Game #41: Colorado (4) at Tucson (3)
SOG: COL (38) – TUC (31)
PP: COL (1/5) – TUC (2/5)
TUC SCORING: Bunting (6), Steenbergen (6pp), Ness (2pp)
COL SCORING: Dries (16pp), Kaut (4), Joly (9), Megna (15sh)
CHAOTIC SEVEN-GOAL SECOND PERIOD LEAVES TUCSON ONE SHORT
Seven goals over a 15:56 span in tonight’s second period determined the outcome of the evening, leaving the home Roadrunners on the wrong end of a 4-3 score.
After the first period contained 25 combined shots from the two sides, bringing strong early performances from both Ivan Prosvetov and Hunter Miska to the forefront, the evening’s middle 20 minutes took a drastic turn, including the previously eluded to seven goals.
Following the wedding-highlighted first intermission, Colorado returned to the ice committed to an attack, first striking on the power play 1:50 into the second period and then adding two more, one on a second chance effort and another on a breakaway to grasp a 3-0 advantage.
With Colorado maintaining full momentum just 5:06 into the second, alternate captain Robbie Russo ignited a spark for his team, engaging in his first fight of the season, taking on Sheldon Dries.
Recognizing the effort from one of their key defensemen, Tucson put together a strong push following the fight, resulting in a goal from Michael Bunting just 1:11 later. Michael Chaput allowed Jeremy Gregoire to setup Bunting, who was all alone in front and able to beat Miska on an in-tight move.
Back within one, Colorado would then allow the Roadrunners back into the game even more by taking three consecutive minor penalties, all resulting in man advantages for the home team.
Those would result in power play goals from Tyler Steenbergen, who redirected an Aaron Ness drive from the point, and then Ness himself, who would get a shot through from the point to even the game at 3-3.
On the third of the three referenced minor penalties though, Colorado would reclaim their earlier lead by way of a shorthanded goal. A shot that missed the net by Tucson sprung a two-on-one the other way for the Eagles, polished off by a blocker-side high shot from Jayson Megna, the eventual game-winner.
Tucson would come with a push in the third, outshooting the Eagles 11-6, however Miska would hold firm, earning his team the win.
Prosvetov suffered his fifth loss of the season, allowing the four goals on 38 shots.
The two teams will meet again tomorrow night at Tucson Arena at 7:05 p.m.
THEY SAID IT
Head Coach Jay Varady suggesting that he felt his team played well for the majority of tonight’s contest, however, just came out on the wrong end of things.
“It was a situation where I thought for five minutes we lost our identity and we let the game get away from us. I think that’s a lesson for us tonight. We had lots of good minutes throughout the course of the game but we have to come back tomorrow and play similarly.”
DON’T OVERLOOK IT
Unlike last weekend’s losses to Bakersfield, where Tucson was held limited largely on the offensive side of things, there was a significant step forward in that department this evening and the Roadrunners were able to get 31 shots and three goals out of tonight’s contest.
As said above, 55 minutes of strong play typically leads to good things. If the same effort is brought tomorrow, it’s hard to imagine the same outcome.
GOTTA SEE IT
One of the positives from tonight’s contest was the power play getting back on track, recording multiple goals in a game for the first time this month.
All-Star Brayden Burke collects another point here by making the smart, simple play, putting one on a tee for Aaron Ness, who blasts one home here to tie the game in the final of a trifecta of Tucson goals.
PHOTO OF THE GAME
Despite being on the wrong side of the result, there was at least one happy ending at tonight’s contest, as Season Ticket Members Annie John and Dustin Powers tied the knot during tonight’s first intermission.
A wonderful scene, congratulations to the newlyweds.