Hudson Fasching steals the show as Roadrunners earn series split with San Diego Gulls

The Coyotes’ and Anaheim Ducks’ AHL affiliates battled it out on Friday and Saturday


James Mackey

The Roadrunners’ record now stands at 5-6-1 in the packed Pacific division.

Following last weekend’s pair of games with the Texas Stars — and after losing Cam Dineen, Barrett Hayton, and Ivan Prosvetov to the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes — the Tucson Roadrunners opened a new series against the San Diego Gulls with a new-look roster.

The first game in Tucson on Friday night saw Liam Kirk extend his point streak to four consecutive games, but San Diego skated to a 5-1 win. Two goals from Alex Limoges and one each from Sam Carrick, Jack Badini, and Jacob Perreault accounted for the visitors’ barrage.

Saturday’s battle was a must-win for the Roadrunners to get back to .500. The home team responded to Friday’s defeat with urgency and chippy hockey, posting three goals in the first 20 minutes. Hudson Fasching notched two, the first with assists from Janis Moser and Ben McCartney, and the second unassisted. Cameron Hebig recorded the other goal, his first in 2021/22, with Tyson Empey tallying his first assist on the young season.

Brendan Guhle got the Gulls with just over two minutes remaining in the first period, and San Diego did not take long to get going in the second period. Mason MacTavish, the third overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, scored 3:16 into the frame, and Danny O’Regan got the equalizer 33 seconds later.

McCartney restored Tucson’s lead 10 minutes later, with Fasching providing an assist for the third point in his eventual five-point night. Five minutes after that, Fasching completed his hat trick, with helpers from Jan Jenik and Hudson Elyniuck.

San Diego was not done yet, though, as Hunter Drew‘s goal with 50 seconds to go in the frame made it 5-4 entering the final 20-minute period. Now in preservation mode, Tucson applied pressure and tried to take the game to the Gulls in the third period.

The Roadrunners’ efforts paid off with Jenik landing an insurance goal, and a late penalty kill ensured the hosts would skate off with a 6-4 win.

Though Kirk’s points streak ended, the Roadrunners went home happy, improving their record to 3-3. Goaltender Josef Korenar got in the win column for the first time this season, bringing his record to 1-2.

Tucson heads on the road next to play the Henderson Silver Knights on Nov. 5 and 6. before returning to Tucson Convention Center Arena for a set with the first-place Ontario Reign.