The Roadrunners historic run of eight straight wins both overall and home ice came to a close following the holiday break, yet there were still positives aplenty for the club over the past seven days.
The biggest achievement for the group came outside of game action, with Head Coach Jay Varady earning coaching honors for the Pacific Division at the 2020 AHL All-Star Classic Saturday night, determined by the division’s best record at the turn of the calendar year.
Marking the second time in the organization’s four-year history that this honor has been bestowed upon the team’s head coach, Varady was quick to point out that the achievement is more of an organizational one that he is merely representing.
With a few weeks until Jay, and others, head to Ontario for the mid-season event, the team’s action as a group concluded their first 30 games over the weekend against the visiting Colorado Eagles.
Saturday vs. Colorado (4-3 Loss)
Described post-game by both Varady as an “uncharacteristic effort”, the Roadrunners played from behind for most of Saturday’s contest.
Allowing a goal just 1:28 in and then another in the second period with no answer, the Roadrunners tried to muster together a third period comeback that did feature three goals. While the effort and scoring was there in the final 20, it’s inability to shine in the first 40 was what cost them and the team suffered the loss due to two third period goals by the opposition.
Ivan Prosvetov went 31/35 in net and held down his part, however, in the end he suffered his third professional loss and just second at the AHL level.
Sunday vs. Colorado (4-1 Loss)
Credit where credit is due, following this win on Sunday, Colorado now has a point streak of nine of their own and they’re a hot team.
Although, in a bit of “more of the same” Sunday for Tucson, the head coach and players were unhappy with their effort for a second straight night.
Bradyen Burke opened the scoring to put the home side ahead in Sunday’s second period, however, the “push back” that the Roadrunners have taken great pride in possessing this year was shown against them and Colorado answered just 17 seconds later.
From that point on it felt as if the Eagles took the momentum and ran with it, totaling four unanswered goals en route to their weekend sweep in Southern Arizona.
Another x-factor in Tucson’s defeats was their power play, which had been smoking hot entering the holiday break. The team had gone 7/19 in their three games leading up to the few days off, however, the group went 0/16 this weekend at home.
Where They Stand
Record: 23-7-0-0 (46 Points / .767 Win Percentage)
Pacific Division: First Place / First Place
Western Conference: Second Place / Second Place
The Week That Was
Saturday, December 28
Eagles (4) at Roadrunners (3)
Sunday, December 29
Eagles (4) at Roadrunners (1)
Up & Down
Monday, December 23
- Defenseman Jordan Gross loaned to Tucson by the Arizona Coyotes (NHL).
Thursday, December 26
- Goaltender Brandon Halverson signed to a professional tryout from Norfolk (ECHL).
- Forward Matteo Gennaro loaned to Rapid City (ECHL) from Tucson.
Alumni In Action
Goaltender Adin Hill entered Saturday’s Coyotes game in relief, denying all 20 opportunities faced.
The long-time Roadrunners netminder remains with the parent club due to an injury to Darcy Kuemper.
In The System
After missing the start to the season due to injury, Matteo Gennaro is working his way back toward the Roadrunners lineup.
The second-year forward had an assist in both games played over the weekend with the team’s ECHL affiliate, the Rapid City Rush.
Highlight Of The Week
Goaltender Ivan Prosvetov was tested often in his workload of back-to-back nights Saturday and Sunday. Perhaps no save was bigger than this second period stop Sunday evening, working from blocker-to-glove side to make this sprawling save.