SOG: SJ (29) – TUC (37)
PP: SJ (2/6) – TUC (0/4)
SAN JOSE SCORING: Andrew Agozzino (26 PP), Danil Gushchin (20, 21 PP), C.J. Suess (9)
TUCSON SCORING: Nathan Smith (12), Josh Doan (3), Cameron Hebig (9 SH)
ROADRUNNERS COMEBACK FALLS SHORT IN SERIES OPENER WITH SAN JOSE ON FRIDAY
Tucson, Arizona – The Tucson Roadrunners dropped the series opener against the San Jose Barracuda Friday night by a final score of 4-3 with a crowd of 5,019 on hand at the Tucson Arena. The Roadrunners were never down by more than one goal through the opening 50:27 of the contest, before San Jose’s second power-play goal on the night made it a 4-2 game with 9:33 still to play. Cameron Hebig netted Tucson’s third shorthanded score of the season to make it a one-goal game with 4:57 left in regulation, but the Barracuda held on to take the series opener. Friday represented the third and final El Lazo de Tucson Night of the season, as the Roadrunners and San Jose will wrap up the 2022-2023 regular season Saturday night with Game #72 before Tucson heads to the First Round of the Calder Cup Playoffs.
YA GOTTA SEE IT
Roadrunners forward Cameron Hebig brought Tucson to within one of San Jose late in Friday’s third period with the team’s third shorthanded goal of the year, scored with 4:57 still to go in regulation to make it a 4-3 game. The score gave Hebig back-to-back outings with a goal in the final five minutes of the contest, after he capped off the Roadrunners four-goal comeback on Saturday, April 8 against the Texas Stars to eventually force overtime and clinch a playoff berth.
DON’T OVERLOOK IT
FOUR FOR FOUR – Four different Roadrunners skaters extended their active scoring streaks to four games in Friday’s matchup with the San Jose Barracuda: linemates Josh Doan (1g), Mike Carcone (1a) and Adam Cracknell (1a), as well as forward Cameron Hebig (1g). Doan’s score to open the third period marked the 21-year-old’s third professional tally and his second-straight game with a goal in the final frame of regulation. Cracknell and Carcone assisted on the goal by their linemate to increase their career-high point totals to 53 and 85 points, respectively, as Carcone maintains his American Hockey League scoring lead entering the final game of the regular season. Forward Cameron Hebig also netted a third-period goal for the second consecutive game, lighting the lamp with 4:57 left to play while on the penalty-kill for his first career shorthanded score.
PHOTO OF THE GAME
Friday’s series opener between the Roadrunners and Barracuda marked the third and final El Lazo de Tucson night of the season, presented by City of Tucson. The first 1,500 fans in attendance received a free bobblehead of Roadrunners Mascot Dusty’s “El Polvo” alter ego courtesy of KOLD News. Tucson also held a Tacos and Tequila Event in Dusty’s Party Nest above the Tucson Arena scoreboard, as the Roadrunners donned their alternate El Lazo jerseys to take on the Barracuda in front of a crowd of 5,019. The game-worn El Lazo jerseys are also available to bid on at TucsonRoadrunners.com/Community, with all proceeds benefitting Roadrunners Community Efforts in Southern Arizona.
THEY SAID IT
“I don’t think it matters what game it is, you always have something to play for. You have to fight until the end, and we’ll come back and be better [Saturday].”Roadrunners Forward Cameron Hebig on Tucson battling hard against San Jose in the final weekend of the regular season while already being locked in for their spot in the 2023 Calder Cup Playoffs.
The Roadrunners opened the scoring in Friday’s series opener with 7:45 gone by in the contest, as forward Nathan Smith took a turnover in the San Jose zone and backhanded the puck for a 1-0 lead. The goal was Smith’s 12th of the season, while forward J.S. Dea became the third Roadrunner to reach 50 points with an assist on the score. The Barracuda answered back with a power-play goal on their second trip to the man-advantage, evening the score at 1-1 with 5:09 remaining in the opening frame. With 1:22 still to play in the period, San Jose took their first lead of the contest with a five-on-five goal to send the Roadrunners to the first intermission down 2-1. After 20 minutes of play from the Tucson Arena, the Roadrunners and Barracuda were even in shots on goal with 13 apiece, the most in a first period by Tucson through three outings on their current four-game home stand. The special-teams situations continued in the middle frame, as the opening 1:01 of the period was played four-on-four before the Roadrunners went on three-straight power-plays. Another two minutes of four-on-four hockey followed the trio of Tucson man-advantages, which lasted until the final 5:05 of the period. Tucson and San Jose were kept scoreless through the middle 20 minutes to enter the third period with the Roadrunners still trailing 2-1. Tucson limited the Barracuda to four shots on goal in the second period, which were all turned aside by goaltender Tyler Parks. Friday’s third period began with forward Josh Doan scoring his third professional goal to make it a 2-2 game while extending his active scoring streak to four-straight outings. Doan’s linemates Adam Cracknell and Mike Carcone also kept their point streaks alive at four games with assists on the tally, as Doan’s score came just 1:20 into the final frame. San Jose answered back with 12:08 still to play in regulation, retaking the lead at 3-2 with a goal by C.J. Suess. The Barracuda then made it a multi-goal lead at 4-2 just over two and a half minutes later with their second power-play goal and second goal scored by Danil Gushchin on the night. Down by a pair, the Roadrunners were able to find the back of the net on their third consecutive penalty-kill to open the third period, as forward Cam Hebig scored a third-period goal for the second-straight game to reduce the late deficit to 4-3. The shorthanded tally with 4:57 remaining in regulation was Hebig’s ninth goal overall on the year, as defenseman Vlad Kolyachonok picked up an assist for the second-straight night. San Jose was called for high-sticking with 1:07 left to play, giving Tucson a six-on-four advantage combined with an empty net. The situation was short-lived, as the Roadrunners were called for a penalty of their own to force a four-on-four attack with just 28 seconds left on the clock. With Tucson still looking for the equalizer, the Barracuda were able to hold on to the puck as time ran out to come away with a 4-3 win in the series opener.
(Photo Credits: Kate Dibildox/Chris Hook)