The Tucson Roadrunners had a rough trip to San Diego this weekend, falling to the Gulls twice more — in regulation (8-3) and and in a shootout (3-2) — on Friday and Saturday.
The losses now puts Tucson’s record at 8-2-2-1. The Roadrunners also drop to third in the AHL with a 0.731 points percentage, behind the Toronto Marlies (.750) and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (.821).
Dylan Strome’s point streak continues
Roadrunners center Dylan Strome continued his point streak this weekend. The 2015 Arizona Coyotes’ first round draft pick from Mississauga, Ontario has now scored at least one point in each of his last four games.
On Friday, Strome scored a goal and recorded an assist, while he just recorded a single assist on Saturday.
Hey... Lawson Crouse also has a point streak
Left wing Lawson Crouse recorded an assist and a goal this weekend, also extending his point streak to four games, complementing that of Strome’s.
Crouse, another 2015 first-round draft prospect for the Coyotes, plays on the same line as Strome — which would explain the point streak — but if the two forwards keep it up, they can continue to do some damage in the AHL.
Marek Langhamer shines again
Although goaltender Marek Langhamer has only started in three games this season, he’s been having a great outing each time he hits the ice.
In Saturday’s 3-2 shootout loss to San Diego, Langhamer put asside 34 of 36 the regulation/overtime shot attempts against him (0.944 SV %).
Between his three games, Langhamer has recorded an average save percentage of 0.947 and a 1.59 goals-against average.
Tucson usually goes between Adin Hill and Hunter Miska — which is why Langhamer has played only three games — but Langhamer has shown to be an excellent choice as a third goaltender.
Special Teams is working... kind of
In Saturday’s shootout loss effort, Tucson lit the lamp on two occasions; both times were from the work of their power play unit. The Roadrunners are currently fourth in the Western Conference in power play production, scoring on 19.8 percent of the times they have a man advantage.
Tucson’s penalty kill, on the other hand, could use some work. In Friday’s 8-3 loss to San Diego, the Gulls scored on four of their nine power play opportunities. And it’s not necessarily the unit itself (it’s been known to score short-handed goals from time-to-time), it’s the fact they’re giving their opponents too many opportunities to score on the power play.
The Roadrunners semi-fixed this problem on Saturday, keeping their penalty minutes to only six on the night.
A big challenge coming up:
The Roadrunners will be returning to Tucson next weekend, playing two opponents. They will begin with hosting the Gulls on Wednesday, with hopes of winning their first game of the Border Cup series.
They will then take a day off before hosting the Stockton Heat. The Heat are currently knocking on the Roadrunners’ Pacific Division lead. While the Roadrunners have lost their last two games, the Heat are currently on a three game win streak — which could very well extend to four games, depending on what they do in Ontario on Wednesday.
Tucson will need to rise to their new challenge next weekend, because an escape from this battle won’t be easy. But for Tucson, a weekend like this is just what they need to wake up the team and set them up for success down the road for the rest of the season.
Tucson’s home matchup against San Diego begins Wednesday at 7:05 p.m at the Tucson Convention Center.