Last Week Today: A Playoff Promise
By: Alexander Kinkopf
April 02, 2018 2:28 PM
Playoff hockey was assured and secured Saturday night when the Roadrunners completed a weekend sweep of the Iowa Wild to clinch their first Calder Cup postseason berth in franchise history.
Tucson became the first team in the Western Conference to capture a spot this season, and the sixth in the league.
The Roadrunners scored a combined 10 goals during the weekend, four of which came off the stick of Michael Bunting, who, amidst a career-year, hit and surpassed the 40-point mark with a wondrous pair of games.
Friday night, a 6-4 victory, saw 12 different players find the score sheet, tying a season-high mark. The club’s six goals scored also matched a single-game season-high.
Lane Pederson capped off a third period comeback Saturday night, sniping home the game-winning goal with 36 seconds left on the clock to bump the Roadrunners to a 4-3 win.
The victory was just the team’s fourth when trailing after two periods of play this year; they entered the Saturday's contest with a 3-14-2-0 record when facing a deficit entering the final frame.
Hunter Miska, earning wins in both games, has strung together five-straight victories and has a total of 21 on the season.
The Roadrunners’ magic number to clinch the Pacific Division currently stands at 7.
Where They Stand:
Record: 38-19-5-1 (.651 win %)
Pacific Division: 1st Place
Western Conference: 1st Place
League: 4th Place
The Week That Was:
Friday, March 30
Roadrunners (6) at Wild (4)
Wells Fargo Arena
Saturday, March 31
Roadrunners (4) at Wild (3)
Wells Fargo Arena
Up & Down
Recalls (TUC --> ARI)
Assignments (ARI --> TUC)
Alumni in Action:
Trevor Murphy netted his first-career NHL goal on Monday night, burying a shot from the left half-boards high to the short-side past Louis Domingue to open the scoring in the Coyotes’ 4-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena. Murphy registered his first NHL assist on Thursday against the Los Angeles Kings.
Dylan Strome recorded three assists in the Coyotes’ 6-0 trouncing of the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night at Gila River Arena, and totaled four helpers during the week - including a gorgeous find of Brendan Perlini in Tampa Bay. He has six points (1G, 5A) in seven games with Arizona since his most recent recall.
Highlight of the Week:
Late in the third period Friday night at Wells Fargo Arena, Lawson Crouse skated into a stretch pass from Carter Camper and beat defensive coverage wide to the right to skate in alone on Iowa’s Niklas Svedberg. Crouse, upon bobbling the puck during side-to-side handling in close, batted the puck out of mid-air to score his 10th goal of the season, providing insurance in the Roadrunners’ 6-4 victory over the Wild.
Photo of the Week:
The Roadrunners huddle to congratulate goaltender Hunter Miska after the final horn Saturday night at Wells Fargo Arena, which made the team’s clinch of a Calder Cup playoff berth official. (Credit: Shane Abbitt – Iowa Wild)