Game #45: Tucson (5) at Ontario (1)
SOG: TUC (42) – ONT (22)
PP: TUC (2/8) – ONT (0/3)
TUC SCORING: Chaput (14), Burke (18), Fasching (16), Dineen (4pp), Burke (19pp)
ONT SCORING: Strand (8)
ROADRUNNERS GET BACK TO WINNING WAYS IN ONTARIO
For the seventh time in seven meetings this season, the Tucson Roadrunners skated off the ice victorious against the Ontario Reign, taking Saturday’s contest in 5-1 fashion.
Much like Friday night in San Diego, Tucson came out of the gate with several crucial opening shifts, establishing a presence from the start and once again they took the game’s first goal inside of the first five minutes. Captain Michael Chaput swung behind the net and centered a pass aiming for All-Star Brayden Burke, however, the puck ricocheted off of an Ontario defenseman and in.
The Roadrunners stayed in control through the end of the first 20, winning the shots battle 16-7.
The team then came back out for the second period with an even better effort, one that included three goals in their favor.
Very similar to the game’s first goal, Michael Chaput sent another pass to the front of the net hoping for Brayden Burke and this time Burke was able to connect and direct it home to double the Roadrunners lead just 3:48 into the frame.
Later in the second a strong cycle play from Jon Martin and Kyle Capobianco allowed Hudson Fasching to sneak through coverage and polish off a feed from the team’s All-Star defenseman to make it a 3-0 score.
Ontario, the league’s most penalized team, provided Tucson power play chances aplenty throughout the evening, then allowing Cam Dineen to extend his team’s lead to four on the team’s fifth chance just three minutes after Fasching’s goal. Former Soo Greyhound Michael Bunting beat former Soo Greyhound Matthew Villalta, however the shot went off the post and laid on the other side of the netminder, where it waited for the Roadrunners blueliner to poke home.
Up 4-0 at the end of 40 and in complete control, the only downside to the remainder of the contest was that the home side would beat Tyler Parks to ruin the shutout bid in the third. Making his third American Hockey League start, Parks was solid throughout and finished with the win, denying 21 of 22 chances by the Reign.
The contest would close with one final goal for the visitors, the second of the night for both Brayden Burke and the power play. Barrett Hayton, who had three assists in his final game with the team, sold his shot attempt and then sent a pass through traffic across the ice to hit Burke for his 19th, into a near empty net.
Hayton and Hudson Fasching paced the team with three points each in the team’s possession-based victory, snapping Tucson’s six-game skid and also concluding Ontario’s league-best seven-game win streak.
The team will now travel to Colorado Sunday for a midweek set against the Eagles at the Budweiser Events Center.
THEY SAID IT
“All four lines played really well. Our back end and [Tyler Parks] also. All up and down the lineup guys played well and it was a really good game for us.”Captain Michael Chaput speaking with pleasure and relief following his team’s performance inside Toyota Arena.
DON’T OVERLOOK IT
Steve Potvin’s power play. They did it again tonight and in a big way.
That’s now five straight games with at least one power play goal for the man advantage unit, totaling seven in their last five games. It’s not quite a correlation but when the team’s “PP” is working, the odds of winning games are a lot better.
GOTTA SEE IT
What a “sell” here by Barrett Hayton. At just 19-year-old he gets all four Reign defenders to think that he’s shooting the puck here and then slides it through a mess of sticks over to Burke for his second of the night.
That’s a high level play and it was a pleasure to have the young stud on the roster this week.
PHOTO OF THE GAME
Lots of love to go around after Brayden Burke’s second of the night. You could see the relief and sense of pride on the team at tonight’s final horn.