Roadrunners respond, rebound with 3-2 win over Stockton
By: Alexander Kinkopf
November 21, 2018 10:07 PM
The Roadrunners responded in a big way Wednesday at Tucson Arena, rebounding to beat the Stockton Heat 3-2 after suffering their worst loss of the season the night prior.
The victory put the team into double-digits in the win-column, improving their record to 10-5-0-1.
Snapping their two-game losing skid in the process, the Roadrunners were carried by their special teams via two power play goals and keeping Stockton’s man advantage off the scoreboard.
“It was huge. We won the special teams game; I thought our power play was great, and I thought our penalty kill was great,” Jay Varady said. “[Assistant coaches John Slaney and Steve Potvin] are the guys working on those situations all the time, they put a lot of energy and effort into it, and it was great to see players and everyone get rewarded.”
Adin Hill put forth a solid showing after his rather difficult return to the net Tuesday. He turned away 25 of 27 shots faced to earn his fourth win of the season.
“He’s a guy who plays with a lot of confidence, he’s fun to have in the net, and you know he’s going to be competing every night,” Conor Garland said of Hill. “It was huge to get him a win. I know he was working real hard off the ice and in the gym to get back in, so it was nice to see him bounce back like that.”
After Stockton built a 2-0 lead early in the second period, the Roadrunners’ offense got to work, eventually rallying to comeback with three unanswered goals.
Laurent Dauphin registered the team’s first goal of the evening when he buried a Michael Bunting feed from the back-door during a delayed penalty. Dauphin’s goal, his second of the season, got the Roadrunners to within one with 10:45 to play in the second period.
Just over two minutes later, Conor Garland struck for the first of his power play two goals on the evening when he corralled a well-place pass from Kyle Capobianco and beat Nick Schneider to tie the game.
Garland struck yet again a mere 38 seconds after knotting the score, wristing a shot from the top of the left circle past Stockton’s Schneider to give the Roadrunners a 3-2 lead.
“Those two goals were good plays that were drawn up by our power play coach [Steve Potvin],” Garland noted. “Our power play had been struggling so we were real focused on it, we had a few meetings the last couple of days, we felt like we were going in the right direction and we finally broke through.”
The Roadrunners’ three goals came in a 2:39 span, the fastest the club has ever scored that many in franchise history.
The team now ventures out to begin a four-game road trip Saturday night against the Bakersfield Condors at Rabobank Arena, where the puck is scheduled to drop just after 8:00 PM PST.
*Photos courtesy: Kate Dibildox & Chris Hook