Miska great and goals late; Roadrunners best Barracuda
By: Alex Kinkopf
December 08, 2017 10:14 PM
Powerful finish. Pretty result.
With a pair of goals in the final moments of regulation Friday night, the Roadrunners topped the San Jose Barracuda by a 3-1 score at SAP Center.
Hunter Miska, making his ninth start of the season, was fabulous – turning away 33 of the 34 shots he faced to earn his seventh win of the campaign.
The club got off on the right footing as they began their two-game trek away from Tucson amidst a stretch of 28-straight games against Pacific Division opponents.
Another two points. Another big two points.
Michael Bunting opened the scoring in the closing moments of the first period when he hounded a broken play in the front of San Jose’s net, ultimately beating Antoine Bibeau after winning a race to a bouncing puck.
Bunting’s goal, his fifth of the season, extended his points streak to three games.
The Barracuda would tie the game 1-1 early in the second courtesy a Rudolfs Balcers goal.
Miska made 15 saves in the middle frame, the most by any goaltender in a single period against the Barracuda this season, all while standing strong during five penalty kills – including a full two-minute, five-on-three situation.
Late in the third, with the game seemingly heading to overtime, Mike Sislo jammed home a loose puck in San Jose’s crease as Ryan MacInnis’ shot from the slot snuck behind Bibeau.
Sislo’s goal, coming with 1:34 left in regulation, was his seventh of the season, and his second in as many games.
Seconds later, and with pressure in San Jose’s zone, Michael Bunting found himself alone with time and space after receiving a Michael Latta pass. Bunting, with patience, walked around Bibeau to score his second goal of the evening to give the Roadrunners a 3-1 lead with 1:03 left to play.
The Roadrunners are now 4-1-1-1 in seven games played on the road this season.
With an overall record of 12-4-2-1, the Roadrunners continue to situate themselves at first place in the Pacific Division with a .711 win percentage.
Miska’s 33 saves made is the rookie’s second-highest total in a single game. He is 7-1-0 on the season.
The team will finish its two-game road swing Saturday night when they take on the Stockton Heat at Stockton Arena, where the puck is scheduled to drop just after 7:00 PM MST.