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Chaput, Roadrunners surge to third straight win

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Micheal Chaput’s 2-goal game leads Tucson to win over playoff bound Iowa Wild in weeknight bout

Photo courtesy of Tucson Roadrunners

The Tucson Roadrunners are on a roll. After a long seven game losing streak just weeks ago, Tucson finds themselves in a good position. First, they announce new “Kachina-themed third jerseys” to be worn next season; and now they have won three straight games.

They began by sweeping the 6th place Stockton Heat on the road last weekend; and returned home to take a commanding 5-2 win over the visiting Iowa Wild on Tuesday.

“I think the guys skated tonight,” Roadrunners coach Jay Varady said after Tuesday night’s game. “I think they won their races, won their battles, they got to the net and they got rewarded for it.”

The game was ultimately won by two major keys. The first was capitalizing on special teams. Tucson was given six opportunities on the power play on Tuesday; they converted on two of those six. They also minimized Iowa’s opportunities by limiting their power play chances to only three on the night.

The other major key for Tucson was a new found leadership in veteran forward Micheal Chaput — who was acquired at the trade deadline from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Coyotes’ center Jordan Weal.

Chaput put the Roadrunners up on the board late in the first to tie the game, and quickly jumped to give them the lead — with the help of linemate Micheal Bunting — just two minutes later.

After Tuesday’s win, Varady provided high praise for Chaput and his quick jump to a leadership position within the Roadrunners.

“I think (Chaput) has got a lot of respect from our group instantly when he steps in and the way he goes about his buisness,” Varady said. “All you gotta do is spend a day or two around the team and see he’s a true leader in every sense of the word.”

The Roadrunners will be playing the same Iowa team at home tonight, followed by two more home games this Saturday and Sunday against the San Jose Barracuda. With a tight stretch of games so close to each other, the players are looking forward to take on the challenge rather than go to practice.

“Sometimes when you practice a lot in between games, you kind of lose that confidence and that edge that you have when you win a few games,” Chaput said. “We just won three in a row, and it’s good for our confidence. If we keep playing, I think it’s beneficial for us.”

For more updates on the Tucson Roadrunners, follow Rob Leano on twitter @RobLeano1