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Roadrunners Report: Games 51-60

Tucson is trying to climb the standings late in its first season

by Alexander Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Tucson Roadrunners

ROADRUNNERS REPORT: Games 51-60

Record: 3-6-1-0

Overall record: 25-28-7-0

Standings: Seventh place, Pacific Division

TUCSON -- The second half of the Roadrunners' season has been a perpetual battle for consistency in both the win column and on the roster.

A trip to the Calder Cup Playoffs, which was ever promising during the team's majestic run out of the gate earlier in the season, is all but out of the question as the club approaches its final slate of regular-season games.

Tucson is in seventh- place in the Pacific Division with a 25-28-7-0 record, and barring any extreme shifts in the standings, the cap to the inaugural season is likely imminent with eight contests left on the schedule.

During the last 10-game stretch, the Roadrunners have posted a 3-6-1-0 record while adding a new face to the roster and proudly sending two names up to the NHL for some late-season time with the Coyotes.

On March 19, defenseman Zbynek Michalek was recalled by the Coyotes. He rejoined the team only Shane Doan has played more games with in the organization's 20-year history.

In 43 games with the Roadrunners this season, Michalek registered 14 points (6G, 8A) while providing a highly valued veteran presence both on and off the ice for the team's young core.

Just two days after Michalek's recall, forward Christian Fischer got his second call to the Coyotes, and made his presence known right away, scoring his third NHL goal five minutes into Arizona's 5-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Chris Mueller, who has added eight points to his season total of 55 during the team's previous 10 games, is now just two shy of tying his 57-point total scored during the 2015-16 campaign with the San Diego Gulls.

Mueller is on pace to tie or exceed his career-high mark of 60 points, which he accumulated during the 2011-12 season with the Milwaukee Admirals.

On Saturday, the Roadrunners honored captain Craig Cunningham in a pre-game ceremony. Cunningham was accompanied by his mother, Heather, along with the two doctors, Zain Khalpey and George Haloftis, who have been by his side throughout his recovery process.

AHL President and CEO Dave Andrews was in attendance for the ceremony and presented Cunningham with the puck used when he scored the first goal in franchise history on Oct. 14 in San Diego, as well as a signed plaque and jersey from all 48 AHL All-Stars.

NOTES:

• Mueller (14G, 41A) leads the team with 55 points. He is tied for eighth in the league in that department.

• Fischer leads the team in goals with 19.

• Jamie McBain is second in the league in power-play assists with 23.

• Fischer (19G, 24A - 43PTS) is fifth among rookies in scoring, and Kyle Wood (13G, 27A - 40PTS) 16th.

• Wood is ranked first among rookies in power-play points scored with 25.

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