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Pederson's hat trick powers Roadrunners to electrifying overtime win

By: Alexander Kinkopf
 
Photo: Chris Hook            
 
Shouldered by Lane Pederson’s first pro hat trick, the Roadrunners secured their fourth win in their past five games, downing the San Jose Barracuda by a 3-2 final in overtime Saturday night at Tucson Arena.
 
Pederson’s clincher came 59 seconds into the extra frame, and served as his third game-winning goal during the team’s current 4-1-0-0 stretch.
 
He upped his season goal total to 19, which leads all players on the team. His hat trick was the fifth in team history, and the second to be scored at Tucson Arena.
 
“Just unbelievable passes by everybody, I had a few more chances tonight that I probably should’ve capitalized on,” he said of his three tallies. “[Gregoire, Burke, and Chaput] real good looks, right place right time, lucky they went in.”
 
Head coach Jay Varady praised the second year pro after his uplifting performance:
 
“I think it was just fitting that he scored the overtime goal because I thought he was good all night long, creating chances for us, doing the right things, playing the right way,” he said. “The easiest way to describe Pedey, he’s a culture carrier. He’s a guy our organization is looking for in terms of how we want to play and does it every day, whether it’s practice or games, he’s right there and he’s doing the right things.”
 
San Jose was first to strike, the Barracuda taking a 1-0 lead just over seven minutes into the first period.
 
Pederson connected for his first of the night in the final minutes of the opening frame, corralling a Jeremy Gregoire feed and finding the back of the net to the far side after the Roadrunners regrouped to transition rapidly following a San Jose neutral zone turnover, tying the game 1-1.
 
 
The Barracuda took a 2-1 lead two minutes into the second period.
 
Just past the midway point of the second, Pederson, while operating the right point during a power play, took advantage of a copious amount of time and space after receiving a wondrous cross-ice pass from Brayden Burke, walking in with his head up to deposit a wrist shot low through the five hole, once again tying the game, this time 2-2.
 
 
The Roadrunners put on sustained pressure in the third period, outshooting the Barracuda by a hefty 13-4 margin, but would extend to overtime.
 
Less than a minute into the extra frame, Pederson buried a Michael Chaput back door feed to secure a 3-2 win for the Roadrunners.
 
 
With the win, the Roadrunners are now six points out of the Pacific Division playoff picture with nine regular season games remaining.
 
“It was huge,” Pederson said of the win. “We’re fighting every game, we’ve got to keep winning, we can’t wait for other teams to help us out to get to that end goal, the playoffs. We have to do our part, keep piling together games here, and with efforts like that tonight, most of the time we’re going to come out on the right side.”
 
The teams will meet again on Sunday afternoon at Tucson Arena, where the puck is scheduled to drop just after 4:05 PM.
 
Photo: Kate Dibildox