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Roadrunners take down Eagles, jump into first place

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Brayden Burke’s two-goal game lifts Tucson over Colorado, keeps hot season running.

Photo courtesy of Tucson Roadrunners

The Tucson Roadrunners completed the mid-week sweep over the visiting Colorado Eagles, with a 2-1 win on Wednesday night. They had previously defeated Colorado 6-3 on Tuesday.

Colorado proved to me more of a challenge Wednesday night than they did Tuesday, as their goaltender — and former Roadrunner — Hunter Miska shut the door on Tucson through the first 30 minutes.

“It was a weird dynamic out there,” Roadrunners coach Jay Varady said about the Miska versus Adin Hill matchup. “(Hill and Miska) are two guys that have won a lot of games in this arena, and I thought Miska played a good game tonight. He made a lot of great saves and we know he can do that, we’ve seen it here before.”

Things would change when the Roadrunners, led by Brayden Burke, would start applying more pressure on Miska to try to comeback and chase their sixth straight home win.

Burke scored twice in the second period — becoming the first Roadrunner to record points in seven straight games — and Tucson took over from that point on.

“Yeah, I’m hitting my stride pretty well,” Burke said after the game. “I’m playing with two good veteran guys in Miele and Bennet, so they’re helping me a lot. I’m trying to do my best to fit in and do whatever I can to help the team win.”

The Roadrunners and the Eagles would stay even on the shot-counter through the remainder of the game, keeping a entertaining game through the finish.

With the win Tucson improves to 17-5-0-0 (.773 points pct) and jumps into first place in the American Hockey League, creeping just slightly ahead of the idle Milwaukee Admirals. They’ll have a chance to keep that league lead when they visit the Iowa Wild on Saturday night.

Despite the team’s position in the standings the team refuses to let it get to their head and continue to follow Varady’s game-by-game strategy.

“At this point the standings boards... it’s good,” Varady said when asked how much stock is taken into Tucson’s position, “You can look at it, but again, we focus on our process as much as we can.

“I think if you get wrapped up in (the standings) you can get yourself in a lot of problems in this league in terms of looking at that teams record, this teams record, our record, comparing all that. I don’t think it means that much, I think there are a lot of variables that change and for us we just got to focus on our process.”

Tucson won’t return home until Dec. 20, when they host the Ontario Reign.