-play goal at 9:59 of the opening period. His long shot from the point found the net behind Roadrunner netminder Michael Mole who was screened on the play and is Truelson's second of the season.

Phoenix responded with a power-play goal of its own in the closing minute of the first period. Snider deked his away around Munce and slipped the puck home at 19:07 for his sixth goal of the year. The second period was scoreless and that set up the third.

Phoenix finished 1-of-7 on the power play while Bakersfield went 1-for-11. The Condors outshot the Roadrunners 35-20. Munce takes the loss and drops to 7-2-4 on the year. Mole picks up his fifth win of the season and stands at 5-9-2 on the season.

"The guys kept battling hard and kept their focus. All the credit to them, they deserved the win," Filion said.

Phoenix has little time to enjoy the win as they have to face the Idaho Steelheads Wednesday and Thursday before heading out for the holiday break.

"A win tonight was huge for us and we're going to have carry that momentum into Wednesday's game," Wires said.

Three Stars

3. Mole-PHX Stopped 34of 35 shots in the win.

2. Fisher-PHX Two assists in the winning effort.

1. Wires-PHX Game-winning goal on a pretty play.

Notes: Riddle played on an injured ankle. The extent of the injury is unknown but could be a high ankle sprain or a possible fracture...Roadrunner defenseman Dusty Demaniuk missed his third straight game with an unspecified injury...Phoenix allowed the first goal for the fifth straight game...Phoenix was shorthanded 42 times in its previous five games coming into this game...The Roadrunners have given up 10 power plays in three of their last four games...Phoenix forward Ben Knopp is scheduled to start skating tomorrow after being injured in late October against San Diego. San Diego's Doug MacIver jumped Knopp, literally, and as he fell to the ice, Knopp's knees popped back on Oct. 29. He said he expects to be back in the first half of January...Attendance was 3,347.

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