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Roadrunners Report: Games 21-30

The Coyotes' AHL team is keeping pace with the leaders in the Pacific Division

by Alexander Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Tucson Roadrunners

ROADRUNNERS REPORT: Games 21-30

Record: 6-3-1

Overall record: 17-9-4

Standings: Third place, Pacific Division

TUCSON -- Tucson's inaugural American Hockey League roster, during the early months of the season, was tested emotionally and mentally in steadfast fashion.

Now comes the physical aspect. Can this team hang? Can it stay healthy? Are the playoffs a real possibility?

The physical hurdles only come naturally, as they do with any team when a club approaches the midway point of a grueling 68-game regular-season schedule. The Roadrunners, though, working through a constant cycle of assignments, call-ups, and injuries, have remained in the thick of the pace in the AHL's Pacific Division. 

During the club's previous 10-game stretch, it endured its longest losing streak of the season, while matching it mark for the most games won in consecutive fashion. 

Headlining the team's second four-game win streak of the season, which came during an eight-game stretch from December 20-28, was its affinity for winning games after regulation time. With a pair of shootout wins, along with one in overtime during that string of four straight victories, the Roadrunners improved to a 7-3 mark in games that extended past the 60-minute mark. 

Tucson won five straight games that went into overtime or a shootout, a streak that was snapped in its 3-2 overtime loss to the Stockton Heat on Jan. 6. 

Tucson snapped its season-long four-game losing streak on Jan. 10 in a 5-2 victory over the Manitoba Moose with a little help from Brendan Perlini. Perlini, who was assigned to the Roadrunners during the Coyotes' NHL-mandated bye week, registered a hat trick in his one game back with Tucson. 

In 17 games with the Roadrunners this season, Perlini has totaled 19 points (14 goals, five assists), flaunting by far and away the best shooting percentage in the league (28.6 percent).

Perlini's hat trick was the second in Roadrunners history, following up Christian Fischer's three-goal performance on Dec. 16 in San Antonio. 

Fischer is tied with Perlini for the team-lead in goals with 14, and has registered 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) in the team's previous 10 games. He has been held off the score sheet only twice in the last 13 games, a period of time that included a seven-game point streak. 

Fan favorite Adin Hill was recalled to the Tucson during the first week of January, and in three starts back with the club, he has helped the Roadrunners earn five points in those three decisions, where he posted a 2-0-1 mark, making a combined 109 saves. 

On Jan. 5, defenseman Kyle Wood was named to the AHL All-Star Game along with Perlini. Through the first 30 games of the season, the Wood, 20, has averaged a point per contest, racking up eight goals and 22 assists. 

The Roadrunners are averaging 3,970 fans through 16 home games played at Tucson Arena this season, a building in which they've posted a magnificent mark of 11-3-2-0. Tucson's record on home ice this season is the best in the Pacific Division, and second overall in the AHL. 

NOTES:

• Forward Chris Mueller (seven goals, 26 assists) leads the team with 33 points. He is 13th in the league in that department.

• Christian Fischer leads the team in goals (15).

• Jamie McBain is tied for the league-lead in power-play assists with 16.

• Kyle Wood is ranked fourth in power-play points scored with 19, and first among defensemen.

• Kyle Wood's 30 points are the third-most among rookies.

• Tucson's .636 win percentage in overtime (5-4-2-0) is fourth-best in the league.

• The Roadrunners are one of only four teams to not allow a shootout goal this season. Justin Peters has stopped all six shots faced.

COMPLETE TEAM STATS

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