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Last Week Today: Back On The Board

By: Alexander Kinkopf

The Rundown:

First off, Michael Bunting’s first NHL goal celebration.
How fantastic.
Bunting, during an intermission interview with Fox Sports Arizona’s Todd Walsh, said the following when told of Tucson’s excitement for his first NHL goal: “I’ve been [in Tucson] for the last three years since things started there and I can’t say enough good things about that town and the support they have for us down there. It’s a great city to play in and it’s a lot of fun.”
Shout out to Coyotes play-by-play broadcaster Matt McConnell as well for tabbing the line of Bunting, Mario Kempe, and Conor Garland as ‘The Tucson Trio’ during Tuesday’s broadcast and parts of Thursday’s. Trademarked!
Back to business: Roadrunners style. It’s no secret the week was a rather busy one for the club as they played four games in seven nights to finish off a saturated stretch that called for eight games in 15 days.
Following a victory on Tuesday against the Colorado Eagles, the Roadrunners were unable to find the win column, losing three games in consecutive fashion for the first time this season.
Welcome back! Nick Merkley returned to the team’s lineup on Wednesday, playing in his first game since March 20 of last season. It didn’t take Merkley long, donning his new number #10, to find the back of the net, doing so on Saturday night against the Chicago Wolves at Allstate Arena, stuffing a wrap-around bid past Oscar Dansk.

Where They Stand:

Record: 15-8-2-1 (.635 pts %)
Pacific Division: 2nd Place
Western Conference: 2nd Place
League: 6th Place

The Week That Was:

Tuesday, December 11
Roadrunners (2) vs. Eagles (1)
Tucson Arena
Wednesday, December 12
Roadrunners (0) vs. Eagles (2)
Tucson Arena
Saturday, December 15
Roadrunners (2) at Wolves (4)
Allstate Arena
Saturday, December 16
Roadrunners (1) at Wolves (5)
Allstate Arena

Up & Down

Recalls (TUC --> ARI)
  • None
Assignments (ARI --> TUC)
  • Tuesday, December 11: Nick Merkley
  • Monday, December 17: Michael Bunting
  • Monday, December 10: Darik Angeli – Recalled from ECHL-Norfolk
  • Thursday, December 13: Travis Howe – Released from PTO

Alumni in Action:

Michael Bunting scored his first NHL goal in his first NHL game Tuesday night at TD Garden, poking a loose puck through Tuukka Rask’s pads with five minutes left to play in the second period, inching the Coyotes to within one in the team’s eventual 4-3 loss to the Boston Bruins. He became just the 12th player to ever score in his first NHL game with the Arizona Coyotes.

Highlight of the Week:

Late in the first period of Friday night’s 4-2 loss to the Chicago Wolves at Allstate Arena, defenseman Kyle Capobianco joined a rush and opened up for Adam Helewka before wiring a wrist-shot past Oscar Dansk to the top-right corner, picking his spot and hitting it directly to bury his third goal of the season to tie the game 1-1.

Photo of the Week:

Forward Nick Merkley stands on the blue-line as pregame festivities wind down Wednesday night, preparing to return to the Roadrunners’ lineup for the first time since March 20 of last season. (Credit: Kate Dibildox)