Gulls Blanked By Hill, Roadrunners
Loss ends four-game point streak for San DiegoMar 10, 2020
Adin Hill stopped all 26 shots in his second shutout of the season as the Gulls were held scoreless for only the second time this season, falling 3-0 to the Tucson Roadrunners Tuesday night at Tucson Arena.
Blake Speers, Jeremy Gross and Kyle Capobianco netted goals as the Pacific Division-leading Roadrunners extended their lead to five points atop the division as the Gulls, Colorado Eagles and Stockton Heat all fell tonight.
Despite the setback, San Diego has recorded points in four of their last five games (3-1-1-0) and nine of the last 11 overall (7-2-2-0) as they are now one game from concluding their club record seven-game road trip.
In an opening frame with few grade-A scoring chances, neither club was able to find the back of the net in the first period as Kevin Boyle and Hill held strong in net to start the game. The opening frame was highlighted by several impressive saves on each side of the ice, including a leg save by Boyle on a breakaway chance by Jeremy Gregoire. San Diego held a 13-9 shots edge after 20 minutes of play as
The second period would prove costly as three Tucson goals proved enough. The Roadrunners broke the scoreless duct just after the halfway point of the game when Speers deflected the puck to the back of the net at 10:33 mark of the second frame. Gregoire threw a pass to the slot on an odd-man rush and the puck hit the skate of Speers and ricocheted into the net for a 1-0 lead.
Tucson doubled its lead just 3:17 later as Jordan Gross wristed a shot past Boyle from the high slot. As Kyle Capobianco’s slashing minor expired, he received a pass on his way out of the penalty box, creating another odd-man rush for the Roadrunners. Boyle stopped the initial shot, but Tucson got to the rebound behind the net and found Gross in the slot for the one-timer.
After a disciplined start, a series of penalties put the Gulls at a disadvantage late in the middle period as they were whistled for two minors separated by 45 seconds, giving Tucson a 5-on-3 power play for 75 seconds. Capobianco capitalized on the two-man advantage with 1:51 remaining in the middle frame as his one-timer from the top of the right faceoff circle got past Boyle.
Another two penalties on San Diego put Tucson on a second two-man advantage for nearly 90 seconds that would carry into the third frame. The Roadrunners outshot the Gulls 14-5 in the middle period, leading 3-0 after 40 minutes of play.
The Gulls were successful in killing remaining time on their penalties, bringing the game back to five-on-five play. As the period continued, tensions heightened resulting in multiple scrums after the whistle. Chris Mueller’s net-front presence got under the skin of Hill, as the netminder jousted with the veteran Gulls center in the crease following an Antoine Morand shot.
Simon Benoit and Jeremy Gregoire both received roughing minors late, but it was Gregoire who received a double-minor following a clean Benoit hit along the half wall with just under two minutes remaining. Cooler heads would prevail, but it was Tucson that picked up the win to take their fourth win in seven games in the season series with the Gulls.
The Gulls will end their club record seven-game road trip conclude an eight game season series with the Roadrunners tomorrow, Mar. 11 at Tucson Arena (7:05 p.m. PT).