Gulls Can't Find Answer for Roadrunners, Fall 5-2 at HomeDec 5, 2018
Corey Tropp reached a milestone no other Gulls player has achieved before, but the San Diego Gulls (8-9-1-1) fell 5-2 to the Tucson Roadrunners at San Diego Sports Arena.
Adam Helewa (1-2=3) and Michael Bunting (0-3=3) each recorded three points for Tucson (12-5-2-1), while Hunter Miska (5-3-3) made 21 saves in his fifth win of the season.
“I thought we were playing a really well structured game and in the first five minutes of the second, same thing,” said Gulls head coach Dallas Eakins. “We weren’t hard enough on the wall around the 15-minute mark of the second and then is just kind of rolled on us. We got our legs back underneath us and I thought we did some good things in the game, but it was a couple of mental mistakes that we weren’t able to recover from. They put it in our net and the times when they made a mistake, we weren’t able to capitalize. It’s as simple as that.”
After not having a single power play in Monday’s game against San Jose, San Diego was afforded an early opportunity with the man advantage, as Matteo Gennaro sat for holding in the first period. After nearly a minute of sustained offensive pressure, Tropp was all alone for the power-play goal after a generous rebound on a shot by Troy Terry.
The score, 9:15 into the opening frame, marked Corey Tropp’s 50th goal with San Diego and 81st overall. As the all-time leader in goals scored for the Gulls, he is the first Gull to reach the 50-goal mark with the club. Tropp has registered 2-5=7 points over five games against the Roadrunners this season.
Terry was credited with the primary assist on the goal for his third assist in as many games against Tucson. Coming off of his fourth multi-point game this season, Chase De Leo tallied the other helper.
Tucson tied the game midway through the second period as Laurent Dolphin finished off a pass from Adam Helewka on a odd-man rush at the 12:07 mark of the middle frame.
The Gulls stayed out of the penalty box through two periods, but an early penalty in the final frame would prove to be costly. With Tropp in the box for tripping, Cam Dineen beat Kevin Boyle with a shot over the blocker to give the Roadrunners the lead 3:39 into the third period. Helewka added his second assist of the night on the play.
With the Gulls trailing by a goal, it was once again the power play that provided the spark. Just nine seconds after Trent Murphy was called for high-sticking, Kalle Kossila pulled San Diego even as his point shot deflected off a Tucson defender and past goaltender Hunter Miska at 10:11 of the third period.
The goal marked his fourth of 2018-19 and the Finnish native now has eight points (4-4=8) in his eight game with San Diego this season.
Terry and De Leo collected their second assists of the night on the goal. With two assists tonight, De Leo has multi-point performances in back-to-back games and fivetotal this season. Terryy's two assists gave him the team lead in scoring (8-11=19).
Just 44 seconds after San Diego’s trying score, Tucson’s Hudson Fasching scored from the faceoff dot to retake the lead for the Roadrunners. With just 4:36 remaining in the game, Helewka tapped in a backdoor pass from Bunting for his third point of the night, doubling Tucson’s lead.
Fasching added an empty-net goal to seal the Roadrunners win with seven seconds left.
“It’s definitely frustrating,” said Gulls captain Jaycob Megna. “Tonight felt like we controlled the majority of the game, but that doesn’t matter when you lose so it’s definitely something we need to figure out.”