9th straight loss for Runners

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 12:24 PM ET

ROCHESTER, New York -- The way the Edmonton Road Runners and Rochester Americans have been speeding along in distinctly different directions, it's somewhat remarkable they managed to slow down enough to meet at Blue Cross Arena last night without suffering whiplash. But meet they did, and what looked like a certain wreck for the Road Runners - they arrived in town on a franchise-record eight-game losing streak, while the Americans rolled in boasting a team-record 16 straight wins at home - was anything but.

The Americans ran into the Road Runners all right, but they didn't run over them like a lot of people expected they would, keeping their streak alive with a 2-1 win by way of a shootout.

"I thought we played a very good hockey game,'' Road Runners coach Geoff Ward said.

"We played hard and we competed with the best team in the league. I thought we should have won the game.''

The Americans improved to 29-3-0-2 since Dec, 17 and to within two games of the AHL record of 19 straight home wins, set by the 1996-97 Philadelphia Phantoms, but this was a nail-biter from buzzer to buzzer for 8,621 fans.

Shootout goals by Norm Milley and Derek Roy made it nine straight losses for the Road Runners, but if they muster the same kind of effort the rest of this trip, they'll find an off-ramp from Loser Boulevard soon enough.

''I think all the guys in that dressing room know the pitfalls of taking anybody in this league lightly. It'll bite you in the butt if you do,'' said Rochester coach Randy Cunneyworth.

''The competition level is way too high this year to take anything for granted.''

Down 1-0 when Paul Gaustad beat Tyler Moss on a power play with just two seconds to go in the first period, the Road Runners got even when Jarret Stoll buried a feed from Brad Winchester 4:48 into the third.

But Stoll was the only Road Runner to beat Ryan Miller in the shootout, and when he stopped Jamie Wright, both streaks continued.

AROUND THE RINK ... Dan Smith's return to the lineup lasted just 7:52 into the game as he and Nathan Paetsch got tossed for dropping the gloves in a secondary fight ... Raffi Torres got the heave-ho at the same time for not having his jersey properly tied down in the main event with Chris Thorburn.


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