The Tucson Roadrunners are showing no let-up in offensive production as the team nears the midway point of the regular season.
It helps when everybody is contributing.
The Roadrunners will bus south to Southern California for two contests this weekend following Wednesday night’s 4-2 win at Stockton. The team will play at Ontario on Friday night and San Diego on Saturday.
Seven different Roadrunners tallied points in Wednesday night’s win, Tucson fifth in a row.
“It gives life to your bench to see other guys scoring,” Roadrunners head coach Mike Van Ryn said last week.
“When we can get everybody involved, all four lines, and guys are all contributing and feeling good, the morale and the confidence is just so much greater.”
The Roadrunners (18-10-2-1) benefited from some of that confidence in Stockton.
Tucson got off to a slow start against the Heat and fell down 1-0 early in the second period.
The Roadrunners’ offense began clicking midway through the second period, when Jens Looke scored on an assist from Michael Bunting and Kyle Wood.
Tucson added three goals by three different skaters in the third period to earn the decisive road win. Goalkeeper Hunter Miska stopped 27 shots to earn his 10th win of the season.
None of Tucson’s goals came off the power play, a statistic that is perhaps just as impressive as the number of Roadrunners who earned points.
Last weekend, coach Mike Van Ryn had cautioned against relying too heavily on power play goals.
Tucson is back in familiar territory playing Ontario and San Diego.
The Roadrunners have found mixed success against the southern California teams thus far. Tucson is 4-2 against Ontario and 2-3 against San Diego.
“Ontario and San Diego, they’re hard working teams and they have some big older guys,” Van Ryn said. “They play hard and we have to be ready for it.”
The Roadrunners fell to Ontario 6-3 in Tucson last Saturday on a night where Van Ryn credited the Reign for outworking his squad.
Tucson’s last meeting at San Diego resulted in a 4-1 Roadrunners win.
A pair of road wins would add some distance between Tucson and its competition in the American Hockey League Pacific Division standings.
Tucson currently leads the Division with a .629 winning percentage, followed by Stockton and San Diego at .591