Game #57: San Diego (0) at Tucson (3)
SOG: SD (26) – TUC (34)
PP: SD (0/4) – TUC (1/6)
TUC SCORING: Speers (4), Gross (10), Capobianco (9pp)
SD SCORING: – N/A
ROADRUNNERS, HILL BLANK SAN DIEGO, FURTHER DIVISION LEAD AND WIN STREAK
Backed by 26 consecutive stops from Adin Hill, the Roadrunners made it four straight victories in a row Tuesday, moving their Pacific Division lead to five points with a 3-0 win over their I-8 Rival San Diego Gulls.
Exactly half of Hill’s workload, 13 shots faced, came during the game’s opening 20 minutes. Proving he was up to the task on all of them, his play, along with that of Kevin Boyle for San Diego, paved the way for a scoreless first period.
In the second a flurry of three goals in 7:36 would encompass all of the team’s scoring.
Beginning with an attempted connection between Jeremy Gregoire and Blake Speers, a cross-crease pass from Gregoire banked off of Speers and in for the Roadrunners first goal of the night. The tally was Speers’ third in just four games against San Diego since joining the team in December.
3:17 after the game’s first goal, Beau Bennett setup Jordan Gross with a feed from below the goal line to the impeding defenseman in the slot to double the home side’s advantage. Gross, who was unmarked in the lower portion of the glove-side circle, utilized the time and space to place a wrist shot above the opposing netminder, making it 2-0.
To conclude the frenzy, amidst a parade of four minor penalties in the final four minutes of the second period by San Diego, a five-on-three effort was capped by Kyle Capobianco to make a three-goal second. Bennett and Andy Miele played pitch and catch before again, from the glove-side circle, the AHL All-Star was able to fit a shot through for the final goal of the night.
Limiting San Diego’s to just five shots during that second period, the defensive effort by Tucson held them to single digits again in the third, placing a bow on the shutout by Hill. For the fourth-year netminder it was his second of the season and 11th of his pro career.
The two teams will finalize their eight-game regular season series tomorrow night at Tucson Arena beginning at 7 p.m.
THEY SAID IT
“I felt good. I feel like I’m seeing the puck well, but our team is playing well too. The last few games I think it speaks to that, we’ve haven’t given up more than two in our last four games and we’ve been winning. We want to keep that rolling and keep playing simple hockey.”Roadrunners goaltender Adin Hill following his clean sheet performance.
DON’T OVERLOOK IT
This is a very talented San Diego team that had gone 17-3-4 since January 10, running wild over the rest of the Pacific Division.
After tonight, that now moves to 17-4-4. Three of those regulation losses have come to Tucson.
GOTTA SEE IT
San Diego ran into some penalty trouble in the second period and they paid the price for it.
Nothing fancy, just some puck movement by Tucson on the two-man advantage is capped here with a well placed shot by the AHL’s leading defenseman in points-per-game.
PHOTO OF THE GAME
The Roadrunners backstop has been playing at a new level since returning from the NHL.
He’s been dialed in from the get-go and it’s showed.