In their second visit to the Bay Area this season, the Tucson Roadrunners rode in to the SAP Center, hungry to end a three-game losing streak. They were set to take on a recently heavily upset San Jose Barracuda team, who just lost their 10-game point streak on Wednesday.
In Friday’s edition of Tucson’s match with the Barracuda, it was the Barracuda who came out on top 4-3 in overtime in front of 4,455 fans.
Tucson captured a point in the overtime loss, but continues a streak of game losses to four games.
“It was a tough night tonight,” Roadrunners goaltender Hunter Miska said after the game. “It’s pretty frustrating coming out with the loss here, but I thought we had a pretty decent game.”
Miska was Tucson’s star of the night, saving 29 of 33 shots from the Barracuda.
“It felt pretty good,” Miska said on his personal performance. “Obviously, it wasn’t good enough to get the win, but I thought I played fine and stopped the puck when I could.”
After drawing a high stick penalty on San Jose’s Cavan Fitzgerald, Tucson was provided with a prime power play opportunity to score first. With the help of his power lay line mates, Lane Pederson would be the one to capitalize and draw first blood for the Roadrunners at 11:01 in the period.
Nick Merkley, who returned to Tucson a couple weeks ago off a long injury, recorded an assist in Pederson’s goal. To him, after about four games under his belt he feels like he’s feeling better in game speed.
“I had some chances tonight and it was nice to get that assist,” Merkley said after the game. “I think the speed’s coming back to me.”
Just under 90 seconds after Pederson’s goal, San Jose’s Dylan Gambrell found an open lane past Hunter Miska and tied it back up at 1 goal apiece. Gambrell’s goal triggered San Jose’s teddy bear toss for the night.
And right out of the gates into the second period, Tucson found their answer once more. Hudson Fasching found his opportunity in the wrap-around and buried it just 12 seconds into the period to give Tucson the lead once more. Then, just five minutes later Jordan Gross found another opportunity from the mid slot to extend Tucson’s lead to 3-1 over the Barracuda.
Miska dominated the crease through the second period, stopping 15 of 16 shots in that twenty minute frame. The lone goal that went past Miska was from Jonathon Martin at 14:06 into the period.
San Jose would eventually tie the game, however. Keaton Middleton would be the one to find a loose puck in heavy traffic that lead to the game-tying goal just 6:40 into the period.
With the game tied at the regulation end, the teams would head into overtime, where San Jose’s Francis Perron would end it with a shot quickly past Miska, giving the Barracuda the 4-3 win over Tucson.
“I think we need to come out tomorrow and play a 200-foot game and expect a win.” Miska said. “We need to get back on a winning streak and I think we’re going to have a good game tomorrow and come out with the win.”
Puck drop for Tucson-San Jose part 2 is set for Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m. PST / 7:00 MST.