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Roadrunner Roundup: The Merrick(le) on Ice

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What we learned from Tucson’s wins over San Diego and San Jose

Photo courtesy of Tucson Roadrunners

The Tucson Roadrunners have gone on a run. After successfully sweeping the San Jose Barracuda on Friday and Saturday, they have now won three straight games and have moved back into first place in the Pacific Division, tying the Barracuda at 19 points. There’s a lot to look at throughout this weekend

UNFAZED:

9-1-0-1.... Four game winning streak.... a plus 22 goal differential... and four players with a shot percentage above 15% (with at least 10 shot attempts). The San Jose Barracuda were no joke of a team.

The Tucson Roadrunners seemed unfazed by these numbers put up by their then-incoming opponents. They dominated the ice on Friday, completing a 5-0 shutout victory. Tucson held San Jose to only three shots through the first 30 minutes. San Jose was able to complete the game with 19 shots, but the overall one-side dominance showed to be in favor of Tucson.

The same couldn’t be said about Saturday, however. Both teams displayed quite a sloppy performance, but Tucson still remained able to hold back a supposed “team on a historic run.”

THE MERRICK(LE) ON ICE

Coincidentally, that’s also Merrick Madsen’s twitter handle. With Adin Hill out with an injury and Hunter Miska called up to the Coyotes, The Roadrunners’ third string goaltender suited up for his first start on Wednesday against the San Diego Gulls. He put aside 19 of 22 shots that night in a routing win over their rivals.

Madsen got his second start just days later against the Barracuda, he recorded his first professional shut out. The very next day, he set aside 28 shots from San Jose to record his second consecutive shutout. He became the first ever Roadrunners goaltender to record back-to-back regular season shutouts.

It comes to a point where we forget that Madsen sat third in line behind Hill and Miska. Merrick Madsen, in less than a week of starting games, has become now a huge player to watch.

Other Meeps:

  • David Ullstrom registered a point in all of Tucson’s game on the week. He scored a goal against both San Diego and the first game against San Jose, and an assist on Saturday.
  • LEADERSHIP: Late last week, Dakota Mermis was named Tucson’s third captain in team history, succeeding Andrew Campbell from last season. Mario Kempe, Robbie Russo, and Laurent Dauphin were all named Alternate Captains — with Kempe a full-time alternate, and Russo and Dauphin splitting duties on select games.
  • WOOD RETURNS: Defenseman Kyle Wood returned to Tucson for the first time since being traded to San Jose for forward Adam Helewka this offseason. It seemed the Roadrunners fans took his return quite well, continuing the “Wood” chants whenever he would touch the puck.
  • INSIDE THE GLASS: Rob Leano breaks down Tucson’s weekend with Arizona Daily Star Freelance Writer, Eric Kloc on a KAMP-AM Podcast, Inside the Glass. Check it out here: