After a blowout win Friday, the Tucson Roadrunners shut out the San Jose Barracuda 1-0 in a defensive, low-scoring matchup Saturday night.
The Roadrunners, who won 5-0 Friday, are now tied for first place in the Pacific Division with San Jose. Both teams have 19 points with a record of 9-3-0-1.
Roadrunners rookie goaltender Merrick Madsen earned his second career AHL shutout in only his fourth game played.
Stepping in for Tucson’s injured starter, Adin Hill, Madsen has not allowed a goal in 123 minutes, 5 seconds of play, and registered shutouts on consecutive nights.
Hudson Fasching scored the game’s only goal midway through the third period when his shot trickled past San Jose’s Antoine Bibeau.
After a poor showing Friday night, San Jose had a much stronger start Saturday, not allowing Tucson to dominate puck possession they way it did Friday.
Besides a roughing penalty in the last minute, the first period was uneventful, with neither team finding their way on the score sheet. Shots were nearly even at 11 for San Jose and nine for Tucson after 20 minutes.
Despite Tucson having two opportunities on the power play and San Jose having three, including the Adam Helewka’s roughing penalty that carried over from the first period, the second period saw even less offense than the first.
The scoreless tie remained after 40 minutes as the Roadrunners and Barracuda each registered only six shots in the period.
The lack of scoring chances was not due to a lack of opportunity. Each team spent plenty of time in their respective offensive zones but a slew of missed shots, passes, turnovers, and difficulties staying onside saw both teams generate few quality scoring chances. The second period ended with 4-on-4 action, as each club drew a pair of penalties in the last two minutes of the play.
For the first nine minutes of the third, play was largely the same as it was in the previous two periods. Both teams continued missing their passes and shots, and the Roadrunners were offside three times in the first 10 minutes of the period.
After Fasching found the back of the net, Tucson captured the momentum, giving San Jose very little time in the offensive zone in the final stages of the game.
With Laurent Dauphin in the box, San Jose pulled the goalie with 1:20 left, giving the Barracuda a two-man advantage in the last minute of the game. Tucson successfully killed the penalty to earn the win.
When asked what shutting out the Barracuda meant for the Roadrunners’ confidence, Fasching said “It’s inspiring for us; it’s good for us to go into a weekend and play tight like that.”