In their season opener the Roadrunners fell 5-3 to the San Diego Gulls. Justin Peters started in goal for the Roadrunners and San Diego played Dustin Tokarski.
Final from San Diego. pic.twitter.com/6q6Xk046MR
— #MeepMeep (@RoadrunnersAHL) October 15, 2016
San Diego’s Corey Tropp opened the scoring 8:07 into the game he was assisted by Tyler Morley and Kevin Roy. In the first, the Gulls outshot the Roadrunners 13 to 9. Overall, this period was a solid effort for the Roadrunners despite falling back 1-0. They killed both of both of San Diego’s powerplays, and Justin Peters managed to make a great save on a Gulls’ breakaway.
Three more goals were scored in the second. The first came just 51 seconds into the period from the Gulls’ Mike Sgarbossa, the goal was redirected off of a slap shot from Shea Theodore, Brandon Montour received the secondary assist on the play. Just one minute and 26 seconds later the Roadrunners answered back with a powerplay goal. It was scored by Craig Cunningham and assisted by Brendan Perlini and Kyle Wood.
San Diego’s power play converted for the first time of the night 14:22 into the second, the goal came from Kalle Kosslia (assists: Corey Tropp, Andrew Welinski). At the end of the period, the Gulls carried a 3-1 lead and outshot Tucson 17-12.
Both teams kept their offenses going in the third, each scoring two goals. Once again, both of Tucson’s goals came on the power play. Craig Cunningham scored his second of the game 12:37 into the third (assists: Chris Mueller, Kyle Wood) and Tucson’s second goal of the period came from Kyle Wood 14:15 into the period (assists: Chris Mueller, Craig Cunningham).
San Diego’s first of the period was scored on the power play, 9 minutes and 22 seconds in, by Antoine Laganiere (assists: Brandon Montour, Andrew Welinski). With Tucson down 4-3, Langaniere scored again with only 1:22 seconds left in the game (assists: Tropp, Theodore), virtually ending any hopes of the Roadrunners sending the game to overtime.
At the final whistle, the Gulls won the game 5-3 and outshot Tucson 43-32. San Diego out shot Tucson 13-11 in the third period. Additional game statistics can be found on theahl.com.
A positive takeaway from the game was an effective power play. The Roadrunners went 3-for-6 on the man advantage, which is a great sign for the future. The penalty kill does need some work; San Diego went 2-for-6 on their power play. Allowing your opponent to convert of 1/3 of its power play opportunities not good, and will lead to lots of losses if that continues.
Although scoring three goals on the power play is impressive, an opponent will not give the Roadrunners six chances on the man advantage every game. So, in the future, Tucson will need to improve their play 5-on5. They also need to show more discipline, taking six penalties is never a recipe for success.
Lastly, the Roadrunners cannot allow anyone, especially when playing a good team like the Gulls 43 shots on goal. The Roadrunners will not win many games if they continually get outshot this badly. To improve, the Roadrunners will need to tighten up their play in the neutral zone. By doing this, they will allow opposing teams fewer opportunities to establish possession in our defensive zone, which will lead to less shots against.
Tucson’s next stop on their road trip will come this Friday in a 7:30 PM game against the Stockton Heat.
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