Saturday night’s 5-0 loss to the Condors, AHL affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers was the final game in Tucson’s three game road trip. In goal Justin Peters made his second start of the season and Laurent Brossoit was in the crease for Bakersfield.
Unfortunately not much went right in Tucson’s 5-0 loss to the Bakersfield Condors. Bakersfield took all the momentum early, scoring just 3:17 into the game and never let it get away. They also scored just 19 seconds into the second period, followed with shorthanded and powerplay goals, leaving the score at 4-0 heading into the third period. The Condors scored again with just 59 seconds left, for a final score of 5-0.
- The shots were close. Obviously, not much good came from the Roadrunners’ 5-0 loss, but at least shots and possession were close. The Condors only outshot Tucson 23-21; the goaltending and puck luck just wasn’t on their side. The Roadrunners conceded an average of 36 shots on goal per game before Saturday night, so if there was a positive it was definitely that.
- Garland-Olver-Ross line played a solid game. The forward line consisting of Conor Garland, Mark Olver and Garret Ross managed to have an even plus-minus. Plus-minus is a very important hockey stat that gives a player a plus every time their team scores a goal and a minus every time the opposing team scores a goal. Given that the game was a 5-0 loss, each of these players having an even plus minus is quite an impressive feat. Garland also managed to get 2 shots on goal and Olver got one.
- First shutout loss. This is the first time all year that Tucson has been shut out in a game. Tucson averages in the mid 20s for shots on goal per game and they only got 21 on Brossoit last night, which is well below the league average. Perhaps the most famous quote in hockey history is Wayne Gretzky’s “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” and if the Roadrunners got just a few more pucks on net, maybe one would have gone in. Ironically Gretzky is the Vice President and Chairman of Oilers Entertainment; the group that owns both the Condors and Oilers.
- Roadrunners go 0 for 4 on the powerplay and allow a shorthanded goal. Tucson had the AHL’s top powerplay before last night’s loss (Ontario passed them as a result of the 0 for 4 effort), meaning that they know how to be effective with the man advantage. The Roadrunners should have been able to convert on at least one of their four chances, especially in the second period when Bakersfield was only up 2-0. If they could have scored and made it 2-1, maybe Tucson would have recaptured the momentum and this game could have ended differently. In addition to ineffective powerplay, the Roadrunners allowed Bakersfield to score shorthanded, which gave them a 3-0 lead.
- Goaltending. Few things take the winds out of a team’s sails like shaky goaltending and Justin Peters is now 0-2-0 in his two starts with the Roadrunners, boasting a dismal 0.848 save percentage and a 5.07 GAA (goals against average, which is the average number of goals allowed per game). In case your wondering, any save percentage below 0.900 and GAA above 3.00 is not good. Considering Peters only faced 23 shots, he should have stopped more than just 18. Peters is 30 years old and is a good veteran goalie with NHL experience. He’s definitely capable of better play and although you win and lose as a team, Peters should have given his teammates more of a chance to win, especially considering shots against. For comparison here are Adin Hill and Marek Langhamer’s stats.
Look for the Roadrunners to put this road trip behind them when they take on the Ontario Reign at home this Wednesday December 7th.