The Tucson Roadrunners (31-23-5-3) captured a crucial 5-2 win over the visiting Colorado Eagles (34-25-4-1) on Saturday night.
The Roadrunners had just come off a shootout loss the night before. This time around, they came out on the right end with a complete game.
“I thought we did a good job,” Roadrunners coach Jay Varady said after the game. “I thought we stayed disciplined throughout the course of the game. We were able to get on the power play and create some momentum.
“I thought we checked tonight. Last night I don’t think we checked well; tonight we checked way better.”
Much like the game on Friday night, Tucson came right out of the gates. On Saturday, it was Tyler Steenbergen who opened the scoring just 2:40 into the period.
Tucson would see contribution across many of their forwards, with goals coming from Brayden Burke, Jeremy Gregoire and two from Hudson Fasching. Six other Roadrunners would capture points with assists in each of the five goals of the night.
“I think guys are just trying to step up,” Fasching said. “I think we all know the consequences of where we’re at right now and what we need to do to continue to win.”
One of Tucson’s big factors in their win was to capitalize on Colorado’s heavy penalty minute count. Colorado had a man in the penalty box for two-thirds of the game with 40 minutes on 13 infractions. A few of the penalties were incidentals and fighting, but Tucson still managed to get on the man advantage seven times in the game.
The Roadrunners scored on two of their seven power play opportunities, and even scored once while they were shorthanded.
The win puts the Roadrunners at 70 points on the season, with just six games remaining. They are now just three points out of a playoff spot, just behind Colorado and San Diego, who have 73 points each.
“I think, honestly, we’re not trying not to look at it too much,” Fasching said when asked about the playoff push. “We’re trying to take it game-by-game. You know, look at every game as an opportunity to try to catch up on Colorado in the standings.
“That’s kind of our motivation right now, is just look at Iowa as the next game where we want to move forward.”
The Roadrunners will face a quick turnaround with a games on Tuesday and Wednesday against the Iowa Wild.
“We’re packing our bags and heading on the road,” Varady said. “That’s where our mind’s at right now. We’re focused on going in and playing in Iowa and getting back to work.”
Tucson won’t return home from their road trip until April 12, when they host San Diego for the final series of the season.
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