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Roadrunner Roundup: The Gem Show Road Trip, taking shots, and the Phoenix Roadrunners

Roadrunners lose series with Colorado Eagles, fall to fourth in the Pacific ahead of long road trip.

Photo courtesy of Tucson Roadrunners

The Tucson Roadrunners leave their series the Colorado Eagles, swept; ending their home-stand and beginning their long road trip.

Tucson’s regulation losing streak may have ended, but their winless streak continues as the Roadrunners fell to Colorado 5-4 in overtime on Saturday.

“I think we played a lot better than last night,” Roadrunners defenseman Jordan Gross said after Saturday’s game. “The guys are playing with a lot of passion, and they ultimately got a couple more bounces than us, so they took the extra point tonight.”

There was a lot to take away from this weekend and here are a few notes to take:

How to beat a hot goaltender:

Tucson came back to the TCC on Friday, ready to take on Colorado. Adin Hill played in his fourth straight start, despite dropping both games against Bakersfield last weekend. On the other side, Colorado had elected to start Spencer, who just the previous week, had a 68-save shutout against the Ontario Reign.

That was versus Ontario, who is currently ranked last in the Pacific Division. From an analyst’s perspective, the Roadrunners could set off similar shot counts and should see results with a few points on the board. But that didn’t happen on Friday.

Saturday, however, was a different story. The Roadrunners registered 48 shots on net, compared to Friday’s 32 shots.

“We knew (Spencer Martin) had a 68-save shutout a couple weeks ago,” Gross said, “So we knew we had to throw as many pucks on him as we could. He’s a good goalie, so he did his job tonight.”

The Gem Show Road Trip:

Tucson enjoyed several games at home plus an all-star break over the last couple weeks, but now they have another challenge ahead of them: The annual “Gem Show Road Trip.”

Why do they call it the “Gem Show Road Trip?” Easy: because the Tucson Convention Center houses one of Tucson’s staple events, the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, it leaves the Roadrunners without a home for quite some time. And thus, the Roadrunners will play six games on the road from February 8 through the 20th.

“It’s going to be every game matters a ton,” Gross said. “Might be a little bit of a grind, but there’s no excuses; we gotta go in and win some games.”

Roadrunners coach, Jay Varady, on the other hand, doesn’t believe the past games will play a factor into the long road trip.

“We live in the moment, the past is the past, we can’t change the past,” Varady said. “We’re just here living in the moment when those things are done. We don’t dwell on that stuff, we move forward. That’s the way it goes.”

Tucson begins the road-trip in Rockford, and it will end a week and a half later in San Diego. They will return home on February 23rd to host the Bakersfield Condors.

Other meeps:

  • Saturday’s attendance was Tucson’s fourth largest of the season, at 5,706 fans.
  • Tucson hosted “Phoenix Roadrunners night” on Saturday, donning specialty blue and silver jerseys honoring the original Phoenix Roadrunners of the late 20th Century.