In their final regular season home game, the Tucson Roadrunners lost to the San Diego Gulls 4-1. It came following a tought 8-2 loss to the Gulls the night before. In goal, Adin Hill replaced Marek Langhamer from the night before and Jhonas Enroth was between the pipes for San Diego.
The Roadrunners played much better out of the gate than they did in both of their previous two games, keeping the deficit to only one and allowing no early goals. The lone goal of the first period came 15:55 in as Nic Kerdilis’ shot managed to trickle past Hill. Shots at the end of 20 were 17-8 San Diego.
Just over a minute into the second the Gulls’ Ondrej Kase made it 2-0 Gulls as he deflected a shot past Hill. Just before the halfway point of the period, Conor Garland breathed some life into the Roadrunners, making it 2-1, beating Enroth with an odd-angle shot (seen below). Wrapping up the scoring for the second period, with about five minutes left Spencer Abbot sniped Hill blocker side, giving San Diego a 3-1 advantage after 40.
The Roadrunners played well in the third but in the end, it wasn’t enough to come back against one of the top teams in the AHL. Later, Spencer Abbott would seal the deal, going backhand, top-shelf on Hill for his second of the game. At the end of the game shots were 41-31 in favor of the Gulls.
- Roadrunners still have a good compete level. After getting shocked in the first period yesterday, the Roadrunners stepped up and never made it easy for the Gulls for the rest of the weekend. The Gulls victory last night can be mostly attributed to their superior ability to wear the Roadrunners down. The game never looked out of Tucson’s control, San Diego just won the war of attrition.
- Too many shots against. Much like the rest of the season, the biggest mistake the Roadrunners made was allowing the Gulls to register 41 shots on goal. Even with the 4 goals against, Hill’s save percentage was still a respectable 0.902. Tucson just has to do a better job blocking the shooting lanes, getting the puck out of their zone, and protecting their goaltender.
- Playoff hopes looking grim. With last night’s loss, the Roadrunners will have to sweep their last 5 games of the season if they want any hopes of making the playoffs. Their next game is on the road this Friday, April 2nd against the Manitoba Moose, and just one more loss will mathematically eliminate the Roadrunners from playoff contention.