The Tucson Roadrunners clinched the American Hockey League's Pacific Division title Wednesday night with a 4-0 win at San Diego.
Goalie Adin Hill led the way for Tucson with a stout defensive effort while Lawson Crouse scored a pair of goals.
The Roadrunners' offense broke through in the second period when Conor Garland scored eight minutes in on an assist by Mario Kempe and Trevor Murphy. With just under three minutes to go in the period, Tucson added to its lead on a score from Crouse assisted by Dylan Strome.
Murphy scored midway through the third period to add insurance. Crouse and Sislo provided the assist. A goal by Crouse with four minutes to go put the game away for good.
Hill, meanwhile, stopped 13 shots in a busy first period that ultimately netted no score. Hill’s 36 saves marked his most this season. With the win, Hill moves to 18-11-4 on the year; he has won his last three starts.
Tucson (40-20-5-1) entered Wednesday one point shy of winning the division. Second-place Ontario’s loss to Stockton was enough to clinch the title regardless of the Roadrunners' result against San Diego.
The Roadrunners are still fighting for a Western Conference title, which would ensure the team home ice through the first three rounds of the playoffs if they make it that far. The Chicago Wolves of the Central Division are also in contention.
Tucson’s magic number to win the conference stands at one point.
The Roadrunners will host San Diego (36-21-3-1) twice this weekend to conclude the regular season. The teams would play each other to start the playoffs if the current standings hold. A win by the Texas Stars Wednesday pushed the Gulls into fourth place in the division.
San Diego will arrive in Tucson playing for the only open remaining playoff spot in the AHL. San Jose and Stockton are still mathematically alive, but the Gulls need just one more point to clinch.