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'RUNNERS REWIND: The Phoenix RoadRunners slowed down the hottest team in the National Conference last week by sweeping a pair of games from the Stockton Thunder Friday and Sunday at Stockton Arena. With a record of 17-17-3 and 37 points, the RoadRunners sit in fifth place in the West Division four points behind fourth place Utah and in eighth place in the National Conference.

Friday, the Phoenix RoadRunners got a goal and an assist from Kimbi Daniels and Ashton Rome and snapped the Stockton Thunder's seven-game winning streak with a 4-1 victory before 5,745 at Stockton Arena.

The RoadRunners (16-17-3) jumped out to a 1-0 first period lead when Rome beat Stockton goalie Bryan Pitton through the pads with a slap shot from the top of the right-wing circle for his team-leading 18th goal of the season at 8:16.

Stockton (17-18-5) netted the equalizer less than two minutes into the second period when Cory Urquhart picked up the loose puck in the slot and slapped it past an out-stretched RoadRunners' goalie Craig Kowalski at 1:43 to tie the game at 1-1. The RoadRunners reclaimed the lead in the eighth minute of the second period with the Thunder on the power play. Kowalski cleared the puck to an open Dan DaSilva at the Stockton blue-line, and DaSilva moved in one-on-one against Pitton and flipped the puck over the Thunder net-minder and into the cage at 7:01 for a shorthanded tally and a 2-1 Phoenix lead.

Daniels gave the RoadRunners some much needed insurance when he fired a one-time slap shot from the slot past Pitton at 6:40 of the third period to extend the RoadRunners advantage to two goals. P.J. Fenton sealed the win with an empty-net goal at 18:41.

Stockton out-shot Phoenix 34-18. Kowalski stopped 33 shots to pick up his third straight win and improve to 13-11-1 on the season. The RoadRunners went 0-2 on the power play while Stockton was 0-6 with the man-advantage.

Sunday, P.J. Fenton recorded his first career multi-goal game with a pair of tallies and the Phoenix RoadRunners throttled the Stockton Thunder 5-1 to sweep a two-game weekend series before 4,849 at Stockton Arena.

Following a scoreless first period, the RoadRunners (17-17-3) struck three times in the middle frame to build a 3-1 lead. Matt Burke opened the scoring just 1:38 into the period when he received a pass across the slot from Kimbi Daniels and tapped it past an out-stretched Stockton goalie Bryan Pitton and into the net for a 1-0 lead. Stockton (18-19-5) responded just 1:08 seconds later when Adam Huxley jammed a loose puck through RoadRunners goalie Craig Kowalski at 2:46 to tie the score at 1-1. Phoenix re-claimed the lead at 7:01 as Ashton Rome tallied his team-leading 19th goal of the season deflecting Brett Peterson's point shot past Pitton and in. Fenton then gave the RoadRunners some late period insurance when he beat Pitton with a wrist shot and a shorthanded goal over the blocker at 17:25 to give Phoenix a 3-1 advantage going into the second intermission.

Fenton extended the RoadRunners lead to three goals at 9:19 of the third period when he picked up Daniel Sisca's rebound and tapped the puck into the open cage. Mitch Carefoot capped the scoring with his 10th goal of the year at 12:05.

Phoenix out-shot Stockton 38-30. Kowalski stopped 29 shots to pick up his season-high fourth straight win and improve to 14-11-1 on the season. The RoadRunners went 1-7 on the power play while Stockton was 0-6 with the man-advantage.

THE WEEKEND THE SEASON TURNED: Although it's too soon to tell, the RoadRunners may look back on their two-game weekend sweep at Stockton that pulled them back to the .500 mark as the weekend that turned their season around. Phoenix outscored the Thunder 9-2 in the two-game set getting multiple-point efforts from five different players including rookie center Merit Waldrop who enjoyed back-to-back multiple-point games. The 4.50 goals per game average was nearly two full goals better than what the RoadRunners were averaging heading into the weekend, while the 1.00 goals against per game average was better than two-and-a-half goals less than the 3.54 goals against average that Phoenix possessed coming into Friday's game. The RoadRunners scored two shorthanded goals in the series and responded to giving up 10 power play goals in their previous six games by shutting out Stockton on all 12 tries on the power play over the weekend.

WE'RE GOING STREAKING: Forwards Kimbi Daniels and P.J. Fenton each are riding season-high five-game scoring streaks heading into play this week. Daniels has three goals and five assists dating back to Jan. 16. The five-game points' streak matches a season-high for the 18-year veteran that he has achieved already twice this year. Daniels leads the RoadRunners with 26 assists and 38 points and is currently tied for 17th in the ECHL scoring race. Meanwhile, Fenton has five goals and an assist dating back to Jan. 16 and the five-game scoring streak is a career-best for the first-year winger. Since his assignment to Phoenix from Worcester of the American Hockey League, Fenton has reverted back to the form that made him one of the most prolific scorers at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst over the past four seasons where he recorded 37 goals, 58 assists, and 95 points in 148 career games with the Minutemen.

"K-WALL" DELIVERS: Goalie Craig Kowalski captured back-to-back wins over the weekend giving him a season-high four-game winning streak. Over his recent four-game run, Kowalski has surrendered just nine goals on 137 shots and possesses a 2.21 goals against average and a .934% save percentage. For the season, Kowalski has pulled back below the three goals per game average at 2.94 and maintains a .920% save percentage.

POSITIVE SIGNS: Rookie center Merit Waldrop leads the RoadRunners with a plus-10 rating this season while skating in just 12 games with the club. Waldrop has recorded an even or better rating in 10 out his 12 games this year and has also contributed offensively with nine assists and 10 points. Meanwhile, defenseman Brett Peterson leads the RoadRunners' blue-liners with a plus-eight rating through 32 games, and newcomers Jim Jorgensen and Gord Burnett are each plus-three in their tenures so far with the RoadRunners.

NEWS & NOTES: The RoadRunners have won a season-high three straight road games and four out of their last five games overall...Phoenix has scored three shorthanded goals against Stockton in the four-game series to date and has four shorthanded goals in their last seven games. The RoadRunners are tied for fifth in the ECHL with nine shorthanded goals, one shy of their ECHL club record of 10 set back in the 2006-07 campaign...Forward Mark O'Leary is eligible to be activated off the 30-day injured reserve Wednesday. O'Leary has not played since Dec. 27 against Ontario.

WATCH THE 'RUNNERS LIVE IN '08-09: The RoadRunners have teamed up with B2 Networks to bring you live action of Phoenix RoadRunners hockey in 2008-09. RoadRunners fans will be able to click the "Watch Online" link at www.phxroadrunners.com to view and listen to the game. These broadcasts are available to fans for a charge of $6 per game. All 72 RoadRunners broadcasts will be available on-line. A cable or DSL Internet connection and Windows Media Player 9 are required to view the games.

UP NEXT: The RoadRunners open a three-game week at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday when they visit the Las Vegas Wranglers. Phoenix returns home to host Utah at 7:05 p.m. Friday at US Airways Center and then visits Stockton at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Stockton Arena. Catch Saturday's action live on Independent 1310 KXAM and all three games live at www.phxroadrunners.com beginning with "RoadRunners Countdown" twenty minutes prior to face-off. Information on season tickets, half-season packages, and flex plans for the 2008-09 season of Phoenix RoadRunners Hockey are available by calling (602) 462-GOAL.
 
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