Game #43: Tucson (2) at Bakersfield (4)
SOG: TUC (29) – BAK(29)
PP: TUC (1/3) – BAK (0/3)
TUC SCORING: Bennett (8pp), Hayton (1)
BAK SCORING: Day (6), Malone (10), Cave (10sh), Granlund (6)
HAYTON SCORES IN DEBUT, PROSVETOV STELLAR BUT TUCSON FALLS TO OPEN GEM SHOW ROAD TRIP
Opening their first of seven games in six buildings over the course of 13 days as a part of their annual Gem Show Road Trip, the Roadrunners suffered a 4-2 setback at the hands of the Bakersfield Condors Wednesday night.
For the third time this season on the road Tucson allowed a goal in the first minute of the action, falling victim to an unfortunate bounce in their own end.
After the tally just 55 seconds in Bakersfield would cling to their lead for 15 minutes before Beau Bennett brought the score back to even late in the opening frame. Despite losing the faceoff, a nice effort by Andy Miele took the puck for Tucson before a Kyle Capobianco shot whistled just by the net, bouncing back off the end wall and right to Beau Bennett’s tape where he put home the bid from just to the right of Stuart Skinner.
Before Tucson could escape the first with momentum and a tie game, the home side struck back just 37 seconds later, beating Prosvetov on a redirection inside the final three minutes of the opening period.
That goal was the first of three consecutive for the Condors, who followed it with a shorthanded goal in transition to open the second and then another three minutes later from NHL veteran Markus Granlund.
Trailing 4-1 midway through the game, the only goal coming in the rest of the contest was a late second period tally from Barrett Hayton, who was making his Roadrunners and American Hockey League debut after being assigned Tuesday on a conditioning loan from the Arizona Coyotes. Some miscommunication by Bakersfield in their attacking end sent an errant pass out to center; one Hayton chased down and took in by himself, eventually scoring low beneath the pads of the opposing netminder.
Hayton, who remains on Long Term Injured Reserve with the Coyotes, can remain with the Roadrunners for a maximum of three games (including tonight) or six days, as reported earlier in the day by ArizonaCoyotes.com, despite being a 19-year-old North American-born skater. (Note: 19-year-old North American-born skaters are ineligible to play in AHL games on standard loans or assignments due to the NHL-CHL agreement.)
As noted, that would be all the scoring for the evening, however, with chances being taken by Tucson in the third period on the offensive side of things, that left a slew of high-value chances for the Condors to be defended by Ivan Prosvetov. Bakersfield only had five shots in the final 20 minutes, however, four of the five combined where on modified breakaways (two), a two-on-one and an in-tight transition chance, forcing the 20-year-old rookie to be superb in the away net.
Following tonight’s defeat the Roadrunners will now travel south in California, next eyeing up San Diego on Friday night.
THEY SAID IT
“We haven’t been good enough for long enough in games lately. We got setback to start. We have to get into our game earlier and for longer. We’ll be alright, we’re in this together but we need to find a way out of it.”An honest Beau Bennett post-game.
DON’T OVERLOOK IT
The result wasn’t favored by anyone from the Tucson side, however, the team did have chances in the third to make it a one-goal or even tie game.
Without Ivan Prosvetov in net tonight, that wasn’t happening though. The Russian netminder put together a highlight reel of this own in the final 20 and did more than his own to keep his team in it and avoiding a worse setback.
GOTTA SEE IT
This is what coaches dream of when they reference “hawking loose pucks”.
Hayton, swooping back to cover a Bakersfield defenseman at the point, sees a fortuitous puck slide out to center and he takes over from there. You can see the d-man put up a small fight but Hayton just works too quickly and from there, all alone, he wasn’t going to miss. Sent down with the goal of “getting his game legs under him”, they sure look going here.
PHOTO OF THE GAME
Right-to-left, left-to-right, Ivan was all over tonight. Check him out here going to the blocker side to deny what looked like a “sure fire” bid in the second period.