SPORTS

Roadrunners firmly outside of playoff picture after dropping two straight to Condors

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Courtesy Tucson Roadrunners

Roadrunner forward Tyler Gaudet (10) looks to put the puck past Bakersfield Condors goalie Jonas Gustavsson. The Roadrunners lost two games to the Condors over the weekend. 

The Tucson Roadrunners faced the Bakersfield Condors this weekend in a series with massive playoff implications.

The Condors were able to leave Tucson with two big victories putting them eight points ahead of Tucson in the Pacific Division. The Roadrunners battled hard in both games but allowed eight goals over the weekend while only scoring three.

The Roadrunners will look to bounce back from their three-game losing streak with a quick road trip to Texas to take on the Stars and the San Antonio Rampage.

The Tucson Roadrunners were could not get a single puck past Condor goalie Jonas Gustavsson on Friday. The Condors outshot the Roadrunners 31-27 and left the Tucson Convention Center with a 4-0 victory. Both teams went 0-3 on the power play and Roadrunner forward Christian Fischer was stopped on a penalty shot early in the first period.

Gustavsson was brilliant in net for the Condors recording his first career AHL shutout. Roadrunners goaltender Adin Hill was pulled midway through the second period after giving up three goals on 17 shots. Backup goalie Marek Langhamer came in and was able to make ten saves on ten shots faced. The Condors connected late on an empty net goal for their fourth goal of the game. Roadrunners head coach Mark Lamb said that in order for the Roadrunners to make a late playoff push, it’ll be a full team effort.

“We need some guys in there, we need some guys that haven’t scored or haven’t done something,” Lamb said. “We need some guys to push from behind, from lower parts of the lineup that need to score a goal.”

The loss on Friday set up one of the biggest games of the season on Saturday with the Roadrunners six points out of a playoff spot behind the Condors. The Roadrunners held a 2-1 lead and a 3-2 lead throughout the game, but were unable to hold on to either lead and eventually ended up falling 4-3 to the Bakersfield Condors.

This marks the third straight loss for the Roadrunners as they now sit eight points out of the playoffs.

Langhamer made the start for the Roadrunners Saturday after his relief effort on Friday. Langhamer stopped 30 of 34 shots, with the Condors going 3-6 on the power play while the Roadrunners went 0-5. Both teams combined for 38 penalty minutes.

The Roadrunners scored two goals in the first period with Joe Whitney scoring his 12th of the year and his first at the Tucson Convention Center. Laurent Dauphin scored his 14th of the year on a goal that had to be reviewed, but held up after after the referees watched the replay.

The Condors scored one goal in the period giving the Roadrunners a 2-1 lead going into the intermission. The Roadrunners tallied another goal with Jeremy Morin getting his 11th of the season, also his first goal at the Tucson Convention Center since being traded to the Roadrunners. The Condors scored two goals in the second period and the game winning goal in late in the third period on a power play. Lamb and his team were understandably upset after the dropping their second straight game to the Condors.

“I think the frustration part, that’s what you can see in the players,” Lamb said. “No matter what happens in a game you have to try and work on it, its an emotional game it’s a tough game. It takes it toll.”

Chris Mueller had two assists during Saturday’s game giving him 39 for the season, tying him for fourth in the league. Whitney has played very well since being traded to Tucson at the NHL trade deadline and he has four points in seven games with one goal and three assists. Christian Fischer spoke about Whitney’s performance since joining the team.

“He is an unbelievable player; lots of experience he is a veteran. To put him in our lineup is a key, you can tell he is making plays,” Fischer said. “He is a good addition and we are lucky to have him.”

The Roadrunners will play Whitney’s former team the San Antonio Rampage on Tuesday and face former goaltender Justin Peters on Wednesday against the Texas Stars.

The Pacific Division point leaders San Jose Barracuda will travel to Tucson on Saturday and Sunday.


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