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Tucson Roadrunners Roundup: after a hot start, a slip in the AHL

The Roadrunners have started to cool off after a hot start to the season.

Arizonia Coyotes v Chicago Blackhawks
Tucson’s brightest star this season is so bright, they noticed him all the way up in Phoenix.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

This weekend was a rough one for the Tucson Roadrunners to say the least. Their three-game California road trip is one they will want to forget after dropping all three games and only tallying two goals all weekend.

Last Week’s Action

On Wednesday the Roadrunners faced off against the San Diego Gulls. The 5-1 loss was a game that head coach Mark Lamb referred to as the worst game the team has played all season. Adin Hill recorded only his second loss all season in net after facing 29 shots. However there were bright points to the loss. Conor Garland finally got the monkey off his back and scored his first AHL goal. With assists on the goal, forward Matia Marcantuoni and defenseman Zybnek Michalek tallied their first AHL points.

On Friday the Roadrunners faced off against the Ontario Reign. Adin Hill, who has secured seven out of Tucson’s nine wins this season, was a healthy scratch as Marek Langhamer made his third start of the season after being recalled from the ECHL. Mark Cooper made his Roadrunner’s debut, playing in only his third career AHL game. The night would be soured though as after ending the first period 1-1, the Reign would score three unanswered goals to end the game 4-1.

The final blow of the road trip came on Saturday when the Roadrunners took on the Bakersfield Condors. This was a rough game for Tucson. Goalie Justin Peters made his second start of the season, as Hill backed him up. Anton Lander scored a hat trick on the way to a 5-0 win. This loss was the first time the Roadrunner’s have lost to the Condors this season and the first time they have been kept off the scoreboard.

This final loss marks the end of the 37 days that the Roadrunners kept a hold of the first-lace spot in the Pacific Division.

Player of the Week

It should be no surprise that this honor is going to none, other than Brendan Perlini. Since his transition from the OHL to the AHL he has been on fire. This month he was named AHL Rookie of the Month. with nine goals and three assists in the Roadrunners nine games in November. His six-game goal streak which matches the longest goal streak by an AHL rookie since the nine straight scored by Tyler Johnson in March 2012.

Perlini has been the Roadrunners’ MVP since the beginning of the season and it seems the Coyotes think so too as they recalled Perlini Sunday morning for two NHL games.

Tucson Tidbits

  • Three roster moves were made on Sunday afternoon. The Coyotes assigned center Laurent Dauphin and defenseman Tony DeAngelo to the Roadrunners. In a corresponding move the Coyotes recalled forward Brendan Perlini.
  • The Roadrunners were outscored 14-2 over their three game swing in California.
  • Chris Mueller currently leads the team in points with 17 in 16 games. Right behind him, tied for second are Perlini and Kyle Wood.
  • The games against the San Diego Gulls that were originally scheduled to be played on November 22 and 23, that were postponed have now been rescheduled and will play on Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 7:05 p.m. MT and Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 7:05 p.m. MT

And perhaps the best news of all: captain Craig Cunningham appears to be doing much better:

No matter how the rest of the season plays out, that’s the most important thing.