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Roadrunners go the distance in point-boosting OTL to San Jose

By: Alexander Kinkopf
In gaining the upper hand early on, the Roadrunners were able to grind for a point against the Pacific Division-leading San Jose Barracuda in Friday night’s 4-3 overtime loss at the SAP Center.
The overtime defeat puts a much-welcomed dent in the club’s stretch of three consecutive regulation losses.
“A point is better than no point,” goaltender Hunter Miska, who stopped 29 of 33 shots faced, said. “I thought we had a strong game, but we need to have a big bounce back tomorrow and try to get a win and have a good Christmas break.”
The Roadrunners were able to find the back of the net first, Lane Pederson doing so just over 11 minutes in when he shoveled a backhand shot past San Jose’s Josef Korenar from the top of the crease.
Pederson’s goal, his seventh of the season, came during the Roadrunners’ first power play of the evening, and was made possible by an impressive keep-in from Trevor Murphy.
Nick Merkley earned his first assist of the campaign on the tally.
San Jose’s Dylan Grambell responded a minute-and-a-half later to even the score, 1-1.
Entering the second tied, it didn’t take long for the Roadrunners to reclaim a lead, Hudson Fasching tucking a wrap-around backhander past San Jose’s Korenar to give Tucson a 2-1 advantage.
Fasching’s goal came just 12 seconds into the middle frame; it stands as the fasted goal to begin a period in franchise history.
Now with nine goals on the season, Fasching leads the Roadrunners in scoring.
Just over five minutes later, defenseman Jordan Gross pinched to join an offensive play, firing a shot across his body and into the net from the slot, scoring his second goal of the year to give the Roadrunners a 3-1 lead with 14:27 left to play in the second.
The Barracuda would cut into Tucson’s lead with 5:54 left in the second via a goal from Jonathan Martin, making the score 3-2.
San Jose’s Keaton Middleton tied the game 3-3 with 13:20 left in regulation.
The Roadrunners entered overtime for the seventh time this season, and for the second-straight time when playing at SAP Center. Francis Perron netted the game-winner for the Barracuda 1:48 into the extra frame. Tucson is now 2-3 in overtime this season, and 3-4 in games that extend past regulation.
“It was a tough night, it was pretty frustrating coming out with a loss here,” Miska added. “I thought we had a pretty decent game, we’ve just got to get pucks in deep and stop turning pucks over at the blue-line and eliminate our odd-man rushes against us. I think once we figure that out, we’re going to be a pretty deadly team.”
Tucson’s record now stands at 15-8-3-1, 34 points and a .630 win percentage, good for maintaining second place in the Pacific Division.
Tyler Steenbergen registered his second-career multi-point game in the loss, finishing the night with two assists.
The Roadrunners will see the Barracuda again on Saturday night at the SAP Center, where the puck is scheduled to drop just after 7:00 p.m. MST.