Helewka's two give Roadrunners late edge in 3-2 win over Chicago
By: Alexander Kinkopf
January 12, 2019 10:36 PM
A pair of clutch third period goals off the stick of Adam Helewka helped drive the Roadrunners to a 3-2 win over the Chicago Wolves Saturday night in front of 5,898 at Tucson Arena.
The win was the Roadrunners’ 20th of the season, matching their pace from the 2017-18 campaign when they also earned their 20th victory in their 34th game of the year.
The club owns a 20-10-3-1 record at season's midpoint, boasting a .647 win percentage that stands as the third-highest in the American Hockey League.
“I think we’ve been able to survive,” said head coach Jay Varady when asked about the team’s first half. “We’ve had lots of things happen; injuries, call-ups, things of that nature, and we just keep finding a way, so I think that’s a little bit of what our identity is, we just keep clawing away at whatever’s coming at us and have a really good attitude about it.”
Calvin Pickard got the call to make his fourth consecutive start, the final of his conditioning assignment from the Arizona Coyotes. He stopped 28 of the 30 shots he faced to earn his third win with the Roadrunners.
Chicago, though, would be first to find the back of the net Saturday when Tomas Hyka gave the Wolves a 1-0 lead with 7:21 left to play in the opening frame.
In the late stages of the first, Domenic Alberga connected to score his first-career AHL goal when he beat Chicago’s Zachary Fucale from close range after receving a pass from Giovanni Fiore on a play that was set up by Kyle Capobianco.
Alberga’s goal tied the game 1-1 with 3:50 left in the first.
The Wolves would score the lone goal of the second period, Brookes Macek giving Chicago a 2-1 advantage with 6:40 left in the middle frame.
With less than 10 minutes left to play in regulation, Helewka drove to the net during a Roadrunners power play to jam a rebound home from a Robbie Russo shot to tie the game 2-2.
Just over three minutes later, and with only 5:13 left on the clock, Helewka sped into a Michael Bunting pass as the two entered Chicago territory and gave the Roadrunners a 3-2 lead as he found the back of the net with a quick move to his backhand.
Helewka’s goals, his 10th and 11th of the season respectively, put him atop the roster for the lead in that department.
“Massive goals,” Varady said of Helewka’s tallies. “Adam has that ability to change a game, and we saw that offensive flair tonight.”
Lane Pederson registered assists on both of Helewka’s goals, giving him three points on the weekend and 20 on the season.
The Roadrunners will venture out on a two-game road trip to take on the Colorado Eagles next Friday and Saturday at the Budweiser Events Center.
*Photos courtesy: Chris Hook & Kate Dibildox