ROADRUNNERS REPORT: Games 31-40
Overall record: 24-13-2-1
Standings: First place, Pacific Division
TUCSON -- Through the American Hockey League All-Star break and into depths of the second half of the season, the Roadrunners continue to play a strong brand of hockey. Outweighing the team's attractive look in the standings is its perpetual yearn to improve and develop - which when done correctly, naturally translates into wins.
The team's recent 10-game run, a string in the schedule that expanded its travel destinations and welcomed an opponent to Tucson for the first-ever time, saw them post a respectable 7-3-0-0 record.
Success on the road continued, the Roadrunners winning five of their six games played in opposing buildings during that stretch, and are now a tantalizing 13-3-1-1 away from home.
In between it all came wondrous representation of the team in Utica, N.Y., during the 2018 AHL All Star Classic - where Nick Merkley, Dylan Strome, and Kyle Capobianco flourished in front of a nationally televised audience during the skills competition and the three-on-three challenge.
A season-long six-game road trip is next on the team's slate. They'll travel to four cities over a 13-day span as they look to maintain the promise shown for a postseason push.
WHAT A SHOW
On Sunday, Jan, 28, the Roadrunners' three representatives participated in the 2018 AHL All-Star Skills Competition - appearing in a combined four events and making a total of 10 appearances during the night.
One night later, in the 2018 AHL All-Star Challenge, Merkley, Strome, and Capobianco, representing the Pacific Division, combined for 17 points as they helped their team reach the championship game.
Nick Merkley (2G, 5A) led all players in points with seven, Kyle Capobianco (3G, 3A) finished with the second-highest total in registering six, and Dylan Strome contributed with three goals and an assist.
Strome's assist, a highlight-reel spin-o-rama pass to Rasmus Andersson which made it onto ESPN SportsCenter's Top 10 Plays, set-up the Pacific Division's game-winning goal in their 4-3 win over the North Division in the team's third and final round-robin game.
Mike Sislo set a new franchise record in registering points in nine consecutive games. In a streak that spanned from January 10 - 27, Sislo accumulated a total of 10 points (3G, 7A), breaking Dylan Strome's old franchise high of points in eight straight games.
The Roadrunners went to overtime in three straight games from Jan. 19-26, earning 2-1 wins in all of them.
Mario Kempe netted the game-winner on Jan. 19 against San Antonio, Lawson Crouse on Jan. 20 against San Antonio, and Dakota Mermis on Jan. 26 against Chicago.
The team is now 6-2 in overtime this season.
Hunter Miska won all five of his decisions during the Roadrunners' last 10 games, three of which came on the road. He has now won seven straight decisions dating back to December 29, and is a perfect 7-0-0 on the road.
Miska was the winning goaltender in two of the team's three overtime wins during the last 10-game stretch, and is now 5-0 in overtime games this season.
With 14 wins on the season, Miska is behind only Texas' Landon Bow (15) for the most wins among rookie goaltenders.
With their 4-1 victory over the Ontario Reign on Feb. 2, their 13th of such away from home this season, the Roadrunners surpassed their road win total from the entire 2016-17 campaign, when they finished with 12.
That win was also the team's 24th of the season. It took the Roadrunners until March 11, their 52nd game of the schedule, to earn 24 wins in 2016-17.
Of the Roadrunners' next 10 games, nine of them will come against Pacific Division opponents. The team will play four of those contests on home ice at Tucson Arena, where they're 11-10-1-0 this season, and the other six on the road, where they'll look to maintain a dominant presence, having gone 13-3-1-1 in opposing buildings so far this year.