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Roadrunners blank Barracuda in playoff home opener, retake series lead

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Six Roadrunners score six goals in first Tucson “white-out”. Can clinch series with win on Friday.

Captain Andrew Campbell celebrates scoring in the Tucson Roadrunners first home playoff game.
Courtesy of the Tucson Roadrunners

The Tucson Roadrunners dominated their first ever home playoff game Wednesday, with a convincing 6-0 win over the San Jose Barracuda. The win comes after the Barracuda took game two last Saturday in San Jose, tying the series at one game apiece.

Each of the Roadrunners six goals were scored by different players, proving the depth of the team once again; and Roadrunners head coach Mike Van Ryn was quick to give the players praise.

“It was nice to see guys get rewarded,” Van Ryn said. “And I thought we scored in different ways, which was nice. It’s always nice to score goals and now it’s time to regroup… and all those cliché things… it’s time to get back to work and get ready for the next one.”

Roadrunners forward Michael Bunting was the first to strike for Tucson with a short-sided wrist shot moving past Antoine Bibeau just 2:27 into the first period. Nearly 12 minutes later, forward Lawson Crouse scored a power play goal to make it 2-0 Tucson. Lane Pederson capped off the Roadrunners first period scoring.

The Barracuda, meanwhile, faced many struggles in the first period, failing to even record a single shot until 16 minutes into the period. By the end of the first, the shots on goal seemed heavily skewed in Tucson’s favor: 10-3 over San Jose.

“It is very unusual (to not allow a shot), but we’ve done it numerous times this year,” goaltender Adin Hill said after the game. “When we’ve played the game the way we can, we seem to be able to keep the team in their own end and control the flow.”

Tucson continued to strike left and right, netting two more goals in the second period: One from Mike Sislo, and a “bar down” shot from Andrew Campbell.

After Campbell's goal, San Jose eventually pulled Antoine Bibeau in favor of Stephon Williams. That change didn’t do much for the Barracuda however, as the Roadrunners capped off the scoring from a third period goal by Mario Kempe in the opening shift of the period.

As the third period unwound, San Jose’s frustration translated right to the ice. At one point, San Jose’s Emerson Clark initiated a fight that sent him to the dressing room for the remainder of the game, alongside Michael Bunting. As Clark was escorted off the ice, it appeared he was going after Hill, who says, the action did not surprise him.

With the win, the Roadrunners take the 2-1 series lead over San Jose and can send the Barracuda home with another win on Friday night.

OTHER MEEPS:

  • Dylan Strome led the way in points on Wednesday, with a three-point game.
  • Adin Hill’s shutout was his first of the playoffs, sixth of the year.
  • Wednesday’s attendance was 4,799, with expectations of a larger crowd heading into the weekend.